Somethings About Adjustable Walkers You Need to Know
As many individuals age, they might require walking devices to assist with mobility such as canes, crutches, rollators, and walkers.
Walkers provide a large base of support for individuals with poor balance or lower limb weakness and can prevent falls both indoors and outdoors.
With many different models of walkers available, selecting the appropriate one depends on the user's specific needs.
What is an adjustable walker？
Certain types of mobility devices, known as adjustable walkers, are equipped with multiple pins or buttons that can be pressed to modify the height of the models and can be set at an appropriate height for the user.
These adjustable walkers normally have a broad height range and can be customized for various ages and body shapes.
Reasons to select an adjustable walker specifically
It is advisable to search for a walker that has the option to adjust its height range, as this will enable you to discover the optimal fit for your physique and sustain the correct posture while employing the device.
Selecting a walker that is either too low or too high can exacerbate mobility issues of vulnerable seniors and increase the risk of tripping or falling. The appropriate height for your walker should cause a slight bend in your elbow, approximately 15 degrees.
How to choose the right adjustable walker?
Prior to purchasing an adjustable walker, there are various aspects for you to evaluate to ensure that it caters to your transport needs. Here, we have formulated a systematic approach that includes useful guidelines.
1. Assessing Your Needs
When selecting an adjustable walker for seniors, it is crucial to take their specific needs into account.
For instance, an adjustable walker with a broader base can offer more stability for those with limited mobility, while a walker with ergonomic handles and loop brakes may be more suitable for seniors with arthritis or weak hands.
The inclusion of additional wheels can make pushing the adjustable walker more manageable, especially when paired with glides.
Adjustable walkers without wheels require lifting, which may not be suitable for individuals with weak upper body strength. However, if your balance may cause trouble, a walker without wheels could offer more stability and support on uneven ground.
Aluminum, a lightweight and durable material, is commonly used for adjustable walkers. Typically, lightweight aluminum walkers feature rubber handles and tips for effective traction and grip.
Choosing a walker crafted from durable materials capable of enduring daily use is essential for long-term wear and tear resistance. Customer reviews can provide valuable insight into whether the adjustable walker you are considering is durable.
4. Safety Features
Safety is of utmost importance when selecting a rollator walker for seniors. Look for a rollator walker with reliable brakes, such as loop or push-down brakes.
Ensure that the braking system is easy to operate and provides sufficient stopping power. Additionally, the rollator walker should feature reflectors or lights to enhance visibility in low-light conditions.
5. Consider Your Environment
It is essential to consider the environment in which you will primarily use your walker. A walker that is too wide for your home would be useless. That’s why you need to detect the width of your home's hallways, doors, and any other frequently visited spaces before purchasing a walker.
The ideal model should be used throughout any location within your house and move smoothly. A narrow walker may be a must if you live in a pretty small space.
If you need to navigate tight spaces, a 3-wheel adjustable walker may be more suitable. On the other hand, a 4-wheel adjustable walker provides better stability for outdoor use. If you require frequent rests, choose an adjustable walker with a comfortable seat.
If you need to store your adjustable walker in a tight space, a folding model would be the dream choice. This is because foldable walkers provide a convenient storage option, fitting in small spaces such as closets or car trunks.
If you often engage in travel using an adjustable walker, this is a vital attribute that should be prioritized. Compact walkers can improve the traveling experience significantly.
7. Hand Grips
In addition to providing ample support, a comfortable grip matters to your adjustable walker. Adjustable walkers with rubber handgrips offer added comfort for everyday use. An improper handgrip can cause hand strain and make regular use uncomfortable.
Accessories such as baskets, trays, cane holders, glides, and platform attachments can enhance comfort, convenience, and accessibility for your adjustable walker.
Most standard walkers do not come with storage space, which can be inconvenient. It is important to consider that walkers involve the use of both hands, which may require storage to make usage easier.
If you take into account the factors mentioned above and follow the steps provided, you will be adequately prepared to choose the appropriate adjustable walker to improve your independence and mobility.
How to maintain an adjustable walker?
Like all equipment, adjustable walkers require proper maintenance to prevent failure and ensure your safety. Maintaining your adjustable walker is unavoidable if you want it to last for many years. Fortunately, common maintenance tasks are easy-to-finish and do not require much time.
Dust and debris can damage the durability of an adjustable walker, particularly if it is used outdoors. It is advisable to clean the equipment daily using a soft, clean cloth. For added protection, use a wet wipe to clean the adjustable walker's frame, seat, wheels, buttons, and handles.
Drying the Equipment
Moisture and water can cause the parts of your adjustable walker to malfunction and wear out more quickly. After using your adjustable walker or any other mobility device in the rain or snow, be sure to dry it thoroughly. Pay close attention to cleaning the wheels, as they are exposed to grime.
Checking Seats and Wheels
Uncomfortable or damaged seats of adjustable walkers can cause unexpected injuries and back pain, making them extremely hazardous for differently-abled or injured users. It is thus suggested to check the seats on a daily basis to prevent wear and tear and ensure immediate reinforcements.
Wheels are an essential part of walkers and rollators. They should swivel, turn, and rotate smoothly. Check their alignment and repair them immediately in case of an issue. If one of the wheels is damaged, you can order the original replacement from the manufacturer of the adjustable walker and fix it.
The grips on adjustable walkers are critical as they help move the equipment around. If the grips lose their tread, they should be replaced immediately to avoid any serious harm during use.
Adjustable walkers offer a secure and stable option for seniors to move around and enhance their independence, reducing the risk of falls and unwanted accidents. And for your own comfort and safety, it is equally essential to select a model that caters to your specific needs and then maintain it accordingly.
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