Mobility aids like walkers and walking sticks are tools that are used by seniors to maintain their balance and stability while they carry out their daily activities. Thus, they grant freedom of movement to seniors, act like a best friend in their hard times, and enable them to live a life of independence!
Who Needs a Walker? A walker can be used as an active support system by anyone who is suffering from the following:
- Difficulty in bearing the weight of the body due to old age
- Difficulty in maintaining body balance due to conditions like Vertigo
- Shortness of breath due to respiratory or heart diseases
- Rehabilitation following a stroke or hospitalization
- Acute medical conditions like Osteoporosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons Disease, or hemiplegia
- Injuries to the leg or thigh
- Postural problems
- Weak upper body strength
- Arthritic pain
- Fear of falling
Walkers for Seniors It is imperative that special attention and care is extended while choosing a walker for a senior. Here are the attributes of an ideal walker or a walking stick for seniors:
- Great handle grip that is sweat resistant
- Durable walker body that can handle the body weight of seniors
- Adjustable height for the legs of the walker/walking stick.
- Tripod at the base of walking sticks to handle excess weight
- Any other attribute that makes it unique to a particular condition
Types of Walkers Depending on the usage and the type of medical condition involved, there is a plethora of types of walkers that can be bought. Check them out:
1. Anterior Safety Walkers
This is a type of walker that emphasizes on safety and balance of a person. The patient is at the center of the roller, and the walker provides improved posture support.
Ideal For: People with limited hand functions and/or limited cognizance about their surroundings.
2. Wheeled walkers
Walkers that come fitted with wheels for easier mobility are known as Wheeled Walkers. These wheels are generally present at the front and are fixed, that is, they do not move from side to side.
Idea For: Seniors who want least possible effort to move due to low upper body strength or endurance. Also, fit to traverse uneven terrains.
3. Folding walkers
Walkers that come with foldable legs for easy storage, especially for patients who are often on the go. They generally come with a push-button mechanism for easy folding.
Ideal For: Seniors who have to travel regularly and want a quick and easy solution to store their walker. It provides easy management and peace of mind.
Walkers that come with wheels on all 4 of the legs are known as Rollators. Models usually come with swivel wheels and hand brakes for the easiest possible and greatest range of movement. Some might even come with seats and baskets.
Ideal For: Paralytic conditions like polio, and seniors who find it difficult to walk for long without frequent rests.
5. Knee walkers
A knee walker is a unique walker that comes with a 3 or 4 wheel walking aid that allows the users to propel themselves forward with just one leg, while the other leg can be rested on a support platform.
Ideal For: Seniors recovering from foot surgery, breaks, sprains, amputation, and ulcers of the foot.
6. Bariatric walkers
Also known as Heavy Duty Walkers, these are built especially for people with large and heavy bodies. They are, thus, extremely sturdy and durable and can handle a lot of weight.
Ideal For: Seniors with large body mass/size who require a durable walker that can handle the weight.
7. Side walkers
Also known as a Hemi Walker, this is a special type of walker that requires only one hand to use. They come in various shapes and sizes, and are also foldable to make them fit for usage while traveling.
Ideal For: Seniors who do not entirely require a walker but need support with a wider base.
Commode Walkers A Commode Walker is a special kind of walker that comes with a seat that can be used by patients in the toilets while they relieve themselves. This is a handy design since it offers support to sit and stand.
Benefits of Commode Walkers
This special walker comes with the following benefits:
1. Seniors can use the toilet independently without any external support.
2. The product comes with all the usual features of an ideal walker.
3. Seniors can easily sit and stand with the support while on the commode.
4. The unique design makes sure that there is no spillover.
Designs and Models There are a number of designs and model types that are available in the market. Heres a look at some of them:
1. Standard Commode Walker
2. Assist Rehabilitation Commode Walker
3. Folding Commode Walker Things to Consider While Choosing the Right Walker for You You need to take care of the following points while choosing your walker/walking stick:
1. Sizing (height/weight/width): Since the walker might be used by customers of varying heights, it should be of adjustable length.
2. Stability: The ergonomics and design of the walker should be such that it can handle the maximum possible weight of the user.
3. Safety: Safety features like brakes in wheeled walkers are crucial since walkers are mostly used by seniors.
4. Material: The material should be durable enough to handle wear and tear. It should also be waterproof since they are often used as a support in toilets.
5. Accessories: Any required accessory for a seat or a basket should be considered before making a choice.
6. Warranty: Walkers with warranties will always give you peace of mind.
7. Cost: Cost across various walker types should be considered to choose the one that best suits your budget.
Top Walker Brands in India Since the plethora of brands can leave you dazed and confused, lets look at the top walker and walking stick brands that you can go for in India.
