But the mobility-impaired live in a world the rest of us take for granted, including where they live.
A home that lacks the proper equipment to assist the mobility-impaired can make moving from Point A to Point B a major undertaking while turning their home into a prison.
One of the best tools for this is the ceiling lift, which makes transfer easier, safer, more efficient and more dignified, both for the user and the caregiver, especially in comparison to older-style floor models.
The design of patient slings, smooth and easy operation and adaptability to virtually any area of the home make a ceiling lift an indispensable accessibility tool.
And with many choices available, there's a solution for any budget and virtually any patient need.
The most common configuration for a ceiling lift is a strong, single section of straight track extending over the bed, tub, commode or other access point, which facilitates transfers to and from a wheelchair.
The use of a battery-powered portable lift unit makes the transfer process easy and safe.
The motor is connected to a rolling trolley set into each section of track with a simple carabiner buckle.
More complicated systems using curved sections and turntables are available for special needs.
Units come in either portable or fixed models, with either battery or plug-in power.
Simple hand controls make lifting easy for both the patient or the caregiver, with the sling moving manually along the track with ease.
Portable units are quickly and easily moved from room to room by a caregiver, and have removable batteries that can be re-charged from a free-standing charging unit after each use to preserve maximum life.
Newer versions have built-in batteries that recharge from wall sockets.
Permanent lifts, or four-way units, are ideal for self-care patients.
They operate using a hand control for lifting and lowering, as well as moving the sling along the track.
Some have a return-to-home feature that moves the lift back into the charging position after use, ensuring a fully-charged unit for each subsequent use.
Some portable systems can be easily broken down for travel or storage.
Others can be custom configured to specific areas of a room using pressure fitting.
But regardless of the room, a ceiling lift solution is out there for any home, any patient and virtually any mobility challenge.