Standard Walker for Safe Mobility
The standard walker is one of the most popular, affordable and useful pieces of mobility equipment today. They are available in a full array of sizes with many options and accessories available. Whatever your needs are, there is one just for you.
The standard walker is normally used when you need some weight-bearing assistance as well as help with balance. By design, they have a wrap-around frame that the patient stands within and a hand-grip on each side for support. The most basic model has no wheels.
Here are a few points to consider:
- To start with, you should make sure the walker will support your weight. An adult walker will usually carry support a person who weighs about 300 lbs. Bariatric models support 400 – 600 lbs. The exact amounts differ between models so check the product specifications before you buy.
- Most standard walkers are made of lightweight aluminum which makes them easy to fold and load in your car or to store away when not in use. Consider the patient’s ability to lift the walker when necessary. Make sure product choice is suitable.
- The standard walker is height adjustable. Both front and back legs adjust with push pins. Adjusting the height correctly will reduce stress on your shoulders and back as you use the walker. Correct height will also provide better support and balance assistance.
- To set the height of you walker, stand upright and straight with your arms by your side. Have an assistant place the walker in front with the frame around you and the handles close to your hands. Adjust the walker up or down so that the top of the handles are even with your wrists.
- The standard walker comes with or without front wheels. Without wheels the walker must be picked up by the user, then placed forward, and stepped into. The process is repeated again and again while the patient moves forward. Using a walker with front wheels, the patient can advance while sliding the walker forward. A Physical Therapist can tell you which walker will work best for you.
If the patient’s mobility level allows, the patient may profit from using a rolling walker, also called a rollator. A rolling walker has four wheels and hand brakes and is often equipped with a seat and basket. They’re a good choice for persons with reliable mobility and balance.
Once you’ve chosen your standard walker, you can personalize it to your taste. Many amenities such as baskets, bags, cup holders and trays are available to suit your needs. I’ve even seen an ooga horn attached to a walker to warn bystanders to stand back and get out of the way. Style? It’s up to you!
Your thoughts are welcome.