Important Features to Consider When Buying a Walker
Mobility is an important component of living a happy, healthy life, whether it's moving around the house or going to the store. To be self-sufficient, one must be able to move about without the assistance of another being. Here's where mobility aids like walkers come in handy. If you or a loved one is having trouble staying mobile and active, a walker may be an option. This guide will walk you through the basics of walkers, such as what they are, what to look for, and what to avoid.
What is a walker?
A medical walker is a type of mobility equipment that helps with walking, balance, and resting. It's most typically used by those who can still walk but don't require the use of a wheelchair. Walkers, which may or may not have wheels, are a three-sided device with four legs joined by a robust frame with handles.
Walkers are at the "coping" level on the mobility continuum (a tool used to determine one's mobility level). Users at this level retain their independence but require only modest assistance. For those who are at risk of falling and require more assistance than a walking cane, walkers can provide support, balance, and stability. If you're looking for a way to get around, a walker might be the best option.
Walkers are great for maintaining one's independence. They do, however, have advantages and disadvantages, just like any other mobility aid. To assist you in making your selection, we've listed the many disadvantages and advantages of walkers below.
- It's light, so it's easy to push
- It supports both sides of the body
- It can be used for long durations of walking/standing - It requires less stability than rollators
- It can be cumbersome to transport
- It isn't designed to be used in a variety of terrains.
- It cannot be used as a sitting device since it necessitates the use of both hands and feet. It also necessitates some amount of stability.
Rollator vs. Walker
Rollators and walkers both provide support for walking, standing, and resting. They do, however, differ in a few places. Rollators are a more basic variant of walkers. If they have wheels, they are just on the front, whereas rollators have wheels on both sides. Rollators frequently have additional amenities such as a seat, basket, and handbrakes. They also tend to be heavier, weighing 15 to 20 pounds on average. Walkers, on the other hand, weigh an average of 10 pounds.
Another thing to think about is how the mobility aid will be used. Rollators are usually a better choice for outside use and travel because their wheels are designed to handle a variety of surfaces. Walkers are typically designed for indoor use on flat surfaces.
Rollators frequently include a seat and storage, which can be useful for frequent travellers. These features make them far more practical for someone who gets tired easily yet still wants to be active. However, storage accessories for walkers are frequently available.
There are many various types of walkers, making it tough to pick a decision. Here are a few things to consider before you buy:
- The average walker weighs less than 10 pounds, making it perfect for people with limited strength. However, the weight of your walker should be considered. Walkers without wheels must be hoisted to walk around, which can be difficult for persons with upper-body problems. Walkers must also be lifted in order to fit inside vehicle trunks. As a result, this is something to keep in mind.
- If space and storage are important to you, a folding walker is the way to go. Foldable walkers are a practical storage option because they can fit into tight locations like closets and vehicle trunks. This is a must-have feature if you'll be travelling with your walker frequently. Small space walkers can make travelling more enjoyable.
- Adding wheels, especially when combined with slides, can make pushing the walker much easier. Lifting is required when using a walker without wheels, which may not be appropriate for persons with insufficient upper body strength. A walker without wheels, on the other hand, may provide extra stability and support if balance is a major concern.
- The height of most walkers can be adjusted. However, in order to use your walker properly, you must be the correct height. A walker that is too low or too high might restrict mobility and put a person at danger of harm. Your elbow will bend slightly at around 15 degrees at the correct height for your walker.
- If your home is too small for a walker, it will be useless. It's critical to measure the width of your home's hallways, entrances, and any other locations you frequent before purchasing a walker. The best walker will be used in your home as well as any other location where you spend time. Because there is no standard width for walkers, double-check before buying. If your living area is limited, you may need a narrow walker.
- Aluminum is commonly used by walkers because of its lightweight and durability. This makes them easy to pick up, store, and use for a long time. Rubber is commonly used on the handles and tips of lightweight aluminum walkers to provide efficient traction and grip. If you want to use your walker on a regular basis, choose one constructed of durable materials that can withstand wear and tear. Customer evaluations might assist you in determining whether or not the walker you're contemplating will last.
- Baskets, cane holders, trays, platform attachments, and glides are examples of walker additions that can improve comfort, convenience, and accessibility. The majority of walkers have no storage capacity, which can be difficult. It's important to remember that walkers require both hands to operate, which may necessitate storage to make operation easier.
- Any mobility aid must be able to support a significant amount of weight. The majority of walkers have a weight capacity of 300 pounds. Bariatric walkers, on the other hand, can normally support up to 400 pounds. If you're a bariatric patient, make sure the walker you choose can hold your weight. Injury may ensue if you do not do so.
- When choosing a walker, it's easy to ignore the availability of replacement components. This is especially significant if the walker is used every day for a lengthy period of time. Check with the manufacturer to determine if replacement parts, particularly walker tips and handles, are available. Because they come into contact with the ground and the user's hands, they normally wear out faster.
- You'll want a walker that provides not only adequate support but also a secure grip. Rubber handgrips on the walker give a layer of comfort for everyday use. The incorrect handgrip can cause hand strain and make regular use uncomfortable.
Having the right walker can make life easier for both you and your loved one. If you're thinking about buying or renting a walker, you should ask a few essential questions beforehand. It will guarantee that the equipment is appropriate and satisfies your requirements in every way.
Wondering where to buy or rent a walker in San Diego & Vista? Harmony Home Medical Supplies is your go-to home medical equipment distributor.
We boast the experience and knowledge to excellently address the unique needs of our customers. Turn to us for affordable, durable, and reliable walkers, accompanied by a friendly environment and unsurpassed customer service.
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