Mobility aids

You may find that the survivor needs help navigating the world after their injury. There are several mobility and environmental aids that can make moving around easier.


Canes are an excellent aid that offer support if someone has a deficit on one side of the body and only require a small amount of help moving. They are meant to help with balance and should be used when a person can mostly walk on their own.


A person uses a walker when they require more stability. A walker usually has four legs and commonly has wheels for ease of use. It is sturdier than a cane and allows people with more significant balance problems to continue walking, building up their strength and stability over time. In some cases, a person may need to use a walker permanently for safety.


In some cases, a person with a brain injury may not be able to walk. This could be temporary or permanent depending on the cause. When a person is unable to walk, they use a wheelchair. There are several different kinds of wheelchairs ranging from basic manual models to more advanced motorized chairs. Wheelchairs provide the ability to move around, but it does mean that some places may be inaccessible, and the home environment will need to be adapted.

Walking poles

For some people, walking on uneven ground (typically outside) can still pose a challenge, even if they are able to walk indoors with no trouble. This is where walking poles can come in handy. Also called urban poles, these walking poles can be used for increased activity and for balance by people in rehabilitation. Some sticks even come with special ‘feet’ or ‘grips’ that can be changed depending on the environment and purpose of the walk. Many models are also collapsible for easy storage. If the survivor would like to use walking poles, they should consult with their doctor first, particularly if they are currently using a walker or cane. If they have joint pain or are unable to grip the poles, they may not be an appropriate aid.

Orthotics and proper shoes

When a person experiences mobility issues, there is the possibility that the way they walk, and their posture will change as a result. This can cause additional health problems, including pain. Doctors may recommend orthotics or special shoes that provide more foot and arch support in order to alleviate related pain, correct skeletal positioning/posture, and overall help improve balance [1]

Stair lifts

Stairs can be difficult to use for a survivor experiencing problems with walking, lifting their legs, and balance. If their home has stairs and they are not able to live entirely on one floor, a stair lift is a safe alternative. These are mechanical chairs that move up and down on a track. They can be installed in the home to make the environment more user-friendly.


If they have a wheelchair, they will need to use ramps to access places, including in the home. There are companies that make these modifications and will be able to recommend appropriate ramps.

Wider doors

If the survivor is using a walker or is in a wheelchair, they may need wider doors to navigate easily. This is an additional renovation that may need to be completed.

Bathroom adaptations

Using the washroom with mobility issues can be frustrating and unsafe. There are several modifications that can be made to make it easier, including:

  • Grab bars
  • Higher toilets
  • Walk or wheel-in showers
  • Shower seats

The bathroom is just one area that may need some modifications. An occupational therapist will be able to help identify problem areas in the home and how best to adapt the environment to suit their mobility needs.

Renovation grants

There are renovation grants available if you need to adjust your living environment or the survivor’s home. Available funds depend on provincial programs.

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