Mobility Aid Selection Guide – Wheelchairs, Walkers or Canes

People tend to lose their balance as they get older. This is partly due to  because bones become brittle and do not support weight of the body. Therefore, elderly people find it difficult to walk, and need to take the help of mobility aids, which provide convenience and relief.

There are many types of mobility aids. Each provides a different level of support.


Support Level – Low

Canes are suitable for those people who need a slight support to maintain their balance. A special type of cane is the folding cane which is easier to store when not in use.

Quad Canes

Support Level – Low to Moderate depending on the base

Quad canes consist of a base, which has four support legs. These canes provide more support than folding canes, and are especially good for people who cannot use both of their hands to maintain a grip on the walker.

Folding Walkers

Support Level – Moderate

Walkers are a common type of mobility aids.  Folding walkers are for those people whose legs cannot bear weight which is shifted to the handles. The patient has to lift the walker after a step or two. Some people might find this cumbersome. Folding walkers are good for indoors.

Rollator Walkers

Support Level – Moderate

Rollator walkers comprise of a seat, wheels, hand brakes, and sometimes even a basket. They are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.


Support Level – Maximum

Wheelchairs are of two basic kinds: transport wheelchair and lightweight wheelchair. The transport wheel chair has to be pushed by another person whereas elderly people can use the lightweight wheel chairs themselves.

An additional type is the reclining wheelchair. It is suitable for those people who cannot walk even a step without support and cannot sit in one position for prolonged periods.


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