Importance of Walkers in Improving Quality of Life
A walker is an assistive device designed to assist people with balance or stability issues. A walker can also help people recovering from orthopedic surgery who cannot bear total weight on one or both legs. Walkers offer more support than a single cane because they have more contact points with the ground, support both sides of the body, and you can propel with both hands.
Anyone having trouble with balance should see a movement specialist, such as a physical therapist, trained to evaluate gait difficulties and recommend the best assistive device based on the person’s specific walking ability, balance, strength, endurance, and size.
Walkers: How They Can Assist Seniors?
Most people who use walkers are over 65 years old and have musculoskeletal (muscle/bone) or neurological problems. Some common health concerns seniors suffer from include arthritis, mainly in their knees and hips, fractured bone, post-surgical, or recovering from a debilitating illness. Conditions that lead to the use of walkers include Osteoporosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, or hemiplegia. Another main reason behind using a walker is the paralysis of half of the body of a person, mainly caused due to conditions like stroke.
The primary reason for someone to use a walker is to improve their ability to walk independently and safely. Utilizing a walker increases the amount and distance one can walk while reducing pain and discomfort. In addition, increased independence, self-confidence, and life satisfaction are possible outcomes of using a walker.
A walker is most useful when chosen adequately for the senior who will use it. Buying an ill-fitting or ill-suited walker can create more problems than it solves by putting undue strain on the user’s wrists and shoulders. An adequately fitted walker is especially important for someone frail or at risk of falling. Request an assessment by a therapist before discharge if someone discharges from the hospital requiring a walker. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists measure and assess an individual’s walker needs.
Walkers Can Help Seniors Balance
As people get old, it may become more challenging to stay upright and balanced, and thus they require mobility aid. Their unconscious attempt to maintain stability by constantly correcting their muscles is known as “postural sway.” To control this “sway” and stay balanced, the person often walks with their feet wide apart. They’re on the verge of collapsing. When they walk with a walker, they have a broader base of support, which helps them overcome “postural sway” and avoid falling. Handheld walkers are frequently used to encourage independent movement.
Walkers Can Aid in Bearing the Weight of the Body
Due to pain or weakness, some people cannot bear the total weight of their bodies through their legs. When using a walker, the arms can assist by pushing down on the frame, allowing the walker to take on some weight—this aids in the correction of posture and gait. Walkers also provide endurance. If you have heart disease, breathing problems, or get tired quickly, a walker can help you save energy.
Improve Muscle Strength and Agility
Muscle strength and agility can deteriorate after a stroke, hospitalization, other illness, or simply from a lack of activity. Walkers aid in the rebuilding of muscles and the re-establishment of mobility.
Qualities to Look for When Getting a Walker for Seniors
As with most medical devices, choosing a walker should be done with care. Selecting a walker after speaking with your doctor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist is suitable for people with complicated conditions. They can assist you in getting started in the right direction.
The most common walkers for seniors include typical walkers, rolling walkers with two wheels, and four-wheeled walkers, also known as rollators. Following are the qualities and features you can look for while getting the best walker for seniors.
Look for handles that you can adjust in height for the best fit and support. For example, a 6-foot-2-inch older adult would not use the same height walker as a 5-foot person. For the same reason, appropriate seat dimensions with seat height adjustability are also important. Padded seats provide comfort and the ability to rest. Flexible options in walkers also help with easy storage in tight spaces.
A front-wheeled walker is required if you require a lot of assistance. A four-wheeled walker or rollator with a seat, on the other hand, is ideal for increasing your endurance while also providing a seat. A good walker must contain two contrasting characters. First, it should be heavy-duty while being lightweight. A lightweight walker helps the seniors carry it around with ease.
Rating for Weight
Most walkers hold up to 300 pounds of weight. Therefore, overweight people should consider a bariatric model of a walker.
Some walkers include a seat, a basket or bag, a tray, or another feature. Accessory options are usually limited to three-wheeled and four-wheeled walkers. The standard and two-wheeled walkers are more straightforward in design.
Wheeled Walkers or Rollators
The use of a rollator improves mobility and walking speed. However, rollators require steering and hand brake operation due to their four wheels, which may not be the best option for all users. A rollator seat provides a comfortable place to sit and rest on longer journeys.
