Old age brings with it balance and mobility problems. As an older adult, you may find yourself confined to a chair that can rob you of the joys surrounding walking around.
The situation becomes even worse when you do not have a caregiver around you to help you with your day-to-day activities. Even when you have a caregiver, there may be times when they are not around when you need to walk. At other times you may prefer to maintain some level of independence by walking on your own. At such times a walker can help a lot.
All the types of walkers for seniors serve the same purpose. However, they come in different varieties, and your individual needs will determine the choice of walker best suited for you. This article highlights some of the different types of walkers for seniors.
6 Types of Walkers for Seniors
1. Standard Walkers
Standard walkers are the most basic among the different types of walkers for seniors. It is usually very sturdy and is the most reliable walker of all.
The walker has no wheels, seat, or any other feature common with different types of walkers. Their frame is usually made of aluminum, making it light and easy to lift.
Additionally, most standard walkers have a foldable frame that makes them easy to carry in car trunks. These walkers are ideal for walking indoors.
2. 2-Wheeled Walkers
This walker has two wheels in the front legs and rubber tips fitted in the rear legs. While you will need to lift that standard walker to move, the rolling walker helps you move faster as you do not have to lift in every step.
Since it has wheels fitted on the front legs, it is less stable than the standard walker and is often equipped with a braking system to keep it in place while walking. This walker is ideal for indoor use.
3. 3-Wheeled Walkers
These types of walkers are ideal for senior citizens who have limited strength. They have one front wheel and two rear wheels. Since it has wheels on its three legs, its stability is limited.
However, they come fitted with brakes to improve their stability. Unlike the four wheels walkers, they lack a seat, a knee pad, or even a handle for resting.
4. 4-Wheeled Walkers
These walkers are famous by the name rollators. It has four legs with a wheel fitted on each. Among all the different types of walkers for seniors, they offer the fastest and smoothest mobility.
The downside to the speeds is that they may not be ideal for seniors with limited strength. As a safety measure, they come fitted with brakes and other innovative wheel locking systems.
On the upside, the walkers come with extras like storage bags and a seat that comes in handy when one needs to take a rest.
5. Hemi Walker
Also known as side walkers, a Hemi walker has four wheels but only one handle.
Unlike other walkers that are usually in front of the user, a Hemi walker is used on the side. They are ideal for people who have balance or walking problems on one side, only, for example, stroke victims.
6. Knee Walker
This type of walker resembles a scooter. It offers a substitute for clutches for people who have lower leg injuries on one side. The user bends their knee and rests it on the cushion at a 90-degree angle with hands on the handlebars.
The other leg works with the help of the four wheels to glide along. In most models, the handlebars also act as the steering wheel. This type of walker is usually used temporarily until the injured part of the leg recovers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Walkers
Do I Need A Therapist Help to Buy A Walker?
Buying the right walker for you among the different types of walkers for seniors can be a daunting task, especially if you have not had prior experience with them. Although you do not need a therapist’s help to buy a walker, seeking recommendations from one can be a good idea.
Can I Get Financial Assistance When Purchasing A Walker?
Yes, you can. However, your assistance eligibility will depend on many factors, including your health insurance policy and the type of walker you intend to buy. There are three main categories of funding assistance available for you when acquiring a walker.
Government Programs. When looking to find help from government programs, your search should include all government levels, veteran affairs, and charities that act on behalf of the government to administer the program.
Insurance. The possibility or the amount of financing from your health insurer will be dependent on the policy and the type of walker you intend to purchase.
Charities. Some charities offer to help people with disabilities make their everyday life more comfortable, and wakers are some of the items they help beneficiaries acquire. Most funding agencies will require proof in the form of a letter from a therapist detailing your need for a walker and your safety when using it.
Where Do I Purchase A Walker?
There are several options for you if you are looking to purchase a walker:
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) Stores. DME stores are a one-stop-shop for various types of healthcare types of equipment, including wheelchairs and walkers. If you need financing to purchase a walker, most financial institutions will require that you buy your walker from their preferred list of DME stores.
Pharmacies. You can find walkers and other mobility aids in major pharmacies such as Shoppers Drug Mart or local independent pharmacies.
Online Stores. You can find the various types of walkers for elderly people in online stores, such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart. They are the one place you can find almost everything you ever need at very competitive prices.
Now that you know the different types of walkers for elderly people, you can comfortably choose the one best suited for you.
However, before making the final decision, it would be best if you consulted your therapist or a medical specialist to guide you on the best way forward.