As we get older it’s a little harder to get around because of limited mobility and balance issues. But this shouldn’t keep you stuck in a house or apartment. A walker can, to a degree, give a senior their independence back, as well as a new lease on life.
Standard walkers, folding walkers, and rollators have come along and are made for seniors, people recovering from surgery as well as people with a broad range of disabilities. The difference between a walker and a rollator is the rollator is recommended for patients with physical disabilities because it allows more freedom of movement and builds their confidence over time. The stability of a rollator reduces the chances of patients falling over and hurting themselves.
A walker, on the other hand, is a slower way of getting around and is better for seniors with limited body strength. Patients pick up the walker, place it a short distance in front of them and then step forward. A walker provides more support and the patient has more control, whereas rollators have a three or four-wheel design and are fitted with brakes.
What You Need To Know
If you’re looking at getting a walker or rollator for a family member, patient, or for yourself, there are various factors that need to be taken into consideration, including:
- The patient’s weight and height
- The stability of the patient
- The patient’s mobility or his mobility needs
- The patient’s personal preference (within reason, of course)
As far as walkers go, there are different types and the one you choose will depend largely on the needs of the person using it. There are different shaped frames, some have adjustable features to suit the person using it and there are different wheel sizes for different levels of stability. Overall, the walker you decide on should safe, durable and make maneuverability as easy as possible.
Here are a few tips to make your purchase a walk in the park.
The weight of the walker is an important factor. It needs to be light and easy to handle, especially if it’s for a senior. Walkers with wheels are usually light but the best one is going to depend on the strength of the person using it. What’s light for an able-bodied 45-year old isn’t going to necessarily be light for an elderly lady of 75.
We’re referring to the height of the walker, not the person that’s going to be using it. Whichever one you choose—a walker with wheels, an ultralight walker or one with wheels and a place to sit—the best ones all have something in common: an adjustable height. This simple feature allows you to keep the correct posture while handling the walker, without causing any long-term back, neck and hip issues.
The ideal walker shouldn’t only be stable and easy to move, it also needs to be comfortable and improve the user’s quality of life. Whatever that might depend on the individual, but make sure you keep this top of mind when shopping.
The best walker will allow you to move around easily, inside as well as outdoors. Staying active and spending time in nature is essential to stay healthy, which is why it’s a good idea to consider a walker with all-terrain wheels that are durable.
There are some walkers that are easier to collapse than others. If the user is on their own a lot of the time or spends a fair amount of time traveling, then a walker that folds easily and is able to fit in the trunk is the ideal one. Also, a lightweight walker is easy to collapse and store when not in use.
You now know what’s important when choosing a walking for a senior, so let’s take a look at our top three choices for 2017.
The Top 3 Walkers
Lumex 716270P-1 Everyday Walker
The Lumex 716270P-1 Everyday Walker is built for everyday use and has a sturdy 1-inch aluminum tubing with 5-inch front wheels. For convenience, the walker has a dual release folding mechanism that lets the user fold its sides independently. What we especially like about the Lumex716270P-1 is its glide tips. Instead of the rubber ones, these allow for easier movement on all surface types.
The walkers are available in a range of colors.
Lumex Bariatric Deluxe Four-Wheel Rollator
The Lumex Bariatric Deluxe Four-Wheel Rollator is a solid, well-made walker with a steel frame and is able to support heavier weights up to 500 pounds. It has a padded seat with a vinyl covering for extra comfort and is available in a vibrant blue color.
The wheels are 8-inches and heavy duty for rougher terrain and they’re made from soft grip rubber. We like that the handles are adjustable from 31 up to 38 inches and is suitable for people up to 6 foot or more. The Lumex Bariatric Deluxe comes with a meal tray for added convenience.
It weighs 22 pounds and folds up for easy storage and transport.
Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout Junior Rollator
So far we’ve looked at an everyday walker and one that’s suited for larger, heavier set people. The Lumex RJ4301R Walkabout is lightweight and perfect for smaller, petite users. It has a comfortable setting with ergonomic hand grips, a backrest, and a padded seat. Even though it can fit through narrow doors and is easy to maneuver, it’s well-built and can support weights from 201 to 300 pounds. It offers a user with a comfortable setting on a padded seat and backrest that supports 201–300 lbs.
The Lumex Junior is best suited to people who are around 5’3” tall. The walker is easy to assemble and is portable for travel with an RV. This is a great choice; however, you need to remove the basket for it to fold and even though it’s collapsible for easy transport and storage, it’s too big for smaller cars.
As we get older, mobility may become more of an issue but walking aids ensure you keep moving. The best walkers for seniors need to be comfortable, durable and allow for easy maneuverability but the good news is there is such a wide range to choose from and they’re even in available in vibrant colors.
Hopefully, our basic buying guide and reviews will help you find the right walker and give you your mobility and independence back.