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Rolling Rolling Rolling

best-fit walker for seniors

Choosing the Best-Fit Walker for You

Height, Width, Wheels, & Weight

A rolling walker is a common tool  to help people remain mobile and safe. They can be seen in use everywhere. What you want is a Best-Fit Walker. There are many reasons someone may need  a walker in the first place. There could be issues with bone health,   arthritis,   respiratory conditions or a fatigue problem.

Whatever the need, understand that it’s not just the type of walker that needs an appraisal. The user’s abilities and where it will be used must first be evaluated to determine what goals need to be met. That requires the help of an occupational therapist. Ask your doctor for a referral.

After the user’s needs have been determined, you’re ready to shop for your best-fit walker.

You’ll soon find that rolling walkers  come in all sizes and colors with all kinds of accessories and adjustments and wheels and weight limits. So let’s narrow this down a bit. With the use of a tape measure and some height and weight guidelines, we can help guide you through the maze.

Height

  • The height of the handles is important for balance an support. Too low and the user will lean forward (bad for balance). Too high and the user’s arms will be at the wrong angle (bad for support).
  • To determine the height of handles, have the user stand as straight as possible with their arms down loose at their side. Grab your tape measure and measure from the floor to the crease in the wrist, just above the hand. That measurement is the optimum height for the handles of your walker.
  • The height of the seat is the next step. With the user standing, measure from the floor to the bend behind the knee. That is the optimum height for the seat.
    Write down both measurements.

Wheels

  • The wheels on the walker can affect the ease of use on different terrains. It depends on where the user will most often use the walker. Most rolling walkers come with wheel sizes from 6 to 8 inches, although you may find some that are 4 or 5 inches. The weight limit of the walker can also affect the wheel size.
  • If the user will be using the walker indoors most of the time, smaller wheels will suffice. Smaller wheels can fit in tighter spaces for better maneuvering.
  • For outdoor use (off the pavement and in the yard) the larger 8” wheel will be much easier to use, especially if you have a gravel driveway like I do. Many walkers will be listed as “good for outdoor use.” Larger wheels are perfectly acceptable for indoor use if tight spaces are not an issue.

Weight

  • Weight of the user is an important consideration as well. Walkers that accommodate 250 to 300 pounds are plentiful. There are bariatric models rated for 400 to 600 pounds and more. Those with greater weight limits are usually are more expensive. All walkers will have the weight capacity listed in the product specifications.

When you shop, you’ll find that many best-fit walkers are quite adjustable, like the Lumex RJ4700. Others will have different models for different sizes. Hand brakes are necessary and are provided on all rolling walkers. There are many accessories available, like bags, baskets, cup holders, food trays and even lights.

Persons in need of a walker have many different challenges to face in the course of normal day. Taking the time to determine the best-fit walker will give you peace of mind. A walker is a great help in providing the user the independence that we all want.

10 thoughts on “Rolling Rolling Rolling

  1. Hi Julie,
    Two things come to mind.

    You might ask a friend to help by measuring across while you are standing up straight. (Or use a yardstick placed on the floor) Then they can step back and watch you as you walk to see if your gait needs more room. A Physical Therapist would be the best professional to help.

    Also, you might going to a Medical equipment retailer or maybe a well stocked drug store and see if you can try-out some walkers. You would be able to see what works well for you and what doesn’t.

    A Physical Therapist could easily handle the measurement and the suggestions of types and brands of walkers. Please see the other blogs we have about walkers here on Caregiver-Aid.com Thanks for asking!

  2. How should I measure for how much room I need between the wheels I have a wide gait… thanks

  3. The 22″ Rolling Walker we have is the GetGo Petite Nova Rolling Walker.
    Overall Dimensions 22″w x 23.5″d

  4. Where is the one for 22 inches?

  5. You may need to search Google or Bing for that. Smallest here is 22″.

  6. Needing a walker less than 21 inches wide at wheel and handle width, can you help me.?

  7. Hello Cheryl,

    From the info you’ve stated in your question it’s hard to give a accurate answer. I don’t think what you’re looking for is available anywhere. But I could be wrong. There are new innovations and products around so just keep looking.

    But more importantly, the walker should first of all fit the patients need. Providing safe mobility is the most important objective. Some patients need a little balance assistance. Others need weight bearing help. Some use walkers with wheels, some cannot use walkers with wheels.

    Getting through a bathroom door that’s too narrow is a common problem. There are other answer to that problem from using canes or hand bars up to just widening the doorway.

    I believe the best answer to your problem is to get help from a Occupational Therapist. That’s what they do. Evaluate the patients’ needs and abilities, give advice about solutions. Then address problem areas around the house and then what can be done about it.

    You would need to ask your doctor for an OT/PT consult before they can assist.
    I think it’s awesome your helping care for your mom. I’ve done it myself.

    So hang in there.

  8. Trying to find a rollator for my mom that is narrow enough for an internal passageway between her bedroom that is only 21″ wide, but sturdy enough that she can walk outside safely post-stroke—preferably with 8″ wheels. If such a model exists, I haven’t found it yet.

  9. That is a rather large Rolling Walker. But if you look I think you will find some, probably listed as a “bariatric” model.
    We have only one that meets those dimensions right now, though that could change in the future.
    It is the Nova Mighty Mack 4216
    It has 23.5″between the handles and a seat height of 22″. There are more specs on the product page.

    Hope that helps
    Greg

  10. Do 4ww come in a width between 20″ – 25″ with a seat greater than 17″

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