A walking aid is often recommended in cases where a person with low mobility wishes to move around more easily and safely.
Stable, lightweight, and safe, they are a great asset for people with limited mobility who wish to remain active and independent.
Since there are several models and different indications behind the products offered, one question remains: How to choose your walker. In this article, Médicus offers relevant information to guide you in your choice.
The first step is to clearly define the intended use of your walker. Here are some questions that may help you in your future selection:
- Would you like the walker to have a seat, where you can sit for a break while you’re on the move?
- Does your walker need to accompany you indoors, outdoors, or both?
- Do your hands hurt, especially when you have to lift or grasp objects?
- Is this walking aid used to move you around for short errands?
- Do you have challenges with your balance?
- Will the walker need to be transported by car, bus, or special transportation?
What