Two of the best walkers stand out as excellent mobility devices and are among the best walkers for adults. These walkers are foldable for portability, are made with sturdy construction, have 4 wheels, brakes and storage. They are intended to provide years of reliable service and will help increase your mobility for for the long term.
Great Value Walkers for Seniors
Three walkers stand out for value. These walkers will provide safe convenient service to assist your mobility needs for years. The first item should be the back-up for anyone needing assistance with walking. Remember that the more you use your devices the greater the benefit to your health as you enjoy life. So use your walker often for health as well as mobility.
Standard Walkers for Seniors
Standard walkers are constructed from aluminum/steel alloy tubing formed in three parts bent into u-shapes. Turned so the curved portion is on top, the three pieces are attached together creating a middle section with the 2 side pieces that create the handles and legs on either side. The curved portion becomes the handles with either hard plastic, rubber or a softer foam attached on each curve for handles for easier hold and comfort. These can be changed as needed at a low cost for the convenience of use of the equipment. Inner-tubing is added inside the feet to enable the height of the walker to be adjusted for individual needs. Height adjustment is created by adjusting the inner bars that create the feet up or down using a simple push and hold of buttons while adjusting the length. The design is such that the two end pieces with the legs and handles can be folded-in to compact the unit for transport and storage.
The Optimum height setting should have the top of the u-portion of the bars, or handles, at wrist height with the user standing tall next to the unit. When the hands are placed on the handles the user’s elbows should be slightly bent. Always be sure to properly set adjustments of a walker to the user for best performance as setting the proper height for a walker is important for the safety, comfort, and correct postures of the user. Proper settings increase strength and performance of the user and insure long term success.
Using the standard mobility walker is very easy with a little practice. In hospitals care workers often introduce patients to these walkers. The user, standing with the walker in front of them places hands on the walker, lifts and moves the walker forwards 8′ to 12” (depending on reach and stability of the user) and then steps into it with one foot. Using the other foot the user completes the step completing the step in front of the first. The process is repeated to continue walking and it is quite simple because the user simply uses slight weight on the walker to enable the patient to walk similar to a normal walk. To turn a corner or change directions the user lifts the walker and places it in the direction they want go and steps into the walker again. Small steps and functionality are very important to reduce over-stressing the individual as larger steps and faster speed are a result of practice.
The standard mobility walker allows the user to replace some of their weight bearing with the walker, reducing energy and strength requirements. The user does not put their full weight on the walker as it was not intended for this purpose, but rather as an assistive device to help support weight. Continued use of the walker will build strength and endurance as success is achieved. Using a standard mobility walker is not a fast process, nor is it supposed to be as the user should be concentrating more about balance and stability while walking rather than being about speed. In order to use this type of walker, or any walker for that matter, the user must have some control of their balance, enough strength in their legs to support their some of their own weight bearing and some strength in their arms and hands to hold themselves. When concentration is focused on safety and correct movement the fundamentals are developed and the speed will come naturally.
Almost all standard walkers fold by simply pushing a small button to collapse the walker. For storage or transport most newer units require folding each side in flat to fold the unit making these walkers extremely portable. Some walkers even fold and collapse for transport in a large suitcase or travel bag. For the value received these walkers are not very expensive and are readily available even at local drug stores.
Best Wheeled Walkers for Seniors
Wheeled walkers are very similar to standard walkers except they have one pair of wheels attached in front. The wheels require a little more balance and stability than the standard walkers but are a natural progression upward as users gain strength. The wheels allow the user to glide along the floor surface with more ease, avoiding bumps and cracks. You may have noticed some people using wheel walkers who have added tennis balls to the back legs to allow the back of the walker to more easily glide over carpets or cracks or gaps such as in tile, concrete blocks, changes in flooring types and door jams as well as the front wheels. Ask someone to assist you if you do add balls to the walkers as attaching the balls takes some effort – or you opt for a walker with rear glide clips.
This being said, wheels and other assistive devices are not intended for the assistive device to be abused. Users must remain aware of flooring types, obstructions such as extension cords, trash or fallen objects and cracks or small holes in the flooring as one small change can cause a fall when unaware. Wheels will increase your mobility and speed and should be treated with respect as they do also increase the effort your body will utilize to use them effectively and safely.
Bariatric Walkers For Elderly
Bariatric walkers are a heavier version of the standard and wheeled walkers. These walkers are heavier, reinforced, are capable of supporting more weight and are generally wider that their lighter counterparts. These walkers are designed to provide for those who need sturdier designs in their mobility devices.
Healthline has a bariatric walker that comes highly recommended. The mobility device is reinforced aluminum capable of supporting up to 450 lbs and as most other aluminum walkers, it folds easily with a click of two buttons. The device has a wider width between the handles for wider individuals and has double wheels in the front for increased stability and weight capacity.
