Who Would Need a Walker and Why?
People in need of mobility assistance may need more than just the assistance of a cane. A walker may be a good option for those interested in mobility assistive equipment. Those with poor upper arm strength upper arm strength, or who are unable to balance may prefer the security offered by a walker. Using an assistive device for walking allows individuals to walk further and accommodates a more active lifestyle. Their confidence level increases and they feel more independent. There is less danger of falling, posture may improve, and strength and endurance improve.
How to Use a Walker Properly
While the best way to learn how to use a walker is by following the advice of the mobility supply store or other vendor from whom it is purchased, there are a few general guidelines. Individuals should hold both handles firmly, but without causing tension in the hands. The arms bend at the elbows. Walk slowly, at a steady pace, and stay alert for obstacles that could cause a fall.
Types of Walkers
Rollators are wheeled walkers and provide many beneficial features, including increased mobility and independence. Most models accommodate individuals from zero to 500 pounds, while the Rollators themselves weigh between 10 to 30 pounds. Features like seats for resting, foldable units, and the availability of accessories like baskets and trays make walkers a good choice for a mobility aid.
Walkers are available with or without wheels, and can be accessorized to suit the needs and lifestyle of the individual users. Most manufacturers provide walkers that have a capacity of zero to 500 pounds and are adjustable for the person’s height.
Some types of specialty walkers are knee walkers and pediatric walkers. Knee walkers are designed for individuals recovering from leg injuries or surgery and provide the necessary assistive edge. Pediatric walkers accommodate the special needs of children. Other types of specialty walkers help patients rise from a sitting position easily or are fitted with weights to extend the benefit of physical therapy sessions and encourage muscle strength.
There are many innovative walker accessories available. These accessories extend the functionality of the walker and give users greater independence as they go about their daily routine. For instance, simply adding a hook to the walker to transport items like a purse or bags not only provides a convenient means of carrying these items, but also provides a safer means of conveyance. Trying to juggle a purse in one hand and balance a walker with the other is unwise. Individuals can shop for accessories like storage trays, wire baskets, mobility bags, or floor protectors for the walker legs.
Some Tips to Consider
Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a walker to meet your mobility needs:
- Is the walker adjustable? If the user is extremely short or tall, this feature could be crucial.
- Does it fold for easy transport? Wrestling an unwieldy walker in and out of a car trunk is not fun, especially on cold rainy days.
- Will the walker fit through the various doorways in the home? If not, can the doors be removed or otherwise retrofitted to accommodate the supportive device? If not, how will the individual be able to use the toilet with confidence and independence?
- Are the tips on the legs made of a non-skid substance? If the walker has wheels, are they non-skid?
Walkers are good choices for individuals with limited mobility and special functionality needs. Properly fitted and used, they offer these people the best and safest choice to regain their freedom and independence of motion.