Why Mobility Aids Help A Person Mentally and Physically
Mobility aids have changed considerably over the years, decades, and centuries. In fact, the first wheelchair used for those unable to walk goes back to 200 BC, and the more “modern” push wheelchair is nearly 300 years old.
So while people having been creating mobility aids for a very long time, we’re living in a truly wonderful time where people can get themselves around better than ever, whether they aren’t able to walk due to an injury, age, or disability since birth. The best part is, electric mobility scooters, power wheelchairs, and traditional wheelchairs all help to benefit a person physically as well as mentally. Let’s take a look at how mobility aids improve the lives of those who use them.
HELPING THEM PHYSICALLY
They Get Fresh Air
People aren’t meant to stay in one place for too long. So when a person lies in bed all day, they’re not getting out to feel the breeze or take fresh air into their lungs.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities.” It also notes that most people tend to spend about 90% of their time indoors, meaning that damage to the lungs can be compounded.
Now imagine how much worse that might be for someone who is bedridden and spends 99% of their time indoors. Getting outdoors is a great way to help someone breathe more easily. It also helps their mood, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Sunlight Helps The Bones
Let’s not forget about the benefits of sunlight. Sunlight helps the body form vitamin D, which is vital in calcium absorption and bone growth / maintenance. This is especially important for those who aren’t strengthening their bones by placing weight on them.
It Helps Develop or Maintain Muscles
Using a mobility device helps to develop muscle tone. For your average roll-around-the-house lightweight wheelchair, the reason for increased muscle is obvious: the arms get stronger as a person wheels themselves around manually. But they are also keeping their muscles more limber as they move from mobility device to mobility device. For instance, someone who’s heading to the car might support themselves as they are lowered into the car’s seat, then lift themselves once more to hop onto their electric wheelchair.
Avoid Weight Gain
Staying in bed or in the La-Z-Boy all day is one way that some people experience weight gain. Movement in any form is preferable to a sedentary lifestyle, even if that movement comes from an electric scooter. The more you move, the more you do, and that can help to burn calories.
HELPING THEM MENTALLY
Avoid Weight Loss
Weight is one of those aspects of having a disability that can go either way. While inactivity can lead to weight gain, it can also lead to weight loss. Staying in bed can lead to depression, which can lead to excessive eating in some but a cessation of eating in others. Being able to get up and around with a mobility device can go a long way to helping someone avoid depression and excessive weight loss.
They Get Fresh Air
Didn’t we already cover this one? We most certainly did. But this time we’re discussing the mental boost that getting outside can do for someone. Most everyone loves to be in nature, and even a trip to the backyard with the proper mobility device can go a long way to boosting mood. Those with disabilities can still engage in a certain gardening activities; the added muscles they get from a manual wheelchair can make pruning even easier!
Of course, sunlight can’t be ignored as a mood booster. Sunlight makes the brain release serotonin, one of our feel-good chemicals. It’s pretty obvious that sunlight and fresh air helps mentally as well as physically.
It Helps Them Help Themselves
There aren’t many people who enjoy feeling helpless. Most of us don’t mind accepting a little help, but we certainly don’t want to rely on others for everything we do. The word ego often takes on a negative connotation, but ego is one thing that makes us want to take care of ourselves. And if we can’t take care of ourselves, we also can’t take care of other people, something that most people enjoy.
That’s why getting oneself around in a mobility device is important. When a disabled person is able to move themselves around it becomes a huge boost to their mental health because they’re able to take care of at least one aspect of their lives — getting around — with much more ease. It’s not something that most people can relate to unless they’ve been immobile for an extended period of time, but it helps a disabled person’s mood immensely.
Building a Social Life
A person who stays at home all day has to rely on others to come visit them, and if those visits start to wane then they can suffer a one-two punch: they can feel abandoned, and they’re not interacting with others socially. Humans are social creatures, and that means that they’re meant to talk to other people. Voices coming from the TV can only stave off this need for so long.
Taking control of their own mobility with an electric wheelchair or motorized scooter is a great way for people who have been injured to “get back out there.” Simply heading down the sidewalk or moving about the apartment grounds can go a long way to meeting other people and interacting with them on a daily basis.
The fact is, mobility aids help in ways that most people never imagine, improving moods and bodies of those who can’t get around on their own. At Choice Mobility, we’re proud to be a part of the long heritage of mobility and the many ways that it helps those in need. Whether they’re in Chicago or somewhere across the country, we’re here to help those who still live on their own or live in nursing homes. If you or someone you know needs the best in power wheelchairs, electric scooters, or manual wheelchairs, we’re ready to help. Check them out today!