Many seniors need the help of a walker to get around their homes or to complete errands and other tasks, but improper use can cause injuries. Clearly, understanding how to use a walker safely should be a priority for any senior who will need to tackle stairs.
To get around while recovering from surgery While healing from an injury For support, due to age-related frailty and weakness Being over age 65 and having fallen one or more times Even some over-the-counter medicines can affect balance and how steady you are on your feet.
Vision problems Foot pain or poor footwear Home hazards or dangers such as broken or uneven steps, and throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over Walkers, canes, and other assistive devices can help to reduce your fall risk.
Remember, the goal is to let your walker help you gain balance, increase mobility, and get around safely. If you have concerns over which leg to lead with, consult your doctor or physical therapist, and they will be able to give you guided specifics.
Walkers with wheels are typically meant more for walking long distances, rather than for overall stability. You will follow the same steps you did to get up the stairs with a normal walker, but with some added precautions to be sure the wheels do not cause a slip or fall.
You want the handrail to be your main support, while the walker is there as a backup to help keep you steady on both sides. As always, take your time and ensure the legs are fully connected on the ground safely before making any advancements.
In those cases, you should opt to switch it out for a cane to offer more stability on the stairs. If you have any concerns, they will be able to walk you through the steps and can tailor their advice to your unique health needs.
When you encounter a ramp, it is typically met with a sigh of relief because you won’t have to tackle multiple flights of stairs. But going down a ramp can be a bit tricky because of the inertia our bodies encounter when walking down any type of incline.
If you begin to feel like you are going too fast or the incline is too difficult, stop any forward movement. They are great for seniors or anyone recovering from major surgery or injury who need to rely on something to put their weight on.
But they can be helpful mobility aids for those who don’t need quite as much assistance or support on stairs. If you have concerns over the act of climbing, and you know you will need to rely heavily on the mobility aid, then a walker will be best for stairs.
They are amazing resources for seniors who need extra stability or help walking longer distances. They are equally useful if you’ve had an injury or surgery and need some additional help.
Practice these techniques with people around, so you can master them and consult your doctor or physical therapist for further guidance based on specific ailments or needs. As a certified Senior Home Safety Specialist through Age Safe America, a caregiver for her own elderly parents, and a dental care provider for an adult/geriatric practice, she has in-depth knowledge of the rewards and challenges that come with caring for seniors.
To use your walker, you need to learn new ways to get around in your home and other places you need to go. “ Up with the good and down with the bad” is an easy way to remember which leg to use first.
Remove things that may cause you to fall, such as throw rugs or electrical cords. Keep your hands free by using a backpack, fanny pack, apron, or pockets to carry things.
Support your weight evenly between the handrail and the walker. Support your weight evenly between the handrail and the walker.
Make a follow- up appointment as directed by your healthcare provider. The walker is placed sideways on the stairs, opposite a handrail if present.
Therefore, as therapist we have witnessed the life-altering changes the right piece of equipment can mean for an individual’s independence. All of our videos highlight a featured product that will bring viewers a sense of independence.
Besides raising public awareness, our videos train the viewer on the correct techniques for using the product safely. Additionally, each video includes a written form of all verbal instructions the viewer may need to use the product safely.
First, we listed all product videos by room such as kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. Also, we listed equipment by functionality such as mobility, dressing, and daily living.
To begin, look at the top of the page for “Corner’s Featured Products”. As a result, clicking on the picture will redirect you to that an affiliate page.
We recommend that you consult with your physician and local physical or occupational therapist to be evaluated for your adaptive equipment needs. Of course, for the most part, therapists and physicians will tell you to steer clear of steps and use an elevator if one is available.
We will be going over the steps about ascending and descending stairs, but before we do that, let’s look at some basic guidelines to understand when you should be using a walker. Before you start the big maneuvers like making your way upstairs, I have a few key basic guidelines.
There are many more basic rules and tips that you can use to ensure the best results and safety precautions, but these are the most fundamental. Start with these, and then you can move on to the hard stuff, like conquering the stairs.
Then, carefully managing your weight and balance, you can bring your injured leg up to the same step. Remember to take your time and stay focused to ensure that you don’t step wrong or lose your balance.
Once you are upstairs, it stands to reason that eventually you will want to head back down them. This process requires even more balance and focus, as you will be facing the downward slope.
Now, you will want to carefully set the back legs of the walker on the stair that is adjacent to you. With that being said, even knowing the basics can help you reduce your risk of further injury.
Being laid up and stuck in one room or level of your home can be detrimental to your mental and emotional well-being. Having some mobility and the ability to take care of yourself just a bit can also help improve your rate of healing.
As we said, make sure that you are not attempting this process without someone nearby or without having the means to call for help. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes.
If there is no ramp, try to find a rail or someone to help support you and take your time on the steps. DISCLAIMER: The content (the videos, descriptions, links, and comments) on this website is not medical advice or a personalized treatment plan and is intended for general education and demonstration purposes only.
These moves may not be appropriate for your specific situation, so get approval and guidance from your own healthcare provider before beginning. If anything is painful or doesn’t feel right, stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
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