What is a Walker?
A walker is a type of mobility aid used to help people who are still able to walk (e.g. don’t require a wheelchair) yet need assistance. It is a four-legged frame that allows a person to lean on it for balance, support, and rest. They have both done wonders for people who want to maintain an independent lifestyle but need a little extra help getting around.
Benefits of Wheeled Walkers
Following a stroke, an injury or a general deterioration in mobility, a walker aid may be required in order to improve your safety. The goal of using a walker is to give its user stability and a surface to stop and rest when required. As mentioned, they help people gain independence and confidence in their mobility which ultimately enhances their overall well-being and lifestyle.
We recommend wheeled walkers or rollators as these include features such as wheels, seats, brakes and other accessories and require less effort to lift like a standard aluminium walker without wheels.
Wheeled Walker Features To Consider
There is a multitude of factors to consider when recommending a walker for use:
- Wheels: A four-wheeled walker is designed to assist in the ability to stabilise and balance during walking, whereas a two-wheeled walker or walker without wheels is designed to bear more weight and provide more support. The size of wheels will also play a role in the ability to navigate tight corners with larger wheels being preferable for outdoor mobility.
- Height of the frame and height of the seat: A walking frame’s height is generally adjustable. The handles should be close to hip height and there should not be any need to bend your trunk forward to reach for the handles. The height of the seat is important in determining how well you will be able to stand up from the walker after you have had a rest. The lower the seat, the more strength that is required to stand.
- Weight and width of the walking frame: If a walker is required for accessing the outside community, it will need to be easily transportable. Ensure that the frame is not too heavy to lift and allows for easy storage. The frame will need enough width for a comfortable sitting position but still allows for navigation through narrow areas.
- Features/Accessories: For long term use, there may be features and accessories to consider like grip comfort – foam or rubber; added padding; shopping baskets; hooks and pouches.
My Rehab Team physiotherapists are able to provide guidance and recommendations on mobility aid prescriptions. Contact us for more information or if you have any further questions.
Considering a wheelchair instead? Download our Wheelchair Buying Guide.