The Road to Freedom: Using Medical Equipment with Confidence

Mobility devices and other supportive equipment are a game-changer for folks with physical disabilities or injuries. They bring freedom and independence but using them safely is important. Here in Door County, we’ve got a community gem called Neighbor-to-Neighbor, a non-profit lending a hand with medical equipment. I occasionally volunteer for this organization and find that many people have challenges choosing the right devices and using them safely, so let’s do a quick review.

Choose the Right Device
Selecting the right equipment is the first step in ensuring safety and comfort. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to determine the most suitable device for your specific needs. Whether it’s a walker, cane, commode or shower bench, the correct choice can greatly impact your mobility and overall well-being.

Proper Setup and Maintenance
Once you have your mobility device, it’s crucial to ensure it’s set up and maintained correctly. Again, consulting with a professional for fitting equipment specific to your use is important. Regularly inspect and service your device to prevent mechanical failures. This includes checking tires, brakes, and any other moving parts. You should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and additional feedback from a professional for maintenance and use.

Learn Proper Usage
Before using equipment, it’s essential to understand how it operates. Take the time to read the user manual, receive instructions from a healthcare professional, and practice safe maneuvers. Understanding how to start, stop, turn, and navigate obstacles with a rolling walker for instance is crucial to avoiding accidents. Additionally, use a device only as it is intended, i.e., a cane is used for light support and to distribute weight, and a walker provides substantial support and balance assistance when walking.

Neighbor to Neighbor is a non-profit organization in Door County that recognizes the importance of mobility and accessibility for all residents. They offer a variety of medical equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers, shower chairs, toilet risers, and more, on a short-term loan basis. This service helps individuals access the devices they need without the financial burden of purchasing new equipment. To learn more about the what’s and where’s of borrowing, go to Consider volunteering for this valuable organization, donating lightly used equipment and/or supporting them financially. They have helped my family multiple times over the years, and I am proud to give back to them when I can.