Walker is a kind of aid for walking. Elderly people who cannot walk without the help of another person often can move about using this device. It is a very good device that provides elderly people with the independence and mobility they often want for themselves. The following article will show us how to choose different types of walkers for seniors.
If a senior cannot walk properly, he will often spend time sitting and that is not healthy at all – physically or mentally. Besides, walkers can also prevent accidental falls. The elders need to do light physical exercise, and walking is the best for them. In the USA more and more senior citizens are using walkers. Now, 12 percent of the total senior population uses walkers.
There are different types of walkers and in various styles and shapes; and the best walker for a person depends on his needs. Therefore, one needs to be very careful in choosing the right walker, just borrowing one from anyone will not work at all. The best course of action is to ask a professional for guidance.
The Different Types of Walkers:
In this informational piece, we will try to furnish you with a bit of knowledge on walkers. For every kind of walker, there is, there are also pros and cons. You will get to know what is the deciding factor when you are shopping for a walker. So, if you care, buy a walker for him, so that with a little support he can walk around and move indoors without being a burden to people around him. Depending on the physical state of an elderly, you can choose a walker that fits him well. Let us have a look at the types available in the market.
This type of walker has a very simple build. It has four legs with rubber around the tips of the legs. Rubber means it will not accidentally slip and will be very stable for the elderly person. The frame is made from aluminum, as a result, it is very light in weight. This type of walker provides the best stability and support. This walker is for people who have leg or knee injuries and putting pressure on the limbs is not possible for them. That is why they need the best support. It helps with rehab for non-elderly as well.
The downside is that the movement it supports is very slow. You cannot use it on rough or uneven surfaces like gravel or mud, etc. It is also not a good idea to give this to people who cannot use their upper body strength properly. They need good grip strength to hold their full body weight. You can only take one step at a time, a few inches at a time. It is also possible to climb up and down the stairs, but users have to be extra careful. Put one hand on the railing first and take the first step down with the weaker or up with the stronger leg.
This is a variation of the standard walker. The only difference is that there are two stationary wheels fixed to the front legs. Because of the wheels moving is a bit easier on the rough surfaces. Instead of lifting, you need to push the walker forward. Because of the wheels, even people with weak upper bodies can use this. On some wheeled walkers, you can even remove the wheels for more adaptability. This makes two birds in one stone because after the removal this walker becomes a standard one.
This type of walker has either three or four wheels. In addition, to stop the wheels when needed, there are handbrakes. The main difference between a walker and a rollator is that rollators have wheels on three or four of their legs, and some of the wheels can swivel for better maneuverability. People with good physical condition but still need a little help here and there, are the main users of these rollators. You will find a storage pouch or basket attached to these rollators. You can use the rollators both in- and out- doors. These rollators are comparatively heavier than the standard walkers and difficult to fold and put inside a vehicle.
Shopping for Walker:
Shopping for a walker is better when you have the elderly check and choose their walker based on their needs. So, you cannot just buy any walker. Have a look at a few points before you go buy a walker.
This is very important. When you are using a walker, it becomes a part of your body. You cannot calculate anything without considering its size. You have to consider the width of the doors of your car, your main door, door to your room, and bathroom. If you just buy a walker and later it does not pass through the doors, it is not going to help you at all. So, first, take measurements of your doors and fix them on the narrowest doorway. Then go buy one.
Weight! Wait! Do not make it funny! I mean a walker needs to walk you, right? You cannot walk the walker! So, choose your walker wisely. If it is too heavy for you, then you will have to work hard to move it. Then it becomes you walking the walker! So, it needs to be lighter so you can nicely handle it without putting much pressure on your limbs. Usually, walkers with wheels are very heavy indeed. The loading of the walker onto your vehicle becomes especially troublesome.
Height of the handle:
Ease of walking – that should be the motto of your walker. It cannot be too high or too low for your hands. High walkers will make your arms weaker as you will not be able to shift your weight to your hands when needed. Low walkers will put your back at risk. But worry not, you can adjust the height of most walkers. So, you need to avoid anything that does not have an adjustable height. So, buy something that you can adjust according to your height.
Height of the seat:
If you have a rollator with four wheels, it is possible that it also has a seat. So, if you want a rollator then check the height of the seat if it works for you or not. Before you go shopping, measure the height of the chair you regularly use and find a rollator with that seat height.
Talk to your physician before buying a rollator. You have to know according to the problems of your body, which kind of brakes will be suitable.
There is a limit to how much a walker can hold. So, you need to check that.
Folding or not:
If you drive a car or often get a car lift, you need to find a walker which is easy to fold and load onto your car.
This is a legitimate point. You cannot spend more than what you can afford. So, first, decide how much you are willing to spend on a walker, then you can go shopping.