Finding The Right Walker For Your Needs

by Bethany
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When you require an aid to help you get around while still allowing your independence, a walker can be the ideal piece of equipment. There are a number of different types of walkers to choose from. Each has their own benefits that depend on your personal needs and situation.

Although many of the individuals who require the usage of a walker are seniors over the age of 60, there are plenty of younger people (and even children) who may need them for short or long-term use. This is due to the fact that there are countless of reasons why someone may need one. They can be prescribed following a procedure such as a back surgery. Additionally, they can also be needed for other medical reasons such as a hip fracture or arthritis.

Finding The Perfect Cane For Your Needs

No matter your reason for requiring a walking aid, the convenience of it will help you gain back some freedom and maintain your well-being. Although the following will provide you with additional information such as the various types, it is important that you consult with a medical professional such as a doctor or physical therapist. A walker is still a medical device, and you will have better chances finding a quality one under the proper guidance.

What Is A Walker?

A walker is a type of mobility aid that provides further support to keep you safe as you are on the move. It is a lightweight frame and most are made from aluminum. Generally, it is height-adjustable and it can come with a variety of different accessories depending on their design.

Some just come with four, non-skid rubber tipped legs. You may even see tennis balls with holes cut into them for extra stability. Others have 2-4 wheels on them. Wheeled walkers are more commonly used with people who may not need as much balance support and wish for greater mobility.

When it comes to using this mobility aid, it is important that you handle it correctly. This will ensure that you remain safe and are able to actually feel the benefits of it. Your physician or therapist, if you have one, can help you fit it. Your elbows should be bent at a comfortable angle so that you know it’s not too tall or too short.

As you use your walking aid, keep in mind that your back should be straight. Leaning over can cause harm to your overall health and can increase your risk of falling, especially for seniors. Make sure to not push the device too far in front of you before stepping into it as that also raises fall risks.

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Walkers With A Seat

With an understanding of what walkers are, you should also be aware that some types can be of more use than others considering your circumstances. For instance, if you require a break every now and then, you may want to look for types with a seat. In some cases, you can find a seat on a walking aid that has two wheels or the usual rubber feet. The seats can be moved when you wish to use the device in the traditional design. However, most of the seats are seen with rollators. These are specific walkers that have four wheels and don’t require lifting to move. They come with seats and breaks on the handles so that you can safely stop and compose yourself wherever you’re at.

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Walkers With A Basket

If you want more practicality beyond a seat, then consider searching for some with baskets. Majority of the time, rollators have a basket attached. For those of you who may not be interested in a rollator can rest assured to still have a storage container as they can fit on just about any other walker. Many stores that sell medical supplies can sell baskets meant to be attached to your walking aid. Baskets, thankfully, do not hinder the usage of the walking aid in any way. So, safety should not be a concern. The benefits of having an attached basket are plentiful. You don’t have to worry yourself with carrying important items as you can just toss them in the storage bin and go.

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Used vs. New Walkers

Once you’ve settled on the type of device you need as well as any accessories, you can think about how you’re going to purchase it. In other words: new or used? A used walker has a clear advantage in which the price is generally lower than new ones. On the other hand, they also have a clear disadvantage in terms of the quality of some of the parts. New walking devices have the benefit of never being touched. On used ones, you may have to check on the wheels or the rubber feet to see if there is any damage or wear and tear. The good thing about that though is that you can replace the rubber feet if need be. All in all, buying new or used comes down to a personal preference and what your budget can manage.

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Average Cost of Walkers

Whether you have decided to go with a new one or a used one, you should understand how much walkers cost in general. The price of these devices can depend on a number of factors such as the specific type you’re looking at and the brand. You can find some basic ones selling for around $30 or a little less. When you start to look at those with more accessories such as four wheels, baskets, etc., the costs begin to go up. The prices can jump to $200 or more. Still, that can change if you decide to go with a used one rather than a new one.

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Buying a Walker

Knowing the average amount that walkers sell for, you can go about buying one in a few different ways. Many online stores sell these as well as any accessories for them. You can also go to a number of general retail stores to see if they sell them or a pharmacy. One of the best cases is checking with an actual medical supplies store as they may have a larger variety for you to look at. As for making the actual purchase, you can buy these out of pocket easily enough. However, you can also check to see if your medical insurance will cover the cost. In that case, you don’t need to do much beyond speak with your doctor.

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Folding Walkers

Before you make a purchase, there is another type of walking device you can look at. Folding walkers have a convenience that others do not: they can collapse. They may not be suitable for everyone’s situation, however, so be sure that you check with your doctor before going this route. Folding devices tend to be a bit more lightweight and are given after surgeries or fractures. They are designed this way so that you can store them with ease when not in use. A good thing about these is that you can find the design on traditional ones with rubber feet or those with up to four wheels.