An interesting look back in history…

On many levels, you could say that we are very lucky to be living in the 21st century, especially in regards to the innovation of medical technology and equipment. Theses advancements have helped people worldwide to live more normal lives than their predecessors. As our scientist and inventors bring new and exciting products to the open market place, the daily challenges of life continues to become less stressful with the help of modern day technology.

Let's take, for instance, the early wheelchairs — although there is no clear date as to the initial invention of this device, the first notable one was created in 1595, known as an invalids chair - its almost embarrassing in todays day in age to even write that word! But, be that as it may, we have come a long way, not only in our classification of how we now refer to those with 'disabilities,' but also in the way in which our fellow man is treated when living with any type of disability.

In 1869, a patent for a wheelchair with rear push wheels and small front casters was introduced. As time progressed, the push rims were added to allow for self-propulsion. [1] Fast forward to 2017, wheelchairs now come equipped with all the bells and whistles—all that one could want and hope for in these type of mobility aids—motorized wheelchairs, attachment bags for transportation of personal items, positioning aids for comfort and even aquatic wheelchairs designed for the pool! With the folding of wheelchairs, they have become portable, making it easier for one to be just as mobile as their counterparts without a disability.

We can also celebrate the innovation of several other mobility aids that are designed for individuals who are chronically disabled or those who are recuperating in need of rehabilitation. Included in this category are aids, such as the walker that was first introduced in the early 1950's. In addition, the invention of the rollator in the late 70's,[2] provides a more sophisticated version of the traditional walker or wheelchair, is lighter in weight and provides hand brakes for easy maneuvering.

We can only presume, based on history, that we will continue to see new mobility aids entering into the marketplace, simplifying the lives of individuals who are have limited mobility.



© Copyright 2017 The Wright Stuff, Inc. Articles may only be redistributed in its unedited form. Written permission from The Wright Stuff, Inc. must be obtained to reprint or cite the information contained within this article.