Amid this rapidly developing generation in which awareness is the key to evolving into a more sensitized human being, many new terms are rising to the surface. Growing more empathetic towards a vast array of disabilities has now become the norm.
Following the same notion, this article is going to talk about episodic mobility. A type of mobility issue that has garnered a lot of mixed responses from people in general.
There has been a widespread dialogue about what counts as a disability. This is why it is important to mention the names of famous people who have also been facing issues like episodic mobility because, unwittingly, they represent that section of the community.
Following suit, the most prominent public figure known to face episodic mobility is Queen Elizabeth. It has been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that Queen Elizabeth was facing episodic mobility issues. However, she was never seen using a wheelchair.
Episodic Mobility is a typically undiagnosed condition resulting in sporadic mobility episodes, rendering the patient immobile the rest of the time. Many stigmas attached to it as the people facing episodic mobility shy away from using mobility aids that can help alleviate their condition and help them move. One of the reasons behind this recoil is the sheer lack of awareness amongst the masses about the type of disabilities.
There is a broad spectrum of issues that can cause episodic mobility. Some of the factors that may chip into causing sporadic mobility can be termed as the following:
Some other possible reasons that may cause this belittled condition could be dizzy spells, chronic back problems, dwindling postures, weakening of bones, and so on and so forth.
Much like any other condition, episodic mobility also comes with a handful of symptoms. If you or your loved ones are undergoing these symptoms, they might be developing the condition of episodic mobility.
For the aging population (not necessarily), the symptoms may also include:
Despite being an underestimated condition, the sheer fact is that episodic mobility issues can happen to anybody at any age. However, this condition does entail a fair bit of stigma around it for notoriously being a problem faced by old people. But is that the case? Does this thinking perpetuate a sense of scrutiny of how we view people with episodic mobility disabilities?
Many times, you might come across a person who uses mobility aids such as crutches, wheelchairs, scooters with supporting wheels, walkers, and rollators. And briefly, you might see them walking or standing upright without their mobility aid. That does not mean that they are faking their disability or are too lazy, or are mocking “actual” disabled people.
People with episodic mobility require their mobility aids just as much as totally wheelchair-bound patients. Assumptions about their conditions must never be made because you never know the reason behind that person’s requirement for mobility aids. Maybe they experience frequent dizzy spells and cannot walk without support. Maybe their bone structure is weaker than that of a layman. A plethora of reasons could be there. This is why one must never assume and let these people be.
It is also noteworthy that if you see a person using a wheelchair, never start pushing their wheelchair by assuming you’re helping them. Your intentions may be in the right place, but it is deemed extremely rude to ‘help’ a presently immobile person without asking them first. If you really wish to help them, simply ask them if they need help.
When one faces difficulties with getting around with basic mobility, then they are already facing episodic mobility issues. It is pertinent to configure the right type of mobility aids in accordance with personal requirements.
A mobility aid is a device designed to help the person facing mobility issues gain a sense of movability. It aids in providing support to the person in moving around freely without being dependent on another person.
To help you get acquainted with the varied types of mobility aids available, here’s a list for your reference:
A cane is a stick device that is designed to provide support to those who have problems with balance or stability, weakness in legs or trunk, an injury or chronic pain. Apart from providing balance, canes also widen your base of support and decrease weight-bearing pressure on your knee, hips, or legs.
With this many variations of canes available, it gets tricky to choose the correct cane for yourself. If you’re considering getting a cane for yourself or your loved ones, please consider the steps mentioned in the graphic below before making your decision.
A crutch is a disability aid that is used to support the armpit area of the injured or disabled person. It is structured in the form of a long stick with a crosspiece at the top. A crutch is an ideal aid to increase the size of an individual’s base of support. The weight is transferred from the legs to the upper body and is often used by people who cannot use their legs to support their weight.
There are mainly three types of crutches available:
Every individual requires different durations or kinds of support from their mobility aids. This is why choosing the right crutch will depend on your circumstances, your requirements, and how much support you will need.
As the name suggests, a manual wheelchair is operated and designed primarily in a manner for use by an individual with a mobility disability, injury, or some other reasons. Manual wheelchairs come in varied sizes, shapes, and styles to suit a variety of requirements of the users.