2. Pedder Johnson
6. Viva Healthcare
7. MCP Jindal
8. FS Premium
The Best Walkers to Buy
The Medipedic Walker is a basic walker that serves the purpose by allowing a good grip with the help of a blank handle. The aluminum frame is adjustable in height and is lightweight for easy carrying and handling.
Doctors Advice: Useful for seniors suffering from temporary injuries and disabilities.
This walker from Vissco comes with two wheels on the front and a brake system that is simple and efficient to use. It is a perfect alternative to a crane stick and offers better freedom of movement than a simple walker.
Doctors Advice: Fit for seniors with low upper body strength and for those who lack the natural body balance due to old age.
This entry from Vissco is a lightweight option that can be folded for easy travel and storage. It comes with a superior grip and a sturdy design which enables the senior to lay as much weight as required.
Doctors Advice: Fit for postoperative care and rehabilitation, muscle weakness, joint degeneration, chronic knee arthritis.
The walker from Pedder Johnson is another great option with an ergonomically shaped handle. The frame is extremely lightweight and durable and is made of anodized MS. It can also be folded for easy storage, and the wheels make it easy to navigate.
Doctors Advice: Perfect for traveling, and for seniors with weak upper body strength.
Another durable product from Pedder Johnson, this is a foldable walker which is easy to store and travel with. Comes with buffers at the bottom for increased grip on the floor and the two button feature folds it in a jiffy.
Doctors Advice: Fit for seniors who travel regularly and want a convenient storage option.
This is a great choice if you are looking for a simple walker with an ergonomic and sturdy design that is reliable for all body types. It has buffers at the bottom to reduce the noise and can also be folded for efficient storage.
Doctors Advice: Useful for seniors suffering from short-term injuries and disabilities. Also, fit for travel.
This walker is fitted with both - a commode and a backrest for optimum support to seniors. With this support, the patient does not have to go to the toilet. The backrest helps in maintaining the right posture, and the height can be tweaked as per need.
Doctors Advice: Fit for seniors who find it difficult to move frequently due to conditions such as paralysis or permanent disability.
This Rollator is for active seniors who are in need of a basket to store things on the go. It also has a seat to rest comfortably whenever needed. This makes it perfect for outer use.
Doctors Advice: Paralytic conditions like Parkinson's and polio. Old age users who find it difficult to walk for long without frequent rests.
The Best Walking Sticks to Buy
This walking stick comes with 4 legs at the bottom to offer extended support. The legs are covered with slip-resistant rubber ferrule, and the handles are ergonomically shaped for better grip.
Doctors Advice: Fit for seniors who lack upper body strength, and it can be used during injuries.
This stick is made of anodized aluminum that makes it extremely lightweight to carry around. The grip is equipped with non-slip rubber caps. Its known for its durability and excellent grip.
Doctors Advice: Recommended for seniors with low upper body strength, and injuries. High grip enables independence of movement.
This walking stick from Pedder Johnson comes with an attached seat which enables the user to rest frequently while walking. This makes it fit for the elderly. The body is made of aluminum and is extremely lightweight.
Doctors Advice: Best suited for seniors who easily tire out while walking due to weak muscles.
This cane from Pedder Johnson is another great choice with a good gripped handle that helps divert the pressure from the legs of old age citizens onto the cane. Stable cane with a slip-resistant feature.
Doctors Advice: Best suited for all old age patients with leg and joint pains, like arthritis.
The L shaped stick from Vissco makes it easier for people with walking disabilities to rely on it. Simple and useful design, with a superior grip and 4 sturdy legs at the bottom.
Doctors Advice: Fit for seniors with spinal injuries, stroke, chronic osteoarthritis of the knee, and weak leg muscles.
A simple U shaped stick with 3 legs at the bottom for extensive stability. The height can also be adjusted according to that of the patients.
Doctors Advice: Useful for seniors who have suffered from a stroke, walking disorders, or injuries of the spine.
This tripod stick is equipped with strong metal base legs that enable it to handle huge weight load. The height is adjustable, and the grips are non-slip.
Doctors Advice: Fit for seniors with high body weights who require a sturdy design.
This walking stick from Karma has been specially designed for old age people. With an ergonomic design that offers high-quality grip, the handle is closer to the body than the walking stick which gives more room to walk.
Doctors Advice: Best suited for seniors with weak upper body muscles. Thus, those who require lightweight options.
This L shaped cane from Pedder Johnson is a great alternative to a walker as it has a strong and sturdy aluminum design which offers stable support and non-slip handle.
Doctors Advice: Best fit for seniors with knee and joint pains since the stick reduces the stress on them.
This is a dual purpose walking stick that doubles both as a crutch and a cane. The height of the top frame can be easily adjusted, and it can be converted to a stick by just removing a single nut.
Doctors Advice: Fit for geriatric patients who need orthopedic support, post-surgery rehabilitation, or disability support.