The first thing you probably think of when thinking of ‘mobility aids’ are scooters and wheelchairs; these are great for people who can't stand or walk for long periods of time. Where someone might stay inside all day without a means of getting around, wheelchairs allow for someone with limited mobility and their loved ones to get out and about. Many wheelchairs can be folded up for easy transportation, so it can be stored in the car for a family trip to the park or town. Scooters can offer even more independence, as you don't need someone else to push them; the engine allows someone to drive it around, and this is a massive factor in helping many people with limited mobility stay connected to society, letting them get to the shops on their own and take their groceries home. For people who aren't as limited in their mobility, crutches or walking sticks are another great option. Crutches offer extra support to people who can stand and walk for longer periods of time, but experience pain or tiredness after a lot of exertion.
It might be easy to think that just because someone is at home, it means they don't need as much assistance. But modern homes and living styles often aren’t designed with limited mobility in mind, and that can make even relaxing activities such as just watching the TV or going to bed exhausting. Fortunately, there's lots of nifty inventions to make life easier in ways you might not have thought possible.
To begin with, there's a whole array of cushions, pillows, and support units specifically designed to provide comfort and support for people with limited mobility. Usually made from memory foam, these cushions are first off incredibly comfortable, while also improving blood circulation, relieving pain and pressure, and offering support for the spine and legs. Some units are designed with an adjustable height; these are especially great for people who are bed bound but still want freedom of movement to sit up and eat, watch the telly, and converse with loved ones.
You might also find perching stools in the home of someone with limited mobility; these are tall, slightly angled chairs that allow whoever uses them to comfortably perch (hence the name) in a half-sitting-half-standing position. These, again, are great for people who want or need to move around a bit more, or need to keep standing to help improve their conditions, but find it brings pain after too long.
Many people who have been living with limited mobility for a long time will tell you that having a proper good wash is maybe one of the hardest challenges to overcome. Getting in the bath requires too much dexterity, standing in the shower causes too much pain, and sponge baths really don't leave you with the lovely 'fresh and squeaky clean' feeling. That's why shower chairs are such a great tool. Allowing the user to sit down in the shower, someone with limited mobility can have some peace and quiet to themselves, and wash at their own pace. Inflatable basins are also ideal alternatives, where a loved one or nurse can properly wash someone's hair from the comfort of their bed or chair.
Just because someone experiences limited mobility, doesn't mean that staying fit and healthy has been thrown out the window. In fact, exercise is perhaps even more vital, to keep blood circulation up and to keep muscles strong that otherwise aren't getting used. Exercise machines for people with limited mobility are designed to be used while sitting down, and can also usually be used to exercise both your upper and lower body, allowing for the user to make sure they're getting as much activity as they can and need.
This is just an introduction into the most common types of mobility aids. There's a whole load out there, some more general support and some with more specific functions. Whatever they're made to do in practice, all mobility aids are designed primarily to offer a greater sense of independence and freedom to those who need them.