There is a wide variety of wheelchairs readily available, and customizable as well. For your discretion, here’s a list of each type for you to make an informed decision:
It is extremely vital to make a well-informed wise choice while choosing your wheelchair as it is going to aid your mobility and make you more independent. Some important factors that must be taken into consideration when choosing a wheelchair could be:
A power wheelchair is a mobility aid that is often used by individuals who face difficulty during walking or are going through medical conditions. Power wheelchairs are preferred by those who are unable to use a manual wheelchair or an electric scooter. A daily essential electric wheelchair contains a base, equipped with four or more wheels.
Types of Power Wheelchairs Available
There are three main types of power wheelchairs, namely, rear-wheel, front-wheel, and mid-wheel drive. Each type of these wheelchair can be easily customizable by adding different components and accessories catering to the user’s needs. These add-ons allow users to get a bespoke wheelchair that meets their needs.
It is advisable to consult an expert when choosing the right power wheelchair as per your needs and requirements. Consulting your doctor and an assistive technology professional (ATP) (who can configure and customize the wheelchair to cater to your requirements).
Similar to a wheelchair, a scooter is a mobility aid that is configured like a motorized scooter. A mobility scooter has a seat positioned over three, four, or even five wheels. It also contains foot plates for the feet, and handlebars in front to turn the steerable wheels. Unlike a manual wheelchair, the scooter eliminates the use of the manual strength that is needed to propel. However, it does require an upright posture, shoulder and hand strength, along with upper body mobility to steer.
The types of mobility scooters can be classified into three main types.
A walker is basically a walking aid with four points of contact to the ground. It comes with a sturdy handle for the user to hold and four elongated cane-like bars that can be moved simultaneously. A walker provides a much wider base of support than a walking stick. It is ideal to stabilize patients with poor balance and mobility or with lower extremity impairment.
A walker is an efficient way to safely garner the user’s mobility and provide them the freedom to get around independently. Here are a few types of walkers for you to choose from.
A rollator is more of a mobile stability aid than a mobility aid. It is used by people that can walk but require occasional help with their balance and stability. Rollators are often heavier than walkers because of the wheels and brake system that they have.
There are mainly three types of rollators, and each one comes with its benefits and set of features. Take a look and choose wisely.
After deciphering the vast plethora of types of mobility aids available at your exposure, it is extremely crucial to denote the key factors that differentiate all of them from each other. For the same, here are a few pointers for you to look into.
Manual wheelchairs are often foldable and lightweight, providing the added advantage of the ease of mobility and portability. They’re reliable, less expensive, transportable, and ensure the fitness of the user.
Power wheelchairs, on the other hand, are an embodiment of comfort because they allow you to move without effort and come with a vast array of power seating options (recline, tilt, stand) and other customizable options to meet your needs.
Now that you’ve finally equipped yourself with all types of mobility aids, you’ve done the hard part. Congratulations! Now is the time to make the choice of aid that suits best according to your requirements.
If you are someone who is accessing this information for a loved one, there’s also a list of pointers that might come in handy.
Despite providing them with mobility aids of their choice, there still can be mishappenings that may cause detrimental aftereffects to the patient. In order to reduce the proximity of these pitfalls, here are some pointers that are worth keeping in mind while taking care of people with mobility issues.
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Ans: Discomfort and weakness in joints
Ans: A simple and short answer would be, ‘no.’ Because every individual is prone to injuries, dizzy spells, neurological problems, and other diseases, anybody can experience episodic mobility issues.
Ans: Dizzy Spells, Weakness, Discomfort, or pain in joints
Ans: Amputation, paralysis, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, arthritis, spinal cord injury, or other types of orthopedic or neuromuscular impairments.
Ans: It can happen at any age. However, the proximity of it happening in older people is much higher.
Ans: Around 60–70 years.
Ans: Vitamin D
Ans: Yes, definitely. However, it should be started in moderation so that the body can get accustomed to movement and flexibility.
Ans: By improving muscle strength, joint flexibility, balance, and coordination of the patient.
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