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How to Choose a Walker

Many people find themselves borrowing a walker rather than investing in one that is fitted to your height, weight and needs.  Perhaps you had a knee replacement in your 60’s and borrowed one from the local fire department and stored it away in your basement for future use.

Have you ever noticed someone who looks awkward using their walker?  Do they appear to be bending over and craning their neck to look up to see where they are going?  Does it appear to be too far in front of them, or too close to them?  Or, do they appear to be dangerously out of control because the walker is “too much” for them?   Whatever the scenario, keeping it simple and seeking out a professional for adjustments is the best way to ensure that the device is right for you.

 

Be Aware of These Common Problems
  • A poorly adjusted walkers will lead to pain in the neck, back, wrists, hands, and shoulders. Poor adjustments can result in a loss of balance.
  • A walker that is adjusted too low increases tension on the lower-back muscles and increases pressure on the wrists and hands.
  • A walker that is adjusted too high increases tension in neck and shoulder muscles, and reduces supporting strength on the walker.

 

Helpful Solutions

There’s no need to invest a “lamborghini” when it comes to your new set of wheels!  Here are two options that will keep you moving forward.  Of course, it is always a personal choice, but when it comes to safely and simplicity, these two styles can’t be beat.

 

WALKER WITH TWO WHEELS
  • Back legs are stable.
  • Front wheels slide easily along the floor.
  • Movement is closer to normal walking.
  • This walker is often recommended.

For those with respiratory problems who may have to rest frequently, another safe and popular alternative would still have stable back legs with two front wheels.  This style enables you to flip the seat down when you need to take a break and flip it back up when you are ready to roll.

Should you find that the back legs  don’t glide across surfaces, you can always add gliders.  The ones pictured below can be ordered through Target, but the store where you purchase you walker will have them too.

Have Fun with Your New Walker

If you are not computer savvy, have a relative or friend order some accessories for your walker.  For example, a lined basket enables you to carry your phone, newspaper, mail and many other items. Check this out at amazon.com

Or perhaps you want something a little more “hip”! Check this out at etsy.com

The options are endless, so be sure to visit the links below for more ideas!

www.chus.qc.ca

www.justwalkers.com

 

Read more articles by Virginia Tortorici, click here.

 

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