Mobility In The Home
A variety of devices can be helpful to assist with getting around the house. Walking sticks, walking frames and rollators can all provide extra support and security for the user when moving about the house. A physiotherapist (or occupational therapist) can guide you in choosing the type and height of a walking aid that best meets your needs.
Walking trolleys can assist with transferring items from one room to another and grab rails can be fitted in strategic places to ensure that support is at hand where needed. Of course, there is also a wide range of wheelchairs from manual to powered available and this means that no matter what mobility difficulties a person may have, there should be a solution for them.
For some people, a wheelchair may only be necessary for a short period of time as recovery takes place, while others may use a wheelchair just for longer distance journeys or to enable them to access places where walking proves difficult a trip into town for the day, or out to the country. But for some, their wheelchair is the only way they can get around. So different people in different situations are going to have quite different requirements.
People who use a wheelchair for a large part of or all of the day need to take care of their skin because they may be sitting for long periods of time. Some people may also have a lack of sensation or poor sensation resulting in a lack of awareness of built-up of pressure, and pressure relief cushions can be used to help prevent pressure sores. Regular self-lifting up from the seat or repositioning by others can also help.
There are many factors involved in choosing a suitable wheelchair not just the measurements of the chair, but also, for example, the weight and size of the chair, how it will be operated, what it is needed for, and how easily it can be transported. It is essential that a full assessment of the individual and their needs is carried out by an appropriately qualified professional, such as an occupational therapist or physiotherapist, who can then recommend the most suitable wheelchair solution.
The individual should be consulted fully in this process and particularly those replacing an old chair will often know exactly what they need. For more information on the equipment mentioned above, see the wide range of Information Sheets available on Assist Ireland.