Mobility Alternatives: From Canes to WheelchairsBy Minkel, Jean; United Spinal Association
(Pages: 10) Publication Date:
Brochure describes mobility devices and offers advice on choosing a device based on the degree of mobility disability, mobility needs within the living environment, and available funding. Mobility alternatives discussed include (1) assistive devices for ambulation such as canes, crutches, and walkers; (2) manual wheelchairs; (3) power-assist wheelchairs, which are propelled with the aid of battery-operated devices that increase the number of wheel revolutions per push; (4) scooters, which are motor-powered, feature three or four smaller wheels, and are steered with a tiller; and (5) power wheelchairs, front-, mid-, or rear-wheel drive chairs operated by an electric motor and controlled using a joystick or other alternate-control device. Advice given on choosing the right device includes asking other users of mobility devices about their experiences, consulting occupational and physical therapists specializing in assistive technology, considering what area of the environment presents the greatest obstacles to getting around, and factoring in funding from sources such as medical insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or vocational rehabilitation programs. Other considerations explored are the amount of effort required in using the device, aesthetic considerations, the relative ease of storing and transporting the device, and the availability of modifications needed to meet changing physical conditions.
United Spinal Association (Website:http://www.unitedspinal.org)
Link to text: http://www.unitedspinal.org/pdf/canes_to_wheelchairs.pdf