Retirement creates time for older adults to do whatever pleases them. They can go out to have fun with friends or stay indoors to spend time with loved ones. In any case, they’ll need mobility to lead their daily lives healthily and happily.
Unfortunately, some older people may find it challenging to move around as easily as they once did. And limited mobility can lead to challenges in keeping up with everyday tasks, thus interfering with their sense of independence.
For this reason, it might be helpful for your older relatives with mobility issues to consider purchasing a walker. Walkers are a kind of mobility device that supports a person to move around and can significantly improve one’s ability to get around.
Seasons Retirement offers a variety of living options for seniors in Alberta and Ontario, Canada. We provide beautiful and comfortable residences in serene environments to enable your parents or grandparents to maintain an independent lifestyle.
This article covers the different types of walkers for seniors and the things to look out for before buying one for your older ones.
Walkers come in different styles and designs to suit each person’s mobility needs. To make the right choice for your loved one, you need to understand how the various types of walkers function.
Here are four major types of walkers for seniors.
This equipment has four non-skid legs, each with a flat rubber cap. A standard walker doesn’t have wheels, making it suitable for an older adult who needs weight support and balance. It is the perfect alternative for your older ones if a cane doesn’t offer enough stability.
Although a standard walker will help your older relatives move around, it is not designed for quick motions. This may be due, in part, to older adults needing upper body strength to lift the gear as they move, thus limiting energy spent on pace.
This equipment has two legs in front capped off with fixed wheels to make walking feel slightly more natural. However, the presence of the two wheels makes the walker a bit less stable than a standard walker.
A two-wheeled walker is the best for your parents or grandparents if they need some balance and support, albeit without complete reliance on the device.
This device is a rollator walker, boasting three-wheeled legs that can rotate fully. It is a distinct mobility device with two wheels in the back and one in front.
A three-wheeled walker is not as stable as a double-wheeled walker, but it provides enough support to help an older adult move steadily. It is the fastest walker type and can help one navigate tight corners more easily.
Due to the equipment’s design, your older loved one may sometimes find themselves leaning forward while using the three-wheeled walker. To prevent this forward tilt, they can bring the walker close enough so they don’t count toward it.
As the name implies, this walker has four fully rotating wheels, which move at an average pace. Because of its four wheels, this device is quite mobile and requires little effort to move. Also, it has a higher weight capacity, although it is not recommended for people with an unsteady balance.
While it may be weightier due to its bulky design, this walker model is ideal for older people seeking movement support. Moreover, it has a built-in seat for your older ones to take quick breaks.
Selecting the right walker is crucial to ensuring your older ones maintain their mobility and independence, especially if they are dealing with bone health issues like osteoporosis.
As with any other purchase, there are factors to consider before buying a walker for your loved ones, and they include:
Firstly, when finding a walker for your loved one, ensure that the handle is at a suitable height or can be adjusted. This will help keep your parents or grandparents at a natural height and prevent them from straining their shoulders while using the walker.
It is essential to consider the level of stability your loved one wants in the mobility device.
If you purchase a three-wheeled or four-wheeled walker, ensure the device has a functional brake, as it can easily roll out of control without one.
Most walkers have varying weight capacities meaning the range of weight each device can support. So, assessing your loved one’s weight is imperative when picking out a suitable walker model for them.
Standard walkers are the best walkers for seniors, especially if they need to place a significant amount of their body weight on the device.
It is crucial to consider the size and dimension of the walker before paying for it. For instance, factoring in the distance between the device’s handles will help determine the convenience of its use.
Also, you should check the wheel’s size, as small-sized wheels are only suitable for indoor use. Meanwhile, your older ones can use a walker with large wheels inside and outside their home.
Some walkers for seniors, mostly the three-wheeled and four-wheeled models, come with different accessories like a seat, basket, bag, or tray. So, you may want to pay extra attention if your older loved ones want to have any of these items on their mobility device.
Selecting the correct walker can help your older one stay active and go about their daily activities conveniently and safely. If you want a suitable walker for your loved one, the information in this article should help you get started.
Finally, you and your older ones can consult a medical doctor, physiotherapist, or assistive technology specialist before buying a walker.