Fighting to keep mobility is something I believe in wholeheartedly; however, I think there needs to be balance in this process. Sometimes resisting using equipment is counterproductive. Although we’ve continued to keep working on BJ’s mobility, we know it takes enormous effort for him to walk, even with assistance. It’s therefore not a practical way for him to get around all the time. I recently had to use this example with my mother-in-law. She’s a lovely lady who is fiercely independent and capable. Over the last 10 years I’ve seen her become more restricted in mobility and as a result I’ve seen her frustration increase and outings decrease. As a family, we’ve not wanted to suggest anything that might make her feel less independent but I wish we had said something sooner. Last year it was clear it was becoming dangerous for her to continue using a walking frame for long distances. It was obviously difficult and beginning to limit her enjoyment when she did get out.
Deciding to purchase a piece of mobility equipment can seem like giving up or a negative step. I could understand her feelings. I felt resistant when a wheelchair was suggested for BJ when he was younger. I felt like the therapist was suggesting we should forget trying to get BJ to move independently. When we took delivery of the chair and we started using it we realised it gave us greater freedom and enabled BJ to be more independent. We no longer looked at it as a negative. Similarly, when I saw my mother-in-law recently using a wheelchair for long distances I saw a rejuvenated person. She looked much happier and could really concentrate on enjoying our outing. I regret we didn’t speak up before but perhaps she wouldn’t have been ready.
In thinking about my mother-in-law’s mobility loss in the early days, she would have benefited from having a mobility scooter. For her travels, I can imagine she would have had greater freedom if she’d had a travel scooter. When going on a cruise, a scooter would have allowed her to get around the ship with ease and made shore excursions possible.
For someone who doesn’t need a supportive wheelchair the Luggie is a lightweight option which folds in 3 easy steps. When travelling on organised tours and for car hire there’s benefits in having mobility equipment which folds so easily. When trying to book tours on our travels we’ve found many tour companies can only accommodate folding chairs. We also find our car hire costs are significant because when we travel we need a larger vehicle to accommodate BJ’s non-folding wheelchair.
I’m a big advocate of getting out and about and finding ways to make it happen. I hate seeing people’s mobility restrictions getting in the way of them living a full life. Not only does it affect the person with the restrictions but their loved ones too. Being able to continue to see and do things together is important to relationships and to ensure a person doesn’t feel isolated. Maintaining as much mobility as possible is certainly important and has many health benefits but I have a car and use it for long distances. If I had to walk 10kms to get somewhere it would alter how often I did it and how I felt about my independence. I see getting a piece of mobility equipment in the same way. You can continue to walk the distances that are comfortable but let something like the Luggie give you the freedom to explore more and take some of the effort out of those experiences.
Here’s what one traveller had to say about how the Luggie helped her enjoy travelling more, “Since my MS progressed and I needed mobility aids to get about outside, I was always on the lookout for better lighter devices.
Since I bought it I have been travelling to so many different places and more often, because the small light scooter has been so easy to use….My scooter is nearly four and half years old now and I love it!…I can’t wait for the next trip!”
That quote from Maureen really sums up my message to my mother-in-law and to others, if there’s a way to make life easier and to ensure you don’t miss out on experiences, I say, grab it.
When not in use the Luggie can be pulled like a travel case or packed in its own travel bag on wheels. It’s great for taking on a cruise, on a plane or packed into the boot of a car giving travellers the freedom of mobility at their destination.
You can read how the Luggie is helping travellers to see and do more when travelling the world here.
You can read more about the Luggie here.