What is a walker?
A walker is an assistive device for people who are having difficulty walking on their own.
Some typical reasons for choosing a walker include:
- Arthritis, especially of the knees and hips
- Moderately severe balance and gait disorders
- Generalized weakness of hips and legs
Walkers help in supporting up to 50% of a person’s weight when they walk, and provide added reassurance and support if a person cannot trust the strength of their body. A walker can come with or without wheels. The difference is that a standard walker has rubber feet, while a rolling walker (also known as a rollator) can have 2, 3 or 4 wheels. It all depends on the needs and ability of the person as to which option they should choose. A walker needs to be fitted to your height, weight and dimensions, so that you do not put yourself at risk of further damage to your joints.
There are many different walkers to choose from, with an overwhelming range of options to suit the needs of every person. Below is a guide to how to choose a safe walker, based on your needs and general requirements.
What are the essential safety features on a walker?
- Hand grips that are padded or cushioned to minimize stress on the user’s hands, but not slick, which could cause the hands to slip and the user to fall.
- Frame that is lightweight so it can easily be moved, but sturdy and stable enough to hold the weight of the person using it.
- Strong legs to support the weight of the user.
Which walkers have the best safety record, features, and reviews?
According to Consumer Search, the most popular choice of walkers is the range made by Hugo and Nova. They were rated as being the most reliable and comfortable models of walkers, as reviewed by consumers. Drive Medical was also rated highly. There are countless models on the market, each with pros and cons. To choose the best for you, make a list of your needs and then search accordingly.
What makes these walkers so safe?
The range of Hugo and Nova walkers were rated highly for their comfort and reliability, which makes them easy to use and inspires confidence in the people who use them. When choosing a walker, it is important to consider safety in terms of what you need, and to tailor the walker so that it best suits you.
Things to consider include:
- How strong does it need to be?
- How much strength do you have?
- Could you control a walker with wheels?
- Do you need a walker with a built in seat?
- Can you maneuver the frame easily through doorways and across unsteady paths?
- Is it easy to fold down and pack away, if needed?
Are there other features that make a particular walker great to use that is not particularly tied to safety?
Walkers that are also fitted with seats can provide that extra level of comfort for the buyer.
It is also a good idea to check how much maintenance your walker needs. You will need to maintain parts of your walker as they wear out with use, so it will be important to make sure that your walker has replacement parts that are readily available.
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