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5 Devices That Make Mobility Easier

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5 Devices That Make Mobility Easier

A mobility device is anything you use to help you get around safely. They can range from inconspicuous braces to powered scooters or wheelchairs. While some older individuals might hesitate before turning to such devices — fearing what the use of mobility aids says about their independence or age — when you incorporate these helps into your life in the right way, the outcome can be overwhelmingly positive.

The goal of mobility aids is to help individuals get around on their own as much as possible, even when they are dealing with a temporary injury or a long-term degenerative condition. A great thing about our Fort Collins assisted living community is that we take mobility aids into account, so whether you're using a wheelchair or a dapper cane, you'll still be able to access the common areas, dining rooms and many of the outdoor spaces as you enjoy time alone or with friends.

How to Access Mobility Devices

Some mobility devices, such as canes and even walkers, can be purchased in retail pharmacies by anyone. That means you don't need a prescription for them and can choose the equipment that seems right to you in the moment.

While that freedom is great, it is important to understand which device is right for you and how to use it. Improperly relying on a cane, crutches or other mobility aid can lead to a risk of injury or issues with recovery. Working with a physical therapist or occupational therapist to understand what device you might need, how to choose the right size and how to use your mobility aid can reduce these risks.

Some mobility devices are less accessible without medical intervention, especially if you'd like insurance to cover it. A doctor can write a prescription or an order for a cane, walker, wheelchair or power mobility device if they deem it medically necessary, and your insurance may cover part or all of the cost of the device. In some cases, you may need to work with a physical therapist to be evaluated for the product before insurance will cover it.

5 Common Medical Devices

Medical devices cover the gamut from orthopedic inserts and braces to power scooters. Here are a few common devices that ensure easier mobility.

  • Canes. Canes provide a bit of stability for walking or standing and are typically used by individuals who don't have a great deal of trouble walking but do need a bit of help balancing. Canes may be covered by your insurance plan, but they are readily available and fairly inexpensive at retail pharmacies.
  • Walkers. Walkers provide more stability than canes or crutches and can be used by people who need to lean on something as they stand or walk. Walkers are often covered by insurance, and basic models can be purchased at retail pharmacies.
  • Rollators. You might call these fancier walkers — they typically come with wheels and hand brakes and often include accessories such as a small bench seat and a basket for carrying items. Rollators are great for on-the-go individuals who like to be able to navigate mild terrain (like the grassy lawns of our assisted living community). Rollators may not be fully covered by insurance; often, insurance will cover the price of a regular walker toward a Rollator purchase and you cover the difference.
  • Wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs are common mobility aids for people with short-term injuries of the legs, knees or hips. They're also a good mobility device if you have a long-term condition that keeps you unable to stand or walk well but doesn't impact your upper-body mobility and strength. Using a manual wheelchair to move around on your own is actually a great form of exercise because it engages your entire upper body. These types of wheelchairs are covered by many insurance plans as either purchases or rentals if medical necessity exists.
  • Power wheelchairs and scooters. Powered options may be required if you don't have the capability of operating a manual wheelchair or if you're mobile over short distances but need help with longer distances. Insurance companies may pay for power wheelchairs in limited medically required circumstances, but you can also purchase these devices for your own use.

Whether you use a mobility device or your own legs to get around, we hope you enjoy exploring all that Collinwood has to offer.