Because walking creates almost constant pain for the majority of PC patients, many PCers have found ways to take pressure off of their feet or use alternative forms of mobility.
K6a patient: “I use crutches to lift the pressure off my feet. They are particularly helpful when I have long distances to walk or when I have to stand for a long time. They ensure that I can do more for a longer period of time. I can also cover distances more quickly with crutches. Having crutches to use also ensures that I go more places and participate in more things, as pain would otherwise keep me home.”
K6a patient: “Knee pads are lifesavers if my feet are too sore to walk and I resort to “walking” on my knees. They are especially good when my feet are too sore to vacuum or mop the floor and I know I will need to be on my knees for a long time.”
Many different types of knee pads are available online through Amazon.com and other online stores.
K6a patient: “For decades, I walked on my knees to save the pain in my feet, but my knees are now ruined and often the choice is which pain is the least worse to walk on. This snazzy little wheelchair has saved both my knees and my feet. As a mom, I walk up and down my hallways and around my house all day long. While I’m not dependent upon the chair (I only use it in my own home), I take those many, many trips around my home pain-free and quickly, saving my feet for outside errands and activities where I don’t use a wheelchair. It’s also fast and it has a tight turning radius for easy maneuvering.”
K16 patient: “I have a mobility scooter and it has been an incredible help. I take it everywhere. I’ve just gone from the East Coast of the USA to Australia and New Zealand. I went through museums, wildlife parks, towns, and cities without any pain. I told my husband that it was the first vacation that I didn’t complain that my feet were killing me. It’s a tremendous help. Unfortunately, my insurance won’t pay for it, but we bought it anyway. I opted for a portable, folding scooter called “The Luggie” because I can handle getting it in the car myself. Insurance would only pay for one of those big scooters.”
K6a patient: “I use an armless office chair with wheels in my kitchen. I scoot around using my toes, but at least my hands and arms are free to cook, bake, serve meals, etc. This is great because I spend so much time in the kitchen and I can’t stand for long on hard floors. Before getting an office chair, I used to drag stools from place to place in the kitchen. Having an office chair is much easier.”
BizChair.com offers a variety of office chairs.
A rollator could best be described as a standard walker taken to the extreme. Four large tires replace the two small wheels and two posts of a walker. The handles of a rollator feature caliper brakes, much like a ten-speed bicycle. The user can squeeze these hand brakes to lock the wheels in place or release them to continue walking.
A rollator also contains a large basket for storage purposes, along with a canvas seat and back between the handles. This seat allows users to take short rest breaks whenever necessary. The storage area of a rollator is often larger and more stable than the wire basket attachment of a standard walker. Due to its collapsible design, a rollator can also be folded and stored in a car’s trunk or rear seat. Standard walkers can be folded into thirds, but they are not nearly as compact as a rollator.
K16 patient: “It’s like a walker but it has a seat. I took that all over Europe and it was very helpful. I was still on my feet, but my arms shared the pressure and I had a seat whenever I needed it.”
K16 patient: “I’ve been using a rollator, which is a walker type device, but it’s on wheels so you don’t lift, and it has a seat so you can sit and rest whenever you need it. I’ve taken it all over Europe on vacations and it has been a tremendous help — not as much as if someone were pushing me in a wheelchair, but it has been extremely helpful. The nice thing is that the seat lifts up and there is a storage area where I put my cane folded up (for times I can’t fit the rollator) and my handbag, water, souvenirs, all kinds of stuff. Mine is made by Medline but there are lots of different ones. They have brakes on them too so walking downhill isn’t difficult. You do have to remember to put the brakes on before sitting though. It’s so nice when I’m on a tour and the guide wants to talk about a statue for 10 minutes. I just sit and I buy myself some more walking time. It’s even good for buffet lines. I put my tray on my seat so I don’t need help. Just a thought. After using the rollator, I notice that my arms are sore because I’m sharing the pressure from my feet. But it’s definitely worth it.”
K16 patient: “On a trip to Boston USA a few weeks ago, I came across ‘Wellness mats’ which are much more comfortable to stand on than normal carpeted floors/bath mats. I bought a couple; one as a bath mat and another for by the cooker in the kitchen. Unfortunately, they do not seem to ship outside of the USA or Canada but may be worth looking in to if you can get hold of them.
From the Wellness Mats website: “Anti-fatigue Comfort Mats for Your Home, Office, and Garage — Wellness Mats’ revolutionary anti-fatigue floor mats are ergonomically engineered and medically proven to provide unsurpassed comfort, safety, relief, and support while you stand, wherever you stand with a 7-year comprehensive warranty.”
Wheelchairs are used by people for whom walking is difficult, painful, or impossible due to illness (mental or physical), injury, or disability.
K6a patient: “It is painful to walk, so I use a wheelchair. I call it a miracle, and now can go to amusement parks all day.”
Results from Wheelchair Survey from August 2014 PC NewsBrief.
|PC Type||What factors would you consider in choosing a chair?||Do you have a recommended Brand or Style?||Do you have any contacts to get a wheelchair for a reasonable price?||What is a good price for a wheelchair?||Have you been able to have insurance cover any of the costs of a wheelchair?||Other comments or suggestions for a Pcer choosing a wheelchair for a first time?|
|PC-K6a||The lightweight ones were the easiest to use and put in and out of a car trunk. As I got bigger I then have to use ones that are stronger and hold my heavier weight. We have always bought them 2nd hand but were like new. I have two right now that are perfect.||Used||I bought each of them off craigslist.org a few years back for $50 & $75!! each were in mint condition, barely used. They two are extra wide and heavy duty types.||Used $50 & $75||no||The one problem with extra wide chairs is getting through doors or down store aisle. For any medical type needs, I would always check craigslist.org 1st. People it seems sell these types of items that were family members whose insurance had paid for and now the family members just want to sell them quick.|
|PC-K6a||Easy to travel with.||Transport wheelchair||Costco with coupon||Less than $200||It was reimbursed though my spending account at work.||I use it most when we travel and at airports. If I don’t take mine I always get a wheelchair at the airport. I also use it when shopping and anywhere there will be a lot of walking.|
|PC-K16||The most important is that it fits you. My son was measured by a ergonomic therapist.||Walkingbike most of the time and Childrens wheelchair ehen we are going somewhere like a zoo or when he can’t walk.||We have the wheelchair on loan from our community ( our town).||don’t know||We don’t pay anything for the wheelchair, we have it on loan from our town.||Don’t be afraid that you step in and out the wheelchair. If people say something about it you explain what you have, they will understand most of the time. And if they don’t they don’t. you have to deal wit hit.|
|PC-K17||I have never even thought about using a wheelchair, but it certainly would make some of our trips easier and more likely to go in the first place. If too much walking is involved, I’ve normally just stayed home. One factor would be lightweight and easy to load/unload in the car.||no||no||I’ve seen some advertised in catalogs for about $149 to $199, but I don’t know if that’s a “good” price.||I know MEDICARE can approve wheelchairs if ordered by a physician and it’s NECESSIARY for the health of the individual. I can see where using a wheelchair would make it a very good advantage to PC folks, myself included! I’d travel more and stay at home less!|