Medical Walkers: What You Need to Know Before Buying One

Medical aids like medical walkers have become an important part of life for some seniors. Seniors can use medical walkers as a mobility aid to help them keep balanced when walking or standing.

There are a number of reasons why balancing might be a problem for seniors. Conditions such as weakening of muscles, osteoporosis, chronic arthritis and/or injuries present ambulatory issues for some seniors.

Some seniors are able to walk even though they have these afflictions but they would prefer not to use a wheelchair for mobility as it might mean giving up their freedom, therefore walkers are a good compromise.

Types of Walkers

There are 2 basic kinds of walkers, the regular medical walkers and the one with wheels for seniors. The previous is only a frame with 4 legs and 2 handles on each side which help the user to balance.  Two horizontal bars connect the handles and can also serve as backrest for walkers that have a seat. These are the ideal kinds for beginners.

The wheels variety comes with 2, 3 or 4 wheels. The 2 wheel type has two front legs with wheels and two rear legs with a rubber stopper to prevent rolling. The 3 wheels are ideal for maneuvering in small spaces like at home. This type can be tricky to balance because of the single front wheel and 2 back wheels. The 4 wheel variety of walkers is the most stable because of the 4 leg set up.

How To Use Walkers

Using a standard walker requires lifting the walker placing it ahead then the user takes step and repeats until they get to their destination. Rolling walkers or those that have wheels are a better option since no lifting is requires and they are much easier to push. Brakes are a built in safety feature that ensures the roller doesn’t drift off when not in use of if the senior has to stop.

Accessories Available

Medical walkers have improved dramatically from the early days where they were just a mobility aid mostly for seniors. Now there are many accessories that make walkers much more useful.

Choosing A Walker

Before buying your first medical walker, consult your physical therapist or doctor since they will be able to suggest one that meets your needs. The walker of your choice needs to be able to support your weight and they should be as light as possible.

 

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