How To Find The Right Walker
Finding the right walker for you can have a truly transformative effect on your life — opening up new possibilities and vastly improving your ease of access across both your home and when getting around. But, it’s vitally important you find the right walker for your needs. With that in mind, here’s our comprehensive guide to finding the right walker for you.
How To Decide If You Need A Walker?
Before you begin shopping for the right walker, you need to first ask yourself, is a walker the right option for you? Walkers are ideal for the elderly, and those with significant mobility issues, but there are also a number of other scenarios where a walker may be appropriate. If you have :
- Decreased weight-bearing ability
- Issues with becoming easily fatigued
- Problems affecting your balance
Then buying a walker is absolutely the right choice for you!
What To Know Before You Buy
The first thing you need to do before purchasing a walker is to determine what height it needs to be. This can be achieved through a simple measurement: stand upright with your arms resting loosely and take the measurement of the length from the crease of your wrist to the floor. This measurement will be the height that you want the handle of your walker to reach.
You also need to make sure a walking device will be appropriate for the intended usage — this includes both your home environment and anywhere you intend on walking or visiting with the aid of the device. As with all mobility aids, you should consult a physiotherapist or relevant professional before making your decision. There are also a number of steps you can take to make your home environment suitable for a walking device :
- Remove all loose rugs, trailing flexes, and clear the floors of clutter or debris that could prove to be a hazard
- Keep any access routes clear at all times
- If your home contains stairs make sure you purchase two walking aids, one for downstairs, and one for the upstairs
Choosing The Right Option For You
Broadly speaking, when shopping for a walker you will encounter two different categories — walking sticks and frames
When it comes to choosing the right walking stick, it’s important to consider both the right material and the degree of stability and assistance that you will require.
One of the biggest benefits of a wooden stick is that it can be cut and designed to match your needs. This is great for those who have specific and hard to meet needs when it comes to height, diameter, and strength. However, they do offer a more limited degree of assistance in comparison to their metal counterparts.
Metal sticks offer a greater degree of strength and assistance than a wooden option. If you can’t find a metal stick at the correct height for your needs you need to make sure you invest in one with an adjustable height. Depending on your preference and needs, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range fo handles :
- Crook shaped
- Anatomically shaped handgrips
If you want to be able to transport your walker comfortably, a lightweight folding option will be carriable in a small bag with ease.
For those with breathing difficulties or fatigue issues, a seated option will be necessary. With a walking stick that has a seated attachment, you’ll be able to rest periodically when walking, or when having to stand still for extended periods of time.
Frames And Rollators
Because a walking frame or rollator offers more points of contact and a greater degree of mobility assistance they are ideal for those with balance issues or in need of additional support strength.
Standard Pulpit Frames (Zimmer Frames)
One of the most commonly used frames — the standard pulpit or ‘Zimmer’ frame — is ideally suited for those looking for something for indoor or home use. While the wide frame provides additional support, it does require the user to pick up and move the frame forwards for each step — meaning they are not recommended for those who need to walk long distances or have an issue with fatigue or breathing problems.
Wheeled Pulpit Frame
A wheeled pulpit frame can help users circumvent these issues by allowing for greater fluency of movement, making them more suited for those with balance issues, difficulty exerting themselves, or needing to travel longer distances.
Three-Wheeled Rollators (Delta frames)
These triangular frames (sometimes known as ‘Delta’ frames) are the best option for those in need of a walker for outdoor use. This is due to their larger wheels and ideal maneuverability.
The best advice when buying a walker is to purchase it from a proven and trusted supplier. Here at Island Mediquip, we have a proven track record when it comes to supplying mobility aids, and more. Why not browse our selection of walkers today and find the right choice for you.