Tips for Choosing the Right Medical Walker for You
Many senior citizens struggle with stability and control. Unfortunately, many problems can occur from this condition, often resulting in falls and other issues that can have a severe impact on you or your loved ones. To prevent falls from occurring, it is important to consider medical walkers as an option to improve stability. However, choosing the right walker can be difficult if you are unsure of what you truly need.
In fact, when shopping around you should consider that about one in ten individuals use more than one mobility device. This indicates that choosing the right medical walkers comes down to more than just preference — it also depends heavily on what the situation calls for. While some days may be suitable for standard walkers without wheels, other days may find wheeled walkers to be easier to use. To help you determine what walkers are better suited for what situations, here’s a short list of the different types.
The Top 3 Types of Medical Walkers
1. Standard Walkers
The basic mobility device is best suited for individuals with severe difficulty in preventing unsteadiness, as the lack of wheels provides more stability. These are more commonly used on indoor surfaces, as they are often difficult to use when outdoors. Picture this as the most basic walker you have seen, with four main legs that are attached by horizontal bars. You can then shift your weight onto the top bars during movement.
When picking out the right walker, be sure to choose one that you can use comfortably. Consider your height and weight, as well as lifting capability. It’s important to pick a walker that can not only support your weight as you take steps, but that you can also pick up to move with you.
2. Wheeled Walkers
If standard medical walkers do not sound appealing to you, then it is likely that senior walkers with wheels may be a good fit. Before making this decision, be sure that you will be able to control this walker, as the wheels and brakes may take some coordination and getting used-to. If you test out such a walker and the store, you may be able to better determine if it is suitable to your lifestyle.
These walkers look just like the standard medical walkers, but have the added benefit of two to four wheels on the bottom. The wheels are generally fixed, meaning that they can only move forward and backward. This is because the nature of free wheels can decrease the stability provided to patients and would be less likely to prevent falls. However, most common wheeled walkers are perfect for those who like to stay active, but need only a little help in maintain steadiness.
Canes are optimal if you require a minimum amount of help. Rather than four points of contact with the ground, canes only provide one additional point of contact. This significantly decreases the amount of stability provided by the walker, but can still be beneficial if you require less help. Canes are also beneficial in helping patients to get up from a chair or simply help balance. If you travel often, you may also want to consider purchasing a cane, as they are much more compact and portable for your travels.
From rollator walkers and canes to mobile chairs, finding the right walking support devices can be difficult. However, this is essential as it can help prevent falls and other medical issues. About every 15 seconds, another elderly adult in the United States is treated for a fall. It’s no wonder the industry has seen increased sales over the last eight years for these mobility devices! With the proper prevention tools, you can be sure to keep yourself happy and healthy, as you work to increase your stability!