Walker Basics: A 7-Point Guide To Choosing And Using One

walker buyer's guideIf you have trouble with your balance, or you fall easily, you may benefit from the temporary or permanent use of a quality walker. This mobility tool can make it safer and easier to get around as you go about your daily activities. Here are some walker basics:

  • Types: A standard walker without wheels offers the greatest stability, because you must pick it up to move. A two-wheel walker typically has two front wheels, allowing you to move easily, and two rubber stoppers at the back for stability.
  • Sizing and fitting: To be sure your walker is the right height, step inside. Your elbow should be bent at a 15-degree angle when you have both hands on the grips. The top of the walker should line up with the crease inside your wrist when your arms are relaxed at your sides.
  • Grips: Foam grips or soft-textured grip covers help to keep your hands from slipping if they sweat. Choose a larger grip handle if you have trouble grasping or have nerve problems or arthritis in your hands.
  • Walking: Put your weight on the walker, if necessary, to begin. Then push the unit forward, with your back upright. Step into the walker by placing one leg inside. Don’t step too close to the front bar. Keep the unit still. Next, move your other foot and leg inside. Now repeat the process by moving the unit forward and stepping in, one leg at a time.
  • Posture tips: Stay upright to prevent back injury, and don’t set handles too high or push the walker far ahead of your body. Step into the walker, rather than walking behind it. Don’t hurry or take big steps when you’re turning. Never go up or down any stairs with a walker.

For help selecting and maintaining a walker, talk to the experts at Power, Mobility & Lifts. We’re here to offer professional advice, and we’re happy to answer any of your questions. Visit our website for walker basics, or just call us.

Walker image via Shutterstock.

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