What Type of Walker is Right for You?
As we age there are a lot of changes that happen, and we may require some assistance for us to continue to enjoy the activities we love. One of the most significant things that could change is that balance can become affected by the decrease in eyesight and core strength, among other things. When we reach that point of realization, that our balance and abilities are decreasing, there will be a need for the use of a walker to continue about our daily lives with improved safety and reduced risk of falling.
Different Kinds of Walkers & Canes
When the time comes for an assistive device, there are many factors that should be considered. Both walkers and canes assist with balance, but they require much different abilities. These may be some of the most important questions, because if your balance is not good enough to stand without holding onto anything, using a cane would then put you at risk for falling. A standard walker is best for those with the highest risk of loss of balance, but who still have the ability to stand or walk. These walkers do not have wheels and the user has to move much slower while staying within its confines. The next step up from a standard walker is the front wheeled walker which allows the user to increase their cadence for increased mobility. The four wheeled walker is for those with fair balance, but who may be starting to see the effects of impaired standing balance. Four wheeled walkers are equipped with hand brakes to decrease speed due to the walker being able to move more freely. These walkers also offer a seat with a storage basket so that when fatigued, the user may sit on the walker. Four wheeled walkers allow the user much more ability to get around, but should not be used by those who can not safely operate them due to impaired balance or decreased lower extremity and core strength.
The Importance of Posture
A major mistake that most people make when using an assistive device, whether it’s a walker or a cane, is not having the proper posture while using it. People will lean on the walker and use their arms to hold themselves up. This in turn affects your center of gravity and decreases your balance, as well as making you very tired over a short distance. The upright four wheeled walker is designed to improve your posture with its elevated arm rests while walking for decreased risk of falls. You must be honest with yourself when deciding which type of equipment is right for your ability level. It is always better to start out more conservative with the standard walker or front wheeled walker, than attempting to use an upright walker or cane that doesn’t suit your needs. With work, it is possible to improve your strength and balance and be able to progress to the equipment that fits your desired lifestyle more closely. We at Ohana Medical Supply strive to provide you with the best available walkers and canes, durable medical equipment, and assistive devices. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.