Check to see if the three- and four-wheeled walkers have brakes. Because they roll easily, they can quickly lose control if there are no reliable brakes on the handles. Studies suggest that using a four-wheeled walker can reduce the risk of fractures from falls, despite a decline in overall health.
Handle Grip Options
Plastic grips are standard on many walkers. While these grips are effective for a short time, they can cause pain in the hands of senior people as they use them. If someone uses your walker frequently, foam grips are a better choice. For added comfort, padded grip covers are available.
Following are the top 11 walkers for seniors that you can buy for yourself or a senior family member.
Drive Medical Clever Lite Walker
Drive Medical Clever Lite Walker is a stylish and modern choice for comfort and stability. It has a lightweight frame, a particular loop lock, and a soft seat with maneuverability at its best.
This wheeled walker stands out thanks to its larger wheels, flip seat, and loop lock brakes. You can use it as a traditional walker or a seated walker by raising the seat to step inside the frame. This rollator has a soft, flexible backrest for comfort and stability while established and folds effortlessly with a dual lever and side paddle release. With a lift and turn of a pin, the 8-inch caster wheel glide over most surfaces and change from “swivel” to “fixed.” For added security, the walker with the seat has loop lock brakes.
Drive Medical Four Wheel Walker
The Drive Medical’s portable rollator walker features Supreme Stability, Safety, and Reliability, keeping with Drive Medical’s tradition of superb craftsmanship and unbeatable quality.
The Four Wheel Rollator Walker includes a hinged padded seat, and you can fold it up or down. It also comes with comfortable seating and a handy pouch for storing personal items. The easy-to-use deluxe loop locks and the 7.5-inch non-marring wheel casters are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. In addition, one can change the ergonomic handles of the Four Wheel Rollator Walker to fit your height, making gripping the handlebars even more convenient and relaxing while reducing stress on the hands and joints. This four-wheel walker is ideal for anyone looking for strength, support, longevity, and comfort while maintaining a sense of style.
Deluxe 2-Button Folding Walker 5 Inch
The Deluxe 2-Button Folding Walker with 5 Inch wheels blends durability and strength with portability and ease of usage. It features a simple push-button operation, a vinyl-contoured handgrip, and a rear glide cap that enables it to move with ease.
The Drive’s new Deluxe Folding Walker has a one-of-a-kind push-button folding mechanism. Its U-shaped frame gives more clearance, while its improved cross-frame design provides more stability. In addition, the Folding Aluminum Walker features 5-inch wheels with newly designed rear gliding caps that you can use on a variety of terrains and a contoured hand grip and adjustable height for added comfort. Aluminum construction with a 1″ diameter offers optimum strength while being light.
Medline Rollator Steel Rolling Walker Burgundy
The Medline Rollator Steel Rolling Walker Burgundy features 6-inch wheels, height-adjustable handgrips, and a padded seat with a storage bag underneath.
The Medline Rollator walker has a comfortable seat that allows the user to relax and rest and smooth-rolling 6-inch wheels suitable for usage both indoors and outdoors. Furthermore, the Medline Rollator Walker folds effortlessly for easy transport and storage. It also has adjustable handle grips that can be modified from 31″ to 35″ to allow users to customize the Medline rollator walker’s fit as per their needs.
Drive Medical Nitro Rollator Walker
The Drive Medical Nitro Rollator Walker is the ultimate mobility solution, comprising innovative, dependable features and a stylish exterior.
This Drive Medical Nitro Rollator walker sports a sturdy and light aluminum frame that is simple to operate on both indoor and outdoor surfaces, and it’s tough enough to survive everyday use. The brake cable is incorporated into the frame for optimal safety, increasing the elegant design of this walker with a seat and wheels. With just one hand, you can collapse it to an ultra-compact size. The luxury seat is composed of easy-to-clean nylon, and the detachable back is also adjustable. A cross-brace design enables side-to-side folding and extra stability. A unique attachment holds the complementary storage bag firmly positioned when the Drive Medical Nitro Rollator walker opens or closes.
Lumex HybridLX Rollator Walker & Transport Wheelchair
The Lumex HybridLX Rollator Walker & Transport Wheelchair is a unique rollator that combines the functions of a rolling walker and a transport chair into one compact unit, unlike a standard walker.
