Mobility aids

This refers to equipment such as walking sticks, crutches and wheelchairs which are designed to help arthritis sufferers move around more easily.

No-one likes to think that they will require aids such as these but it is better to use something rather than struggle and become frustrated in the process.

What is important is that using an aid such as a walking stick is a sign of taking control of your condition and NOT a sign of giving in. It is not a sign of weakness either.

What it means instead is that you taken a pro-active approach to your arthritis which will enable you to remain active and independent. This is a bold decision to make.

Mobility aids are discussed as follows:

  • Where to obtain mobility aids
  • Types of mobility aids

Where to obtain mobility aids

Your physiotherapist or occupational therapist will be able to advise you about obtaining these aids. They will recommend a certain type of mobility aid depending on the type of arthritis you have. This also includes advice about obtaining help with this from your local social services department.

Another option is to visit your local Disability Living Centre. More information about these centres can be found on the Assist UK website (

Types of mobility aids

These include:

  • Walking sticks
  • Crutches
  • Wheelchairs
  • Motorised ‘ride on’ scooters
  • Walking frames

Walking sticks

Walking sticks are lightweight affairs made from wood or metal. They range in design from a simple pole structure to a stick which has a four pronged base to help with stability.


Crutches come in two versions: the elbow version is designed to take the weight of your elbows and forearms. The underarm crutch is meant to be used underneath your arms.

Elbow style crutches are designed for people who are able to put weight on their legs. The underarm crutch is ideal for people who have to avoid putting any weight on their legs.

You will be shown how to use either of these crutches.


There is a wide range to choose from which includes the basic model through to the fully powered version. The type you receive will be based upon your type of arthritis and personal requirements.

For example, if you are able to use your hands and arms then a self-propelled wheelchair is a good option. But if not then choose an electric wheelchair.

If you only need a wheelchair on a few occasions then consider a model which can be pushed by another person.

Motorised ‘ride on’scooters

These have proven to be very popular over the last few years. Many elderly people use them to do their shopping and other daily tasks.

These are obtained via the Motability Scheme. This usually applies to people in receipt of the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance. Check with your local benefits office or the DWP.

For more information visit the Motability website (

These aids are meant to help you move around when out or at home. But if you are interested in aids to help you at home then visit our adapting your home section.

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