Mobility aids are vital for senior citizens who face difficulty getting around and aim at achieving a certain degree of independence in their day-to-day lives. Adult walker and rollators are two popular mobility aids that can effectively help the elderly to gain self-esteem and freedom. Mobility aids are essential for people who have disabilities or injuries, or senior citizens who are at an increased risk of falling.
Walkers for senior citizens are made up of a metal framework with four legs that provide stability and support to the user. They provide additional support to maintain balance or stability while walking, most commonly due to age-related physical restrictions. A walker is a frame with handles and legs that needs to be lifted for movement, it is a simple light-weight device. A person with enough arm strength to pick up the walker and move it forward one step at a time can use a walker for the extra little help. Medical walkers for elderly are specially designed to make them feel more independent as they don’t have to rely on another person to help them get around and gives them the liberty to move out of their homes freely.
Different Types of Walkers and Their Uses
There are different types of walkers, each having a unique feature and design. It is important to understand which walker suits your needs the best, before buying.
Basic Walker – The most common type of walker, Basic Walkers are a simple, lightweight device without wheels. Basic walkers provide maximum stability to people who have enough strength to lift the walker. The four legs of the basic walker can be adjusted according to the user’s height. The stationery base of the walker makes the movements more convenient and secure for the user. Basic walkers have a 3-sided frame that surrounds the user. Users are required to lift the frame and place it further in front of them, then step forward to meet it, before repeating the process.
Foldable Walkers – This type of walker uses the same mechanism as a Basic Walker, they can be simply folded for an easy transportation. The walker can be folded typically by a two-button system. The walker collapses and falls flat for an easy transportation in a car, bus or a plane with a simple push of a button. A folding walker for elderly is commonly used in the initial stages after a leg, hip or foot surgery or fracture as they can use it to keep weight off the area.
Seated Walker – For enhanced comfort, a seated walker provides sturdy support for resting with the help of a comfortable wide, seat and back support for resting. A handicap walker with seat can be adjusted according to the height of the user, the seat can be raised to step inside the walker frame. Seated walkers for seniors are designed to help them move through their day safely and easily.
Walker with front wheels – For people with minimum or no upper body strength and endurance, a walker with wheels on the front end can be a convenient option. A rolling walker can provide enhanced balance while making the movement easier, it helps the user move faster while still being grounded by the two back legs. With the wheels on the front, the user does not have to lift the walker every time, while taking a step. The front wheels also assist the user move through a difficult terrain.
4-wheel Walker - For enhanced mobility and stability, the 4-wheeled walker provides the user comfortable support. 4-wheel walkers for seniors help in maintaining balance without strenuous efforts. Medical walker with wheels allows the user to move quickly and smoothly while offering stable support. The front wheels of the walker revolve for ease of turning without having to lift the walker.
FAQs About Walkers
How to use an Adult Walker?
It is important to consult your doctor, or physiotherapist before buying a walker. A walker with wheels requires to be pushed forward to move whereas, a walker without wheels requires to be lifted and placed forward to move. A few steps can be followed while walking with your walker:
Lift your walker and place it in on an arm’s length in front of you. While using a walker with wheels, simply push the walker a few inches ahead of you
Before taking a step, ensure that the 4 tips of the wheels/legs are touching the ground
Patients who have undergone a surgery should start with the leg that feels weaker
Place your other leg in front of the weaker leg to move forward
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Rollators are walkers with wheels at the end of each leg. Basic walkers require more strength and endurance while a rollator allows enhanced mobility and stability. A rollator consists of a frame along with three or four large wheels, handlebars and built-in seat. It comes with wheels to enhance mobility and provide greater support, making it suitable for people who require balance and stability. Unlike a standard walker, a rollator does not have to be lifted for movement and therefore allows the user to walk faster and helps with the normal gait. Rollators are equipped with front swivel wheels to help the user with turning and handbrakes that allow them to stop when required. The seat and backrest enhance the support while the basket or pouch can be used to carry personal items.
Different type of Rollators and their Uses
There are different types of rollators online according to your needs. You can choose a rollator according to different height-adjustable handles, height-adjustable seat and hand brakes.
Three-wheel Rollator - These rollators have a wheel in the front and two wheels at the back, they are light-weight and flexible. This easy to use mobility device can fit conveniently in narrow spaces and make tight turns, making it ideal to be used for indoor purposes and crowded areas.
Four-wheel Rollator – A more stable option, the four-wheel rollator gives greater stability and mobility to the user. This 4 wheel rollator with seat can bear more weight than usual and comes with a seat for added comfort. The two wheels in the front and the back of the rollators provides enhanced mobility and efficiency to the user.
How to use Rollator?
It is important to consult your doctor, or physiotherapist before buying a rollator. If you need support standing up, rollators are an ideal choice as they have wheels that allow them to be moved without lifting.
Before starting, engage the brakes
Sit close to the edge of the chair and keep your feet as far as possible
Place your toes directly below the edge of the chair
Place one hand or both the hands on the arms of the chair without placing too much weight on one side of the walker
Lean forward to place some weight on your feet
Use your arms to lift the weight that your legs cannot and to keep your balance while standing
Test your balance before you start to walk
Disengage the brakes
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