Life had been awful for the younger generations since the 2020 lockdown began. It’s even worse for the elderly, being forcefully stuck in their homes, wherein some of them no longer have family members to care for their needs.
If you do have an elderly at home, it can be painful to watch them struggling to be less of a burden to you. Age is slowly taking away their basic abilities, their memory, their eyesight, and their motor skills. If you’re considering a walker for your parents or any loved one, we’ll try to summarize things that you need to know before heading to the store.
What Are The Types Of Walkers?
There are a lot of walker designs available, all of which were made depending on the needs of the user. There are some made for people who are born with a walking-disability, those permanently scarred by major accidents, and our elders. Hence, here are the general types of walkers.
- Standard walker. This type of walker has four legs, paired on each side, usually has rubber tips and handles to avoid slides and better grip. The design is that the user must lift it forward to move, with the walker’s legs providing both support and stability.
- Two-wheel walker. This walker is a bit similar to the standard walker except the two front legs are attached to the wheels, while the hind legs remain rubber-tipped. This type bears less of the user’s weight.
- Three-wheel walker. This walker is made up of three wheels: one in the front and two at the back, akin to a tripod. This design was made to carry the entire weight of a sitting person as it is equipped with a platform where a knee could be propped up, allowing the user to rest. Most of these walkers are also foldable and not space-consuming when spread-out.
- Four-wheel walker. This walker is like a standard walker, but all four legs are tipped with a wheel. It is used mainly by people who need help only in their balance. It is also called a rollator, typically easy to propel and doesn’t need lifting when turning.
- Knee walker. This walker has four wheels with a seat platform for one knee and a steering handle similar to a bicycle. It is used as an alternative to crutches and operates like a foot-propelled scooter.
What To Consider In Choosing A Senior’s Walker For Perfect Fit?
Even in walkers, there is no such thing as “universal” or “one-size-fits-all“, simply because we don’t age in the same way nor any injury or disability are completely the same. If you can’t visit a doctor yet, we’ll list here some of the factors that need to be considered when buying a walker for a senior:
- Weight – You need to consider if the walker needs to carry the weight of the user; if so, you need to know if it would carry his/her full body weight or only partial. This information will tell you which type you could choose from. Another thing to look at is the approximate weight of the user.
- Balance – You need to know the extent to which the senior can stand on his/her own. The walker would need to compensate for whatever the user requires. A tip from UpliftingMobility.com says that the walker needs to fulfill any condition that arises in the future, as the senior ages. Information on the user’s balance will also help you have an estimation of the space in which the walker would be used if it’s rough or too smooth, as these could disrupt the stability of the walker itself.
- Adjustability. Your elder might have changed in the condition which makes him/her need a walker. It will be convenient and timesaver to have a walker that could be adjusted. The usual parts that could be adjusted are the height, handle, and position of auxiliaries. This also includes whether the walker is foldable or can be fully dismantled.
- Age – Although walkers are not fitted to age, a mental state in a certain age group can be critical with picking a walker. Some age groups have a hard time focusing and walkers that require technical skills, even the most basic ones, can be a threat to their safety. Age can also tell the probable form of the user, which can also aid you in picking a suitable walker.
There are a lot of other things that can be looked upon to pick the best walker for your loved one, but the information we listed here should give you the gist of it. We would recommend that you communicate with a proper professional if the elder has an underlying condition.