[Q&A With Physical Therapy] Walker For Seniors: Read Before You Purchase Your Walker Or Rollator...
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
We received these common questions from a patient at our practice regarding which walker or rollator to purchase online, and we wanted to share our responses with you. As leading providers of therapy at home or in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy services in the Greater Milwaukee area, we assist in getting durable medical equipment (walker, rollator, etc.) in place and also help with teaching the proper way to use the device to help with managing daily tasks.
Here are the top 3 questions and answers that might be asked when considering to buy a walker for seniors:
1) Question: When you are searching for your next walker or rollator, what are the most important features you should consider when buying a walker to assist in mobility or walking?
Multiple factors can be considered when purchasing a walker or a rollator to help with your walking balance and falling. Consider your body height and body weight to ensure proper fit and support (standard adult or bariatric weight capacity).
The environment where your walker will be used ensuring the device will fit through doorways/pathways to access necessary areas within the home, front-wheeled walkers/two-wheeled walkers have the ability to move the wheels to the inside of the walker for increased clearance when passing through doorways.
Considering the weight of the walker for ease of managing to lift the device in/out of car or trunk for community access. If the walker will be used outdoors consider wheel size for negotiating sidewalk creases (larger wheel size help with negotiation).
Considering your standing balance, leg, and grip strength to help guide the decision of what device would be best - standard walkers (without wheels) (most restrictive), front-wheeled or two-wheeled walker (more restrictive), and rollator or four-wheeled walker (least restrictive).
With a front-wheeled/two-wheeled walker purchasing rear leg slides or glides can assist with ease of use compared to having rubber tips.
2) Question: What should be avoided or anything you should consider regarding safety from bad balance or fall risk when it comes to using a walker with walking or standing activities?
Try to be mindful of your posture keeping your upper body upright, and when walking try to have your foot land within the frame of the walker or even with the back legs of the two-wheeled walker, and if you are using a rollator try to keep your feet equal with the rear wheels while keeping your feet within the frame at all times and not behind the device.
A rollator or four-wheeled walker the user should be mindful of locking the rear wheel brakes when going from sitting to and from stand as well as at times when attempting to sit on the device and anytime when hands leave device (while working at sink, reaching into a cupboard, etc.).
Start by removing clutter, eliminate/tape down cords and loose rugs throughout the home.
With a standard walker or front-wheeled/two-wheeled walker you can purchase a tray to assist with transporting items (plate, cup, newspaper, etc.) safely within the home and when not transporting items tray can be removed for safe use of the device.
Ensure proper fit of the device having the handles of the walker line up at the fold of the individual's wrists (when an individual is standing tall inside of the frame of the walker). Click on the video below, regarding how-to properly size or fit a walker or rollator height for better use.
3) Question: What are some common brands and types of walkers for seniors are the most common style?
Common brands for both walkers and rollators include (not an all-inclusive list): Drive Medical, Medline, Stander's, OasisSpace, Invacare, and NOVA.
The most common types or styles of walkers are standard walkers (without wheels), front-wheeled or two-wheeled walkers, and rollators or four-wheeled walkers (typically have a seat and rear wheel brakes).
Here are some examples of walkers, rollators, and accessories depending on your particular needs:
Standard walker (without wheels)
d) heavy-duty walker - https://amzn.to/2Xk6Pke
Four-wheeled/rollator walker -
Front-wheeled/Two-wheeled walker accessories
a) universal wheels and slides - https://amzn.to/3fO4HZH
b) universal walker bag/pouch - https://amzn.to/39CeCPA
c) universal walker tray - https://amzn.to/3bgHyQ4 or https://amzn.to/3sbECu6
Sometimes having walking difficulty can limit your household task completion, but an increased fear of falling can restrict your access to the community which in turn can hinder your overall wellbeing and independence. Quickly, find out if you or your loved one is at risk of sustaining another future fall by completing this quick fall risk questionnaire.
As an in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy provider, we help individuals like you or your loved one aged 65+ improve your mobility to keep you active and living at the most optimal level.
You can give us a phone call as your mobile, in-home physical therapy and occupational therapy provider in Waukesha. We provide our services physical therapy at home throughout the Greater Milwaukee area to help you get this problem solved.
If you are looking for the best balance exercises or wondering how to help lower your falls risk and live in Waukesha, Brookfield, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Delafield, Hartland, Oconomowoc, Greenfield, New Berlin, Muskego, Wales, Greendale, Franklin, Oak Creek, Whitefish Bay, or in surrounding Greater Milwaukee communities, give us a quick phone call to schedule your physical therapy appointment or complete this quick form to set up your FREE 20-minute call ($75 value) with an in-home PT to discuss your current situation!
Talk more soon!!
P.S. if you have not already taken advantage of our Free Top 7 Posture Exercises Handout & Training —> Download Here Use This Free Handout & Video Training To Quickly Address Your Posture By Using This Easy Step-By-Step Guide to Help You Keep Tall and Avoiding a Hump Back!