Whether you’re recovering from surgery or just suffering from the effects of aging, a rolling walker can help you keep your balance and take some of the strain off your legs.
Getting around the house is easier and safer with a rolling walker, especially if you suffer from bouts of dizziness or lightheadedness, which can make you lose your balance. The support provided by a rolling walker can reduce the risk of falls when used properly.
If you use your rolling walker only for balance, simply guide the walker forward as you step inside the walker. Use your normal gait.
You should be close to the walker with your hands slightly ahead of your body, pushing the walker along. Don’t lean over the walker.
If you use your rolling walker to support your weight, it’s best to keep the walker still as you step forward.
With your back upright, start by pushing the walker forward.
Step forward with one leg until your foot is inside the middle of the “box” created by the four walker legs. Hold the walker still as you take the first step forward.
Then step forward with your other foot.
Move the walker slightly ahead of you and continue the process to keep walking forward.
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Seniors commonly fall while doing everyday activities like walking to the bathroom or stepping up on a landing. Throw rugs, raised thresholds, and objects on the floor are just a few of the tripping hazards that seniors face. Thanks to mobility devices like rollators and canes, however, seniors can take back their independence and reduce the chances of a fall.
Canes and rollators provide walking support at home, at the mall, around the neighborhood, and almost anywhere your loved one needs to go. Single-point walking canes are best for users who need a slight balance check every once in awhile. For users who need more support, a quad cane is the next step up. With four points of contact with the ground, quad canes are more stable. A small base quad cane is small enough to use on stairs. A large base quad cane is too large for the average flight of stairs but provides more support for users who need it, especially for heavier users.
If a quad cane no longer provides enough support, consider a wrap-around frame. Walkers and rollators wrap around the body to provide support in front and on both sides. To move a walker, the user either slides the walker forward, lifts it and moves it forward, or lifts the back of the walker and rolls it forward on the two front wheels. Rollators are easier to move, but the user must be able to operate the hand brakes for control.
Deciding which type of mobility aid is right for your loved one is a choice that your doctor, health care provider, or physical therapist can help you make. Each individual’s needs and level of mobility is different, so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations on mobility equipment from your medical support team.
Folding walkers are fairly simple to set up and adjust. In just a few steps, the walker is ready to use. Make sure all four legs are adjusted to the correct height for the user.
To fold up the walker, press down on the release/lock button located on one side of the center brace and fold the side frame panel inward. Repeat for the opposite side frame
Stand behind the walker with arms hanging loosely at your sides and the walker in front of you. When the walker is adjusted to the correct height, your elbows should be slightly bent at a 20-30 degree angle when you grip the walker handles.
To adjust the walker legs, push in the adjustment button and slide the tube up or down until the button pops through the correct adjustment hole. Repeat for the remaining legs. Count the holes on each leg to make sure the legs are adjusted to the same height.
Does your loved one struggle to pick up a two-wheeled walker and move it forward? Installing walker ski glides can make it easier to move the walker because they reduce friction and eliminate the need to lift the walker. Unlike traditional rubber tips that drag on carpet and linoleum, walker glides literally glide along the floor. Ski glides can be used on almost any surface, including carpets and rugs, wood floors, tiling, and even sidewalks and other outdoor surfaces.
Walker ski glides are quick and easy to install. Roll Mobility offers two designs: one with a universal fit and one with a tool-adjustable fit. Both types are designed to fit walkers with a 1″ tube frame. Simply remove the rubber tips, insert the new ski glides, and tighten (if applicable). The durable composite construction ensures long life.
See the specifications below for more information on these products.
If assistance is needed, the caregiver should stand behind the individual using the walker and on the same side as the injured or weak leg.
To walk with a walker using a three point gait, follow these steps:
Transferring from a wheelchair to a walker or vice versa should be done carefully in order to prevent falls and ensure the safety of the individual involved in the transfer. These instructions are meant for active transfers, where the individual needs little to no assistance.
Since each individual is unique, varying levels of assistance or adaptation may be required, depending on physical limitations. The individual and caregiver should be aware of the individual’s limitations and be willing to adapt the method of transfer as needed. Consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional for individualized advice on transfer methods.
(Note: NEVER grab hold of the walker to help you stand up from the wheelchair. The walker can easily tip over backwards. Only transfer your hands to the walker after you are in a standing position and well balanced.)
Please consult a health care professional or physical therapist for any questions or concerns about the suitability of any mobility aid prior to use.
Lifting a walker takes extra effort that some elderly patients just don’t have. By making the walker easier to move forward, they can move around more easily. Standard folding walkers come with either two wheels or no wheels. Either type of walker can be modified to make it easier to handle.
Most walkers come standard with rubber feet that provide extra traction. The extra resistance provided by these rubber feet can make it difficult to slide or roll the walker forward, forcing the user to lift the walker instead.
Tennis balls are a popular replacement, but they wear out quickly. For a longer lasting alternative with less resistance, try replacing the rubber feet with ski glides. They slide smoothly over carpet and other surfaces.
Note: To remove the ski glides, loosen the screw in the bottom of each glide by turning it counterclockwise with the hex key. Then slide the ski glides out of the walker legs.
Roll Mobility ski glides include a locking hex key to tighten them in place. These types of glides last longer than the kind that simply slide into the walker tube without tightening. This cheaper version can loosen and work its way back out over time.
After replacing the tips, test the walker out before allowing the elderly patient to use it. The ski glides should be held firmly in place and should be turned with the ski lip facing straight ahead. Instruct the user how to use the walker with the new replacement tips before allowing the patient to use the walker unassisted.
Before adjusting the folding walker for your height requirement, make sure that both the walker and user are on level ground. Also, it will be helpful to wear the shoes you will most often wear while using the walker to assure the most comfortable setting.
When your arms are extended downward, the top of the handle should be at wrist height. When your hands are placed on the hand grip, your elbows should be bent at a 20-30 degree angle. Raise or lower the walker legs as needed to conform to these specifications.
What can a rollator or walker do for you or your loved one? These mobility aids give you back your independence, reduce the risk of losing your balance or falling, and increase your confidence in walking, standing, and performing daily tasks that require mobility.
Walkers come in several different styles, including the wheeled rollator and the folding walker.Folding walkers are the most economical choice. They include a simple aluminum frame with four legs. The walker may include wheels on the back legs, glide caps, or no wheels. The biggest advantages of the folding walker are its budget-friendly price and its compact size. It easily folds down for storage and transport, and its light weight means that it’s easy to lift and move. Rollators are a step up from folding walkers. Some rollators have three wheels, while others have four. Four wheeled rollators offer greater stability, but three wheeled rollators are easier to maneuver.
With rollators, there is no lifting involved, and the user is able to move at a faster pace or slow down by squeezing the hand brakes. The loop lock brakes on the handles allow the user to lock the wheels in place and rest on the built-in seat (available on most four wheeled rollators). This feature is a huge advantage for individuals who need to rest often. They can easily take a break at any time without needing to find a chair.
Another advantage of rollators is that the wheels swivel, making them easier to turn. The oversized wheels available on some rollators make it easier to walk and roll on any surface, either indoors or outdoors.
If you are deciding between a folding walker and a wheeled rollator, you may want to consult a physical therapist or healthcare professional for assistance in determining your needs. They can help you find just the right mobility aid for your situation.