Your health care practitioner will advise you on the best type of walker to get for your use. You may have decided on a standard walker (with or without front wheels) to get around your home and to help you to follow surgery.
Whatever the type and style of walker you have chosen, you will want to make sure it fits you properly and is set up correctly, so you may continue to use it enjoyably. When you first get the walker that your health care practitioner has recommended, you may still want some help adjusting it to suit your specific needs.
It is always a good idea to read and understand the owner’s manual that comes with your walker. If you have trouble understanding the manual, do not hesitate to talk to your medical practitioner or a technical person from the store where you bought your walker.
If you are using a basket accessory, ensure that you attach it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Before purchasing your walker, ensure it will hold your “leaning” weight.
Stand comfortably, with assistance from a friend, if required, with your arms hanging loosely at your sides. Glide skis are used on rear legs so that the walker does not snag on a carpet.
Your walker should support you standing as tall as possible, with minimal strain upon your hands, wrists, shoulders and neck. Walkers are usually adjusted so that the handles are at the height of your wrist when standing with your arms relaxed at your side.
Seat height adjustability: Depending on your needs a seat may be adjusted lower so that your feet are flat on the floor providing balance and stability. Or a seat may be adjusted higher so that it may be used for perching and makes it easier to stand up.
You will need a walker that is wider than average if you walk with your feet far apart. Please ensure that you are within the weight limits recommended for the walker you purchase.
If you’re not too sure of yourself when you’re walking, just having something to hold onto while you’re on your feet is probably uppermost in your mind. And when the idea of the walker being too short or too tall is brought up, most people are surprised.
And the “attitude” (I picked that up from a guy at a bicycle shop), which is the angle of the walker handles. This is bad for the posture, and it actually makes walking a little more difficult.
Reason number two is that if the walker is too high, you won’t be able to straighten your elbows when you’re walking. Adjusting a walker to the proper height is easier than you think.
All you have to do is have the person using the walker stand next to it (or inside it) with their hands at their sides. Then adjust the height of the walker to where their arms have only a slight bend at the elbows.
Everybody is a little different and there may be some extenuating circumstances like very poor posture or your walker may be too tall or too short for your height. If there are other concerns or questions about how to adjust walkers or anything else, feel free to contact me.
Posted by Bryan Williams April 1, 2014April 7, 2014 Posted in Walker Tags: how to adjust a walker, what's the right height for a walker Just a physical therapist working tirelessly to push back the frontiers of darkness and confusion that surround the principles of proper body mechanics. And, empowering many, if not all, to assume the benefits of freedom of movement, leaving behind (as far as possible) the fear of falling or limitations of unnecessary pains.
Standard walkers are popular because they provide the most support of any mobility device. They must be lifted to move, and so require the user to have some upper body strength.
Standard walkers can be difficult for long trips because it is quite tiring to lift it for every step. Rolling walkers can allow the user a faster pace because they do not need to be lifted with each step.
Rolling walkers are a good option for someone who wants the extra support but plans on walking outside or moving more freely. They always have brakes to help users stabilize them and are great for outdoor use.
They allow the user to move as quickly as is safe because they are not slowed by having to lift. Most come equipped with some kind of basket or bag to hold personal items.
Most of them are designed to carry items for you while you deal with only the walker or collator. They carry personal belongings while the user's hands are tied up by the walker.
When comparing walkers and collators, it is important to keep in mind that in most cases, either option will work. Most people are provided a walker by their insurance company or Medicare/Medicaid, but that does not make it their best option.
Some active people may skip using their walker indoors or for short trips because it slows them down. Collators are often a better option for active users who value their mobility and independence.
Three wheel collators are great for those who need to navigate tight spaces. They have a tighter turning radius and can be folded to fit through narrow doorways.
Most three wheel collators come with some sort of pouch, making it easy to carry your things. Four wheel collators are perfect for long trips and outdoor excursions.
They are wider than a three wheel collator or walker and provide a convenient seat. They often have larger wheels, which makes them easier to push over uneven surfaces like sidewalks.
This can be used as both a traditional collator, providing support to the person pushing it, or as a transport chair, offering the user a chance to sit back and relax as a caregiver pushes. If you do not choose a collator/transport chair, it is important to be aware that the seat of a traditional collator is ONLY for resting, not for being transported.
Are walkers with wheels at the bottom of each leg Weigh slightly more than walkers Are easy to push Are the ideal solution for outdoor use May offers a seat for resting Commonly, active adults in need of a long term walking aid prefer collators while those in recovery who need more support prefer a medical walker.
It will get caught on uneven surfaces such as thresholds or high pile carpet if not lifted. Walkers with front wheels are better equipped to accommodate uneven surfaces.
Four wheeled walkers should include brakes to make it easier to slow and stop. To start, make sure your walker is adjusted to the correct height.
When you are standing up straight, your walker hand grip should line up with the crease in your wrist. When you grasp the handles, you should have a slight (about 15 degree) bend in your elbow.
Continue pushing the walker forward and walking up to meet it. When preparing to buy a walker, you need to make sure it can accommodate your height, especially if you are very tall or short.
Also, remember that you will have to be able to place it in the trunk of your car or behind your seat to stay mobile. Different shoes and surfaces can change the height you need your walker to be, so you want to have room to adjust as possible.
Often people wonder, as they or their loved one ages, whether it is time to acquire a walker. While a walker is not the first step, here are some clues that you or your loved one may need some mobility assistance.
As people age, core strength and balance deteriorate. The right mobility aid is there to help, and the right item can save lives.
This is a good first step, but canes only offer minimal support. A walker can help the rising process and is a better support for preventing falls.
If one needs more support but doesn't want to be slowed down by a walker, a collator may be the perfect solution. With four wheels on the ground, they roll easily and can move as quickly as needed.
Collators fold up for easy transport and most come with a basket or bag to carry belongings. Walker trays can accommodate both, and cup holders can ensure that you will get the fluids you need throughout the day.
Having your walker properly accessorized makes life much easier. They are not meant to hold up to rough surfaces like cement, but they are great for hardwood or linoleum, and they will not leave scratches.
Sometimes, you need to squeeze through small spaces like pantries or bathroom doors. For times when a walker is impractical, having a cane handy will allow you to move without fear of falling.