Glossary of terms
Getting to know what mobility products are available is no easy feat.
Read our glossary of terms to help you become more familiar with
terms and find out what's available.
Adjustable bed - adjustable beds allow sleepers to adjust the
head and foot of the bed to the most comfortable position. The mattress
and foundation of an adjustable bed is specially built for the flexing
motion and can be innerspring, foam or a combination. Since the flexing
causes extra wear on the mattress, quality construction is very important.
Mattresses not built for this purpose should not be used with an adjustable
Single point canes are adjustable height canes designed to improve
balance and reduce fatigue.
Travel canes can fold up and be carried in a travel case.
Standard crook canes are lightweight and durable.
Quad canes are used when additional stability is needed. These canes
are designed with a base and four legs, offering greater security and
stability than single point canes. Quad canes are available with small
or wide base.
Standard crutches are lightweight and easily adjust to size.
Forearm crutches have contoured arm cuffs which mold to the user
for extra comfort and stability.
Lift Chairs - Power lift chairs are designed to help move a person
to a standing, seated, or reclined position.
Lifting Cushions - Lifting cushions provide that extra lift needed
to help an individual get in and out of an armchair by shifting their
weight forward and pushing off gently with your arms and/or legs.
Lifts for scooters - Many types of auto lifts are available to
transport mobility scooters. Lifts are designed to transport scooters
either within or ouside the vehicle. Platform lifts are often designed
for exterior use and can be mounted to the hitch; platforms can support
a fully assembled scooter.
Lifts for wheelchairs - Many kinds of auto lifts are available
to transport power chairs. Lifts are designed to transport wheelchairs
either within or outside the vehicle. Outside the SUV or van, a platform
lift is mounted to the rear hitch. When not in use the platform can be
Lightweight/Sports Chairs - This is the most popular type of
wheelchair for everyday use for a person with good upper body mobility.
Lightweight chairs provide maximum independence of movement with a minimum
of effort. Once used primarily by wheelchair athletes, the lightweight
chair today is used by people in virtually all walks of life as a preferred
mode of assisted mobility. Three-wheeled chairs, also developed for such
sports as tennis and basketball, are also an everyday chair alternative.
Standard/Everyday Chairs - Some wheelchair users prefer or require
a standard wheelchair, which is characterized by a cross-brace frame,
built-in or removable arm rests, swing-away footrests, a mid- to high-level
back, and push handles to allow non-occupants to propel the chair.
Child/Junior Chairs - Children and young adults need chairs that
can accommodate their changing needs as they grow. In addition, it is
important that wheelchairs for children or teens be adaptable to classroom
environments and be "friendly looking" to help the user fit
more readily into social situations. Manufacturers today are becoming
increasingly sensitive to these market demands and are attempting to address
them with innovative chair designs and a variety of "kid-oriented"
colors and styles.
Specialty Chairs - Because of the diverse needs of wheelchair users,
wheelchairs have been designed to accommodate many lifestyles and user
needs.Oversized chairs and chairs designed to accommodate the weight of
obese people are also offered. Rugged, specially equipped chairs are available
for outdoor activities. Aerodynamic three-wheeled racing chairs are used
in marathons and other racing events.
Power Wheelchairs - Electric wheelchairs must be selected carefully
in order to ensure that the chair meets the needs of the user. Physical
considerations include: posture, strength, sensation, visual acuity and
perception, and the ability to learn how to use the wheelchair safely.
Transportation to and from various settings is another important consideration:
Is a van available to transport the individual in the chair, or is it
necessary for the chair to fold or disassemble in order to be carried
in an automobile trunk?
Roll up - portable ramps for wheelchairs and scooters designed to
roll up for easy carrying with storage bag.
Scooter ramps have side rails and center panels that slide easily
into place, locking securely to provide a solid drive surface.
Suitcase ramps are convenient, compact and fold up easily for portability.
These ramps feature a built-in carrying handle and folds in half lengthwise
to be carried like a suitcase when not in use.
Telescopic ramps extend and can be used on steps, vans, or curbs.
For storage, simply pick up each rail and depress the guide buttons to
Threshold ramps- Designed for doorways, sliding glass doors, and
raised landings: allows for easier wheel chair movement within your home.
Scooters - scooter users typically have the ability to walk, but
are limited in distance or stamina (people with milder forms of cerebral
palsy, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, stroke survivors, arthritis,
and cardiac conditions, among others.) Scooters are used to increase and
extend a person's range of mobility as well as help to conserve energy.
Types of scooters available: 3 wheel, 4 wheel and heavy duty.
Stair lifts - Designed to take you safely up a flight of interior
or exterior stairs, lifts provide safety, mobility as well as convenience.
Stair lifts are mobile chairs or perches that travel up and down a rail
which attaches directly to your stairs. Lifts can be AC electrically powered,
DC battery powered, or a combination of the two.
Standard walkers can be folded up for convenient storage and transport.
These walkers are adjustable to accommodate individual sizes and needs.
Rolling walkers are available with 2, 3 or 4 wheels. These walkers
minimizes lifting. Handy accessories include: trays, baskets and pouches.
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