The Lumex HybridLX features sturdy handgrips, a broad and comfortable seat and backrest, and a unique design that seamlessly transforms from a rollator to a transport chair and back. It includes a lightweight, strong aluminum frame that allows users to move around more freely. It also comes with a plush polyester backrest and a broad 18-inch mesh seat to accommodate 300 pounds. When used as a rollator or transport chair, the easy-to-use breaks also allow short- and long-term braking.
FORAY Spring Upright Rolling Walker Rollator
The FORAY Spring Upright Rolling Walker Rollator features high-quality construction, entirely internal mechanisms, and the discreet design of this Upright Rolling Walker Rollator helps with mobility.
The straight handlebar positions you inside the wheel frame, resulting in a more stable center of gravity and better posture. The bar is ergonomically built for you to find your optimum, most comfy hand position if you have diminished or unequal arm strength. It provides comfortable seating at any time and location; a single hand gesture unlocks and locks the gadget. A simple seat transition allows you to relax in comfort wherever you are. Spring will be under your control, thanks to brakes that engage when the handlebar pressure releases and a parking brake activates as soon as the seat opens.
Alevo Country Foldable Rollator by Porsche Design Studio
The Alevo Country Foldable Rollator is the ideal partner for a stroll around the countryside. In addition, the foldable off-road rollator is perfect for outings in the open countryside.
It has shaped tires for stability and grip on unpaved and uneven surfaces, including dirt roads, forest floors, and cobblestones. This graceful, foldable lightweight rollator weighs only 6.9 kg, thanks to its innovative aluminum structure. The soft padded seat adds to sitting comfort, and the wide, height-adjustable comfort back strap provides reliable spine support. The removable bag offers plenty of storage room for snacks. Ergonomic handles, height-adjustable parking brake push handles, a double crossbar with a dual locking device, internally attached brake wires, reflectors built into the frame, and a stunning, silvery triangle appearance ensure clear aesthetics and stability.
Able Life Space Saver Ski Glides Rollator
The Able Life Space Saver Ski Glides Rollator is a convenient way to get around at home or running errands. Black Walnut, Cobalt Blue, and Regal Rose are the three colors available for this front-wheeled walker.
The Able Life Space Saver Ski Glides Rollator can fold four times smaller than most rollators, making it compact and convenient to keep. Seniors can use the Space Saver Walker to travel, run errands, or navigate the house; the lightweight, 8-pound frame is easy to load and unload from a car while still being strong enough to accommodate up to 400 pounds. When walking, the 6-inch fixed front wheels give stability and security, while the rear easy-glide skis allow for simple movement both inside and out. You can modify the comfortable handle height from 32 to 38 inches from the ground, making the walker suitable for anyone from 5’6″ to 6’3″.
Stander EZ Fold-N-Go Rollator Lightweight 6-inch
The Stander EZ Fold-N-Go Rollator Lightweight 6-inch blends functionality with design, giving you the balance and support you need to maneuver around the house, run to the store, or tour the world!
The EZ Fold-N-Go Rollator can fold to three times the size of the usual walker or rollator with nothing more than a lifting of a finger. This portable rollator may be stowed anywhere due to its unique folding technique. The walker is built of aircraft-grade aluminum and comes with a perch seat that can hold up to 250 pounds. The cushioned handles are adjustable from 33 to 36 inches and are pretty comfortable. The compact 25 by the 23-inch footprint of the rollator allows you to maneuver through tight corridors, door frames, and restrooms when open; when folded, the rollator is self-standing and has a footprint of 10 by 11 inches.
HealthSmart Walker Rollator with Seat and Backrest Titanium
The HealthSmart Walker Rollator with Seat and Backrest Titanium comes with an adjustable Handle Height, a removable Storage Bag, and a durable frame that folds easily while supporting up to 300 pounds.
The HealthSmart Walker Rollator with Seat and Backrest Titanium has 8-inch rubber wheels in the front and 7-inch rubber wheels in the back and bicycle-style loop-lock handbrakes. Handle adjusts from 31″ to 36″ in 1″ increments. The padded seats come with a backrest and changeable handle heights for a great fit and convenience, making them ideal for elders. This walker also qualifies for a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). In addition, it is a lightweight walker that weighs only 17 pounds and features a sturdy build.
Finding the right walker for your needs can help a senior remain mobile for years. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist first when you’re ready to buy one. They can assist you in finding the right walker for you and ensuring they include the features you require. Feel free to choose from the top 11 walkers for seniors given in this article.