Amplitude managing editor Rick Bowers recently spoke to Mobility Management magazine about mobility solutions for amputees. Since we just featured mobility devices in the March/April issue of Amplitude—and since May is Mobility Awareness Month—we thought we’d share a brief excerpt from Bowers’ interview. You can read the whole conversation at Mobility Management‘s website.
Q: What are the largest challenges that amputees and their families face when it comes to finding mobility products that work for them?
Rick Bowers: One problem is that they may start out with a walker, a wheelchair, crutches, or another mobility device that is not ideal for their individual needs and situation. Regardless of why they start out with that type of device, they may continue to use it from then on, even though a different type of device—or more than one device—might serve them better.
[M]any companies that produce mobility devices, especially wheelchairs and scooters, don’t seem to see amputees as potential customers, perhaps because they think amputees use prosthetic devices and therefore don’t need other mobility devices. Amplitude surveyed our readers a few years ago and found that while some amputees use wheelchairs or scooters exclusively, a large percentage also use them as secondary devices, even if they already use prostheses. The same seems to be true for crutches, walkers, and other mobility devices.
For example, in our Amplitude’s Guide to Living With Limb Loss, a hip-disarticulation amputee discussed how although he at first decided to use crutches instead of a prosthesis, the crutches began to cause injuries to his hands. As a result, he started using a prosthesis. However, because he can’t handle wearing the prosthesis for more than an hour or two a day because it causes skin and tissue damage, he only wears it a couple of times a week. At other times, he uses a variety of other mobility devices.
Read the whole interview at Mobility Management.