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Mobility Aids for Someone With Parkinson's Disease

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Mobility aids include devices that help a person move around without help. They also help the caregiver transfer the person in and out of bed and from bed to a chair.

They include:

  • a wheelchair with padding and removable arms
  • a walker to help the person keep his or her balance and provide some support
  • a 3- or 4-wheel electric scooter
  • crutches for use when weight cannot be put on one leg or foot
  • a cane to provide light weight-bearing support
  • a transfer board (9" x 24") for moving someone in and out of bed
  • a gait/transfer belt

See a physical therapist before buying a cane, walker, or wheelchair. Avoid tripod or quad canes (3-or 4 point bases). People with PD have trouble using these because canes are too close to the feet or all points don't touch the floor at the same time.

To adjust a cane to the proper height:

  • Stand straight with arms hanging at sides.
  • Caregiver places cane or walker next to person's arm.
  • Top of cane or walker should be as high as the bend in the person's wrist.

TIP: Think about using hiking sticks while walking

  • Four-post walkers are not recommended for people with Parkinson's Disease. Picking up a walker can cause a backward loss of balance.
  • Four-wheeled walkers offer better stability and easier turns. Special features such as large wheels, swivel casters, and hand brakes provide the most stability.
  • Walkers with built-in seats and baskets are especially helpful.