Walker for seniors: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about the walker for the elderly, equipment that provides stability, comfort, and safety in the displacement of a person who has mobility difficulties.
If you are thinking of buying one of these, this article will help a lot, as we will talk about the different models, what features should be taken into account when choosing and give some suggestions for purchase.
First, the most important
- There are two types of walker for the elderly: models with or without wheels. The models without wheels can be fixed or foldable, and those with wheels can have two, three or four wheels.
- The walker without wheels helps to improve the mobility of the elderly person, but the way of handling it is not so easy, as the person needs to lift or drag it to be able to walk.
- The main advantage of the walker with wheels is the ease and practicality of handling the equipment, as the person will not need to lift it during the movement.
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Ranking: The 4 best walker models for seniors
With the walker, the elderly person will be able to carry out daily activities safely and remain active in society. But, for that to happen it is necessary to choose the right product, respecting the physical characteristics of each one.
For this list, we have selected the best walker models for the elderly. We chose models with and without casters, articulated, fixed, with seat, among other characteristics. Check out.
As age advances, walking can become a difficult task. However, this movement is very important in daily life, mainly because it provides quality of life and autonomy.
In such cases, using a walker can be an excellent way to achieve mobility, balance and independence.
In which cases is the elderly walker indicated?
The arrival of the elderly can make some movements difficult and the main one is mobility. Some studies claim that because of the difficulty in walking, one third of the elderly population suffers falls once a year.
In addition, the elderly may have difficulty walking for other reasons:
- Balance disorders such as labyrinthitis;
- Reduction of muscle strength and endurance of the lower limbs or generalized;
- Change in motor coordination;
- Lack of ability (temporary or permanent) to support the weight of the body.
To assist the day-to-day life of those with reduced mobility, it is important to follow up with an orthopedist so that he can advise on which type of walker should be used.
Did you know that the walker is just one of the countless pieces of equipment that help with displacement? Walking sticks and crutches are complementary accessories for those who experience loss of mobility. The wheelchair is aimed at those with the total loss of mobility of the lower limbs.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the walker for the elderly?
It is very difficult for the elderly to realize that they are losing their mobility and to be dependent on someone to get around. With the walker they gain freedom again, this is a great advantage, providing the possibility for them to move wherever they wish.
And even better, safely! With the walker for the elderly, the risk of falls is practically canceled. Many elderly people are admitted to hospitals because of a fall that can be avoided with the use of a walker.
Furthermore, speaking of the walkers themselves, they are light, foldable, compact, and easy to store. They still support enough weight.
A disadvantage is its price. Although there are very affordable models, the best and most complete ones can cost over R $ 500. However, due to the security they provide, they are worth every penny.
- Offers freedom of movement
- Light and compact
- Supports more than 100 kg
- Better models can be expensive
Walker with or without casters: Which is better?
There are five types of walkers for the elderly: the folding articulated model, fixed folding, fixed folding with front wheels, the model with four wheels and seat (and basket, in some cases).
Fixed folding walker
This is one of the most used walker models. It has four legs, is fixed and generally lighter, to facilitate the handling of the elderly, who will need to lift it up a little to advance the steps.
Articulated folding walker
The articulated folding walker is one size but has seven levels of height adjustment. It is foldable by a single adjustment pin, facilitating handling. The walker is practical, safe, durable, and quiet.
Fixed folding walker with two wheels
This model is very versatile, as it contains a pair of legs with tips and another pair of wheels, the person can choose how they want to use it: as a fixed walker or with wheels.
Walker with four wheels and seat
The walker with four wheels and a seat allows the elderly to be able to move in a comfortable and safe way, as it has safety brakes on the wheels and a seat with back support that allows him to sit down to rest.
To maintain stability while the elderly person is seated, just lock the rear wheels. The front casters are swivel and there is no need to lock them, but you can use a slew limiter to reduce the range of motion.
Walker with four wheels, seat and basket
This model is ideal for walking in environments with uneven floors such as parks and squares, as the wheels of this walker have the appropriate size for this type of terrain. The structure is very resistant and the brakes are very good. This model also comes with a basket on the seat to carry some objects in a practical and safe way.
Check out a summary of the information in the table below, so you can compare them:
The minimum you will pay for a fixed walker with four legs is R $ 200, the folding and articulating models are more expensive and cost around R $ 250, but they are easier to handle.
If you choose a model with wheels, the ones with only two cost around R $ 350, but the more sophisticated models, with wheels, seat, and basket are more expensive and can go over R $ 500.
Where to buy it?
You can buy a walker for seniors at medical supply stores You can also find options in department stores.
If you prefer, you can buy online, just choose the model of your preference, it will arrive at your door in a few days. On Amazon, for example, you can find several models from various brands.
Purchasing Criteria: Factors to Compare Elderly Walker Models
In order to choose the ideal walker model for the elderly, it is necessary to analyze some characteristics that change from one model to the other and that make all the difference in the way the person will handle it and in everyday life.
- Height adjustment
- Supported weight
- Parts materials
We will detail each of the items so that you don’t have any doubts.
The most used type of walker is the fixed model with four legs. You also find a version with two wheels at the front or the back that can assist elderly people with difficulty to lift or even articulate the equipment.
But it is important to pay attention to these models with wheels, as some elderly people may have difficulty in breaking the walker and this can cause accidents and falls.
The walker can also be fixed or articulated. The fixed model, as the name says, does not move, so it is important that it is light. The articulated model is easier to handle, just raise one side slightly and move it forward.
Before buying, make sure the walker has a system that allows the height adjustment of the equipment. People have different sizes and need equipment that is literally up to par, to avoid bad posture and discomfort.
Generally, orthopedic models have a height adjustment system by pins or threads, some even have seven levels of regulation.
Most walkers are suitable for people between 1.50 to 2 m. If you are smaller or larger than this height standard, it is worth checking the possibility of making a custom walker.
A very important feature to be taken into account when buying a walker is to check if it has a closing system. Always give preference to models that close as they facilitate transport and take up little space.
Also check that the model in question is simple to handle and close. Some are very simple and only use a pin. Look:
Resistance is another important factor when buying. Most walker models support a load of 100 to 130 kg. Generally, models with casters support up to 135 kg.
If the person using the equipment is above that weight, again, it is worth considering the possibility of having a custom made walker, as you must not exceed the weight that the device can support.
When buying a walker for the elderly, opt for models made of quality materials, resistance, and durability. You can find the equipment made in the following materials:
- Anodized aluminum, which does not scratch or lose its shine;
- Steel, which guarantees more safety and resistance.
The tips can be made of rubber and the handrests must be made of plastic or rubber, to ensure comfort, since the elderly concentrate all the weight of the body in their hands when moving the equipment.
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