How to Choose a Walker for Seniors
Watch this helpful video from caregiving expert, Laura Barish as she gives pro tips on what to look for when choosing a walker for elderly individuals.
Hi there, my name is Laura Barish and I am part of AltaGolden Caregiving (Note: AltaGolden Caregiving is now Family Matters In-Home Care).
This is going to be the first of a series of video blogs that we’re going to do for you to talk about different topics that we notice can be important in the lives of older adults.
In this case, its walkers, how to select a walker or how to use a walker and which are potentially the best designs.
Ultimately, it comes down to what you feel is best for you.
Now, my favorite all-time walker for seniors is the good old A-frame hospital walker. And the reason that I like this is because I can be right in the middle of it, I am able to hold on to the handles, I’m standing fully erect and I’m able to easily swing my legs as I’m walking and there’s no impediment.
And, so whoever designed this walker many years ago just did a great job and was spot-on. What we see most commonly in the world of walkers, is a rollator walker that is very similar to this one, this belonged to a very beloved client of ours who passed away not long ago.
Her daughter said to give it to another client who is as fun as she is, so we’re actually doing that.
Anyway, so with this type of walker it’s very convenient because if you’re someone who sometimes needs to take a rest you can lock the hand breaks, you can sit down, have a nice rest, and when you’re ready you get back up again and it’s very safe.
The other nice thing is it does have a seat, and in this case a front pouch was added.
The issue to be aware of with this type of walker is that as you are walking, the tendency is to push it out ahead because there’s a seat. Because people want to be able to swing their legs through, and there’s this very unconscious thing that happens when we’re using really any type of walker, but especially one with a seat.
So you can still stand up very straight with this walker, but you have to be mindful that you’re not going to be able to take really big steps – so your steps will be smaller.
But if there’s a lot of great advantages – this type of walker, my favorite all-time walker which we don’t see as often, is based on the A-frame design. And in this case, it has a seat that will fold down, like so, but it also folds up neatly and so I can fold that and it easily slips into behind the seat, into the trunk of the car, or wherever we want to use it
Now these walker’s also fold up of course, this little A-frame is very lightweight and folds up nicely like that. And this Walker also folds up in its own way, in this case we’re going to fold it out that way, and so this will collapse down. But as you can see, it’s a little bit more cumbersome.
Now, but what is great about this Walker is that when that seat is lifted I have the traditional A-frame design and so I am now able to walk with no difficulty in swinging my legs, and if I get tired I put that seat down, I lock the brakes and I have a rest.
So anyway, it’s a little bit of a brief tutorial about walkers. When you are selecting one, think about what’s important to you, think about how you live your life.
But also what is equally important is make sure that the height is adjusted so that you’re able to stand tall just with a gentle bend of the arms, and then you’re able to use the walker for the best way for you.
And, with that, we’ll end our tutorial for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed our little tutorial and take care and have a beautiful day.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CA, Roseville, CA, San Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.