Choosing the Medical Walker That's Right for You

Whether because of an accident, injury illness or simply as part of the aging process, many people will find themselves needing a medical walker at some point in their lives. However, not every medical walker is right for every person. Here is what to look for to make sure you get the walker that's right for you:

 

  •  Wheels or no wheels

Medical walkers come in several basic configurations: those where all four legs have wheels, those where only two legs do, and those with no wheels at all. In general, wheels offer the option to move more quickly while legs offer more stability. Anyone who may be at risk of losing their balance and falling should consider a medical walker that has four solid legs with no wheels; however, this does mean you need to pick up the walker slightly on each step to move it forward. Walkers with two wheels and two solid legs offer compromise, where you can just lift the walker partway and advance it on its wheels.

  • Grip options

Most medical walker grips are broadly similar but there are differences. The material can make a big difference in comfort – for example, standard plastic grips may become uncomfortable or even slippery in hot weather or anytime your hands are sweating while cloth grips can overcome this. Grip size can make a big difference as well. Wider diameter grips require less grasping strength, which can make the walker more comfortable for anybody and is a necessity for those who have arthritis of the hands.

  •  Fit

Many medical walkers are adjustable, but you will need to make sure it is fit to you properly. If you stand beside your walker with your hands at your side, the top bar and grip of the walker should reach the height of your wrists. 

  • Good condition

If you are purchasing a secondhand walker, check that all rubber tips are intact and in good condition, that the wheels all move freely and that the brakes work properly and easily. If any of these things are off, the walker may be unsafe.

  •  Accessories

While not necessary, having a side pouch on your walker or even a flat tray can make it much more convenient to use. Since a walker requires both hands to operate, a pouch or tray allows you to carry things with you. Be careful to only carry lightweight objects, so as not to off balance your medical walker. 

 

Call us with any questions you have about medical walkers: 405-285-9888.