How To Buy A Walker

Which Mobility Aid is Best for You?

In deciding whether to go with a basic or wheeled walker, consider whether you will be able to handle having wheels. You should be able to control both the wheels and brakes effectively.

The next decision is to make sure you will be able to use the walker comfortably. Take into account your height, weight, lifting capability. Most walking aids are adjustable to fit a user’s height, so finding the height range is more important than finding a walking aid that matches your height exactly. Additionally, there will be times that you need to lift or shift the walker away from uneven surfaces, so models that are lightweight are important to look for.

If you travel outside of your home frequently, choose a walker that folds down for easy storage and transport.

Many of the rolling walkers, or rollators, come with seats. If you find yourself getting tired easily and needing a break, rollators with seats and storage baskets are a good choice.

Rollator/transport chair combination products are useful if you want to walk part of the time and be pushed (transported) when you get tired.

Choosing the Right Walking Aid for You

Choosing the right walking aid for you or your loved one can be confusing because of the many varied mobility products to choose from. Below are some tips to make shopping for a walking aid easier.

Basic Walker (without wheels)

This is the most common type of walker, and it is available in heavy duty (bariatric) and junior styles. These are best used on indoor surfaces. Because there are no wheels, basic walkers provide the most stability for those who need a little extra help.

Wheeled Walkers

These are simply walkers with wheels. The wheels provide easier mobility and ease of movement outdoors. On our website, wheeled walkers are classified as those walkers with two wheels in the front of the walker. These wheels are often fixed, meaning they do not swivel side to side. Wheeled walkers are a good choice for those who want extra stability but want help traversing uneven terrain.

Rollators

Rollators are walkers with wheels on all four legs. Rollators offer the greatest range of movement and the most mobility with many models offering swivel wheels and hand brakes. Rollators with larger wheels offer the most mobility. Rollators are often equipped with seats and baskets making them the perfect choice for those who are on the go.

Canes

Walkers provide the maximum stability. However, if you’re looking for something to provide minimal help, a cane might be the solution. Canes improve your ability to get up from a chair or can help with your balance. There are a variety of canes to choose from, with the difference being the handle type and whether the cane is a folding cane. Handle choice is dependent on the style and which would be most comfortable; the new gel-grip handle is a popular option. Folding canes are worth considering for traveling and storage ease.

Options and Features

Here are some options and features to think about when purchasing a walker:

1. How it folds: The way your walker folds will make it easier to fold, load and store

2. Walker weight: The lighter it is, the easier it is to load

3. Basket: Under seat basket, front soft basket, front soft basket with zipper closure or front wire basket

4. “Small footprint”: Takes up less space in your home or rear wheels are closer to the frame

5. Hand grips: Ergonomic handles are softer on the hands

6. Free options with specific walkers: Cane holders, curb climbers, padded back strap

7. Back rest style: Wide, narrow or padded

8. Wheel size: Never buy a walker with wheels less than 8 inches

9. Warranty: How long is it? Usually, the more you spend, the better the warranty

10. Servicing your walker: Make sure whoever you buy a walker from, they can service it quickly

11. Cable free walkers: Most maintenance is from your cables fraying

12. Suspension option: Does vibration from the frame bother you?

13. Weight capacity/seat width: Do you require a higher weight capacity? Or would you feel more comfortable in a wider seat?

14. How tall you are: The taller you are, the taller your handle height must be

15. Seat height: Different seat to floor heights available for your specific height

 

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