Maintaining mobility as we age is important to leading independent lives. Here's what you need to know about walkers for seniors.
It's estimated that around 4.1% of all Canadians need a device to help them walk.
Mobility is an important issue for all older adults. People want to be able to stay as active as possible as they age, and plenty of people use medical devices to help them stay mobile.
Walkers for seniors are a popular choice for adults that want to stay active and healthy.
There are so many types of walkers to choose from, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when you first start shopping. But don't worry, we're here to tell you everything you need to know about senior walkers.
Walkers 101: 4 Popular Walker Styles
Walkers for seniors come in a variety of styles and sizes. It's important to learn a little about each type before you commit to buying one.
A trusted medical device company can give you more specific information on the walkers they sell. But for now, educate yourself on the main types of walkers you'll encounter during your search.
This walker is the typical kind of walker most people envision. It was four legs that are padded with non-skid rubber tips that help add stability and traction to people. You need to pick it up to move, and it requires a little more work to use.
This walker is similar to the standard model, but it comes with two wheels on the front legs. Some medical device providers may have them listed as "front wheel walkers".
The added two wheels can make walker movement easier because you won't have to lift it each time you take a step. This can be a good option for people that lack upper body strength or find standard walkers too cumbersome to move.
It's also important to note that you won't have to worry about stability issues with this walker. Slip-resistant caps on the back legs can keep the walker and the person using it stable and grounded.
This kind of walker can be helpful if you need occasional help with weight-bearing, but can usually move around without additional support.
Four-wheel walkers come with wheels on each leg. This can be the ideal walker for people that want to keep their balance without having to use a lot of physical effort.
You'll have four legs to lean on, and the wheels will make it much easier for you to move around quickly and smoothly.
This walker doesn't have the standard four legs, they are only three legs and they all have wheels attached.
This design is ideal for people that may want the balance and support of a four-wheeled walker, but want to have something that feels lightweight and is easy to maneuver.
A three-wheel walker can make mobility easier and give you a smooth almost gliding experience when you walk. The triangular design also makes it slightly easier to store and transport.
3 Tips for Walker Shopping
Now that you know about the main types of different walkers, we can dive into some tips that can help you when you're choosing a walker of your own.
Certain things can dramatically affect how comfortable you feel when you use your walker. When you're shopping around for your walker, remember to keep these important things in mind.
The grip material you choose for your walker could noticeably affect your comfort when you're out and about. Plastic grips are the standard material for most walkers, but they aren't the only choice you can make.
Some people like to use foam grips or soft grip covers on their walker. These grips tend to feel a little softer on your hands and can help with gripping if your hands tend to sweat.
If you have arthritis, joint pain, or nerve problems in your fingers you may want to consider a larger grip. The larger grips are easier to grasp.
Regardless of the grip you choose, make sure you're comfortable with them and that they're sturdy. Grips that aren't secure and move could lead to potential safety problems.
Simple Adjustments Make the Difference
It's rare for people to use a walker without making any adjustments. When you're choosing a walker, be sure to pay attention to the different ways you can adjust it so it's comfortable to use.
Adjusting your walker so that it fits your arms comfortably is important. Having the right adjustment can reduce stress on your shoulders and back.
If you want to make sure that your walker is adjusted correctly, check to see how your elbows bend.
Stand with your shoulders relaxed and place your hands on the grip. Your elbows should be able to bend comfortably at an angle of about 15 degrees.
Also, be sure check to see your wrist height. Stand inside of the walker and place your arms comfortably at your side. The top of your walker grips should line up with the crease on the inside of your wrist.
Posture is Important
Using a walker doesn't mean that have to stop paying attention to your posture.
Unless you have a serious pre-existing condition with your back, you shouldn't be slumped over when you use your walker. You should be able to stand more or less upright whenever its in use.
Before you purchase your walker, do a little test to see how comfortably you can use it.
When you're thinking about posture, take a little time to read up on proper walker use so you can make sure you're using it the right way.
Walkers for Seniors and Beyond
When you're looking for walkers for seniors, you have a lot of options available. If you follow this guide when you're shopping, you'll be sure to find something you're sure to be happy with.
Walkers are only one way for people to get around. You could also use wheelchairs, canes, and other devices to increase your mobility.
We have a lot of devices available that can improve mobility and your quality of life. If you have any questions about which ones would be best for your needs, feel free to contact us today so we can give you the help you need.