If any of your elder parents seems to be a little unsteady, he or she may be undergoing some issues with body balance and in such a situation some type of assistive walking devices like a walking stick or cane could prove to be beneficial. In the meantime, if you feel that the risk of them falling is on a higher side and they have become very unstable, it is high time you get them a walker. The use of an assistive device not only helps them in maintaining a steadiness in their gait but is also good for their overall health. In America, around one-quarter of the seniors use mobility aids. This figure is known to have risen by around 50% in the past 8 years or so. About 10% of these seniors use more than one assisting device for their wellbeing.
Why use a walker
Lightweight walkers for the elderly are generally recommended to maintain the following factors like:
- Balance – With age people face the difficulty to stand upright and maintain their body balance. They usually try to walk with their feet apart to get that balance and avoid the risk of falling. A walker is known to provide them this wide base support for walking.
- Weight-bearing – Some people are not capable enough in bearing their entire body weight sometimes due to due to pain or weakness in their legs. In such a situation, a walker allows them to rest their arms and push down the weight on the frame.
- Endurance – A walker acts as an energy saver if the elderly person is suffering from any kind of breathing issues, heart disease or get tired easily.
- Builds muscle strength – If the person had recently been hospitalized, suffered from a stroke or some other kinds of illness you might notice that they are lacking in their activity, agility or muscle strength. A walker acts as a great support in re-building the muscles and regaining the required mobility.
Factors to be considered
When you decide to choose lightweight walkers for the elderly people, it is very important that you take into consideration the user’s cognitive ability and hand strength. The other factors that should be taken into account are:
- Consult a physical therapist – This is important if the person has suffered an injury. A physical therapist can guide you in adjusting the walker’s size and teach you how to use it safely.
- Always check the width of the bathroom doorways of the user’s residence, as all walkers do not fit through bathroom doors.
- Check it the walker comes with a proper warranty on the part. As with regular use, some parts like the wheels need replacement from time to time. Using a damaged walker can put you at the risk of severe injury.
- Gain a basic knowledge about the wheels and glides – Around 3 to 5 inches diameter of wheels is recommended for indoor use while around 6 to 8 inches for outdoor use. Hard tires tend to slip, so you should look for soft tired walkers even if their durability is less.