Mobility is the ability to move around freely and with ease, but it is not something everyone is able to enjoy.
There are over 14 million disabled people living in the UK and the issues many of them face will restrict the amount they are able to get around.
But there are a number of ways you can improve your ability to move and potentially enhance your quality of life as a result.
Few things provide as much freedom and independence as getting your own car, and they don’t have to be off-limits to people with a disability.
Mobility cars are vehicles that have been adapted to be fully wheelchair accessible. They tend to be driven by a family member or carer, but in some instances can be driven by the wheelchair user themselves.
As long as you are able to get on and off it yourself without too much trouble, a mobility scooter is great if you need to travel long distances but struggle to walk or are disabled.
They are not generally available on the NHS and can sometimes cost more than £5,000 when buying outright, but there are a number of charities that can help pay towards a scooter.
Take some of the pain out of walking and get a better handle on your balance with a walking stick, as long as it’s the correct height for you. If you need a bit more support than what a stick can offer, a walking frame will be a better option.
You may be able to borrow a stick or frame from the NHS, but if opting for the latter make sure you are strong enough to lift it if it has no wheels.
Most crutches are adjustable, making them ideal for younger people that need assistance when walking.
There are underarm crutches and forearm crutches. The latter are more popular in the UK and are easier to use on stairs and uneven terrain.
For people who are blind or have a vision impairment, a guide dog can help make the outside world a much safer place. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association aim to be supporting 500,000 by 2023 and provide support to children, families and single adults.
When walking is a struggle, a wheelchair can enable you to get around many shops and buildings. They are available on the NHS, but there are also schemes to help with borrowing or purchasing one.
If you would feel comfortable pushing yourself around or being guided by someone else, a manual wheelchair will be suitable. However, if that doesn’t sound right for you, it is worth considering an electric option.
Of course, it is likely an electric wheelchair will require more maintenance than a manual one.
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