Wheelchairs and Walking Aids

Wheelchairs should be comfortable and well-fitted for the person.  Footrests are needed if the person cannot foot pedal. If he or she can foot pedal, the height of the seat to the ground should be ideal so that the person can “walk” with heel-toe steps.

A comfortable seat is essential if the person will spend long hours sitting. A ROHO cushion will help prevent pressure sores. A tilt chair is for people needing more support or those at risk of falling out of the chair. The best professional to fit a wheelchair is an occupational therapist.

Walking aids can be in the form of:

Walking poles – this is most socially acceptable to seniors for outdoor walking.

Walking Cane – this can help to provide a little more security and stability than without any aid.

2-wheeled walker – this is more stable than a cane, but harder to manoeuvre than a 4-wheeled walker; it is not meant for outdoor use or stairs. This walker can be folded and easily stored.

4-wheeled walker – this is relatively stable, most have a seat to sit on, a basket for carrying things, brakes, and can be used for indoor and outdoor walking; it is not to be used on stairs. This walker can be folded and easily stored.

The handles of walking aids should be at the level of the person’s hips, the widest part of the lower body where a bony prominence is felt just above the thigh. This will allow the elbow to be slightly bent at a comfortable angle of 20 to 30 degrees.