One Handed Walkers for Seniors
One-handed walkers are intended for individuals with little or no use of one arm and provides support lighter than a walker and much more supportive than a cane. It is also ideal for those who do necessarily require a walker but need a wider base for support.
Walkers for Seniors With Trays
Many additions such as bags and baskets are added to walkers to allow users to carry items. For those confined indoors they have developed food trays that can fit over the handles of the walkers to turn walkers into eating trays. The food is brought to the mobility device user and fits securely right on the walker saving time, clean-up and space. The walker user may actually move the walker with the tray attached if desired provided drinks are covered and there is reduced risk of spillage.
Mobility Stand Up Walker Aid
The stand up walker aid enables users to stand upright and look ahead with better support and greater confidence to walk farther and remain active. Stand up walkers for seniors were created to help individuals move with greater ease with less pressure on joints caused by some walkers. The walker is more comfortable compared to other walkers because it reduces stress and pain on joints in the wrists, back and legs. Use of this device requires that the user have reasonable health and strength to control the unit and that the user does not require the unit for support to stand.
Ideally the user will be between 4’7” and 5’10” and weigh less than 300 lbs. Note that It does not work well for individuals who are in small tight living spaces like apartments or homes with tight corners and spaces. Large homes and open spaces are more conducive to this mobility unit.
Lightweight Walkers for Elderly
Most of the standard and wheeled versions of walkers are made of aluminum alloy and are very light and easy to carry and transport. The fact that they now fold so easily with a touch of a couple buttons make these units very transportable. They fit very easily in trunks, backseats and adjacent seats and the sturdy design makes them a must have if you even occasionally require mobility assistance.
Walkers for seniors with 4 wheels
A rollator is a walker with four wheels instead of two. Varieties vary, but the best rollator will have stationery rear wheels with rotating front wheels for ease of steering and changing direction. These units more often than not come with a seat, a storage bag or basket beneath the seat and brakes. Many people like the feel of the extra mobility introduced by the wheels, which make the brakes a necessity for controlling movement. When tired from walking or waiting in line the seats are a wonderfully useful part of the device.
When purchasing a unit for your personal use be sure to pay attention to weight capacity, consumer ratings and adjustability. The biggest problem with rollators is the constant leaning forward when using the unit so it is important to adjust the handle and brake height to best suit you as overuse or improper alignment may lead to sore backs and joints from use. It is important to adjust the unit for your health and safety because when used properly these mobility devices can indeed make you more mobile.
3-Wheel Triangle Walkers for Elderly
3-Wheel Triangle Rollators/Walkers are similar to 4 wheel rollators but give up some stability provided by 4 wheels and are not available with a seat. They do provide storage space, have a brake system and are great for taking walks and shopping treks. An advantage of the triangle 3-wheeled walker is that it is lighter than and folds up smaller than the 4 wheel rollator. It is good for maneuvering in tight spaces and a good walking aid.
Knee Walkers were developed for individuals suffering from foot or leg injuries including broken or sprained ankles, diabetic foot ulcers, foot operations, below the knee amputations and other foot injuries. They are very effective at allowing users mobility while eliminating and pressure on the effected body part.
The user places the ‘bad’ or injured limb on the bench of the knee walker and uses the good leg to propel the knee walker forward. The units are very easy to maneuver, may be used on carpet, tiles, sidewalks and other surfaces. The heavy duty all-terrain units with larger tires may even traverse rocks, sand at the beach or muddy, dirty pathways.
When searching for a unit consider where you will use it, for how long you need it and your actual specific needs. The all-terrain version is awesome if you have need for traversing all terrain but they are much more limited than regular units for maneuverability in tight places. For example, they do not fit well in a home bathroom. 3 wheeled versions do not provide the same support and ease of use as 4 wheel units and may give up some stability.
These mobility devices almost definitely need a basket or storage carrying bag and you should opt for a double brake system. Most units are adjustable for height to ensure you are safe, comfortable and the walker fits to you.
How To Choose A Walker for Senior
First and foremost work with healthcare professionals. They have helped many people gain freedom and are a valuable resource for you. Ask questions and describe your goals so they know best how to help you. These people know the devices and can help find walkers for elderly or disabled individuals. They realize seniors walkers can include various special needs and each individual is unique and utilizing all the resources at your disposal is important. Healthcare professionals are an awesome resource to utilize.
The tendency for many is to say I need an old persons walker or a senior citizen walker or a walker for old age. What exactly is that? For some with limited strength that may be a standard aluminum walker to begin the process which may change as you move more and build strength progressing to a wheeled walker. As you continue to strengthen and progress you may move up to a rollator or stand-up walker/rollator. The key here is you – ask yourself what are your current needs and what are your goals and write them down. These devices are abundant and it is your responsibility to take advantage of them. Again, don’t be timid to ask for assistance from those who know.