Evaluating Mobility Devices


Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital

Posted on

Oct 13, 2010


Colorado - Northern Colorado

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Although mobility devices can transform an individuals life and give them back some sense of independence and control, they have the potential for injury. Often, the cause is not malfunction, but rather the fact that many individuals choose the wrong device for their needs or use them incorrectly.
Consider the following before choosing a mobility device:
FIRST, shop for the health care provider that is the right fit for the individuals needs.
Consider the following in choosing the right canes and walkers:
How is the individuals balance?
Do they have the sensation and strength in their hands to hold the device?
Make sure the device is the proper height.
Perform routine maintenance checks.

An individual must be measured properly, and the chair and seating system must fit those measurements:
Adjust the chair for the individual. Make sure the individual knows how to operate all functions on the chair
Replace worn parts as necessary.

It's important to measure the individuals size, functional abilities and the standers purpose. Once delivered, it must be properly adjusted. Do regular routine maintenance checks with parts replacement as needed.
RE-EVALUATION, TRAINING, FITTING & REPAIR. It is common for facilities to hold mobility clinics where the individual is evaluated for a device and a prescription is generated. Delivery of the device, re-evaluation, fitting and training will occur.
Knowledge of insurance plans and the individual's financial situation is also important. Many plans will cover only one device in a several-year period of time. Understanding of these issues can help in choosing a device that is able to grow and change as needs change.
Finding that balance between devices can be very liberating and increase an individuals ability to participate in work, recreation, or other pursuits. Life changes, and so do all of us. It is important to schedule annual visits with a health care professional to evaluate current devices and the potential for new or changes in a mobility prescription.

Editors Note: This information was submitted by Beth Bullard, Director of Case Management/Patient Assessment Information Coordinator at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital in Johnstown. She can be reached at ncrh.ernesthealth.com

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