There is a right way and a wrong way to use a walker. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people using one the wrong way. This leads to injuries of the arms and shoulders and even falls. Mobility aids are important to the function of a senior, but they must always be used safely. The chance of falling from a walking aid is much higher than using a wheelchair. Using a walker correctly reduces the chances of these injuries. In the following videos, professional therapists show you how to set the proper height of a walker and also how to use a walker correctly and safely. These videos also share other tips like flipping around the front wheels to make a walker smaller in width.
It is very important that a walker is set to the proper height for safe and proper use. Setting the walker height too high causes the shoulders to work more than they should which leads to shoulder pain. On the other hand, setting the walker height too low causes back pain from being bent over too far. Users at the ends of the height spectrum may need a smaller walker or a taller walker than the standard size.
Making sure the walker is set up properly is the first step in how to use a walker correctly and safely.
Here is Mandy Chamberlain, an Occupational Therapist with Seniors Flourish walks you through the process of setting up a walker properly.
The purpose of a walker is to help someone with mobility problems walk more safely. But, did you know that over 47,000 people fall a year while using a walking aid? A contributing factor in many of these cases is that the aid was not used correctly.
Cindy, a Physical Therapist at Adaptive Equipment Corner, demonstrates both ways of using a walker correctly:
If using the walker seems unsafe, consider another type of mobility aid. Maybe a rollator walker that has a seat is better. That way, there is always a place to stop and rest. While no one gets excited about using a wheelchair, sometimes a lightweight wheelchair is the safest option, even if only used temporarily. The safety of the senior is always the main consideration.
The walkers used in these videos are front wheeled walkers with 2 wheels and glide tips in the back. They use paddle style folding buttons which are easier for weak or arthritic hands to push. These walkers are lightweight and made of aluminum. You can buy a walker like this one in several places including online at Amazon.
Do you have any advice or experience about how to use a walker to share? If so, please leave a comment below! Questions are always welcome too!
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
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