An inevitable feature of getting older is becoming less mobile. Since our childhood there has been a quiet revolution in mobility equipment. We don’t sell electric sit-on scooters, or wheelchairs – beyond our range. But those who are able to move under their own steam are encouraged to do so – the health benefits are clear and incontrovertible.
A terrifying percentage of deaths are caused by falls, or a sequence of downhill events that start with a fall, so they must be avoided at all costs even at the expense of perceived dignity. At our young age (late fifties) unless we have unusual disability reasons, we are not yet using sticks. We very much hope that when we need one we will not resist for the sake of pride, but embrace the huge variety of colour, style and function now available. We have looked at more walking sticks than you would believe existed and have selected those we think are particularly good. Different styles will appeal to different people – we like all of the ones we sell and they are strong and (mostly) adjustable.
Once a walking stick is no longer providing adequate stability, in the past it was the dreaded zimmer frame next. These still have their place, and are cheap. But much preferable is the glorious rollator – it’s like a zimmer frame in that you are made stable by both hands being supported, but it has wheels, and brakes. The better designs turn on a sixpence. Some are made for indoor use and are light and very manoeuvrable with special baskets and trays to move what you need with you around the room. Some are designed for outside, and have bigger all-terrain wheels and a seat to sit on should you get tired. As so often in life, the more you can afford the better the product. We urge you to try a good one- worth it if you can stretch to it.
Oh! Let’s not forget crutches. We are all very familiar with NHS grey serviceable crutches which are provided free and do the job. But if you can, and especially if you know you will be using one or two for a while, we urge you to try the ones we have found – both the Let’s Twist Again with its comfortable ergonomic hand support and groovy colours, and the Flexyfoots which have a unique ferrule to prevent slipping.
The big message is to keep mobile. For as long as you can. Keep moving!