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You are here:Home > How-To's > Choosing a walker

Choosing the right walker for you!

There are many things to consider when choosing a mobility walker. Most people have a good idea of what kind of walker they want, typically based on the recommendation of a friend or what they have seen around. Not all walkers are created equal and there are some features and differences in walkers that you, the informed consumer should be made aware of.

Types of walkers

Standard Aluminum Walker - These are the types of walkers that we have all seen. Typically these type of walkers are used by people recovering from hip surgery or people who require a great amount of assistance and those who are a fall risk. These walkers can accommodate different wheel sizes and have various rear brake, cap or glide tip options.

Our Recommendation:

Overall we suggest these type of walkers for people requiring a great deal of assistance, people recovering from surgery (hip, knee or other surgery), people at a high fall risk and those with limited hand dexterity.

Rollator Walkers- The rollator walkers are walkers with 4- wheels and a seat are very popular these days, but they are not for everyone. In the hands of the wrong person the rollator walker can do more harm than good! The rollator walkers work on the premise of 4 wheels and hand brakes. When the user starts to tip forward or is falling forward they would then apply the brakes to keep the walker from moving forward, this movement requires hand strength and quick thinking by the user to be effective. Another negative about the traditional rollator is that most rollators require to have the seat in the usable or down position, because of this users tend to lean forward and have the walker way out in front of them which lends to them leaning forward and delaying their ability to react to a fall. There are positives to the rollator walkers. 1.) They look cool 2.) They do have a seat for resting 3.) They allow for easy maneuverability with the front swivel wheels 4.) Most have baskets for holding “things” 5.) They work well for most people only needing a little help in getting around.

Good news! We have tested many rollator walkers and have found one that we think works very well and addresses the issue of bad posture, stability and portability. The Invacare 65100 and 68100 Rollators allow the seat to be placed in the up position allowing the user to be more inside the walker (Walkers are designed to be walked inside of). Also the Invacare 65100 and 68100 rollator walkers fold up much flatter than the traditional style rollator walkers. One last benefit is that height adjustments are at the legs, this allows the overall height adjustment and seat height to be adjusted proportionally. We feel overall that this rollator walker is a safe option for most people!!

Hemi Walkers- Most people have never heard of or even seen a hemi walker. These walkers aren’t for everyone but can be an excellent option for some people. Hemi walkers are typically used by people who have had a stroke with limited movement or strength on one side. The hemi walker is best used by someone who needs more than a cane but can’t adequately use a walker. The Hemi-Walker has 2 levels to assist someone up from a sitting position. A very handy assistive device for the right person.

We certainly haven’t covered all aspects of walkers and walking aids. It’s important that you discuss the most appropriate option for your situation with your health care provider and your local medical supply dealer. When you shop for walkers, try them out and find one that feels the best to you. You can shop for medical walkers on our websites westcoastmedicalsupply.com or nwmedicalsolutions.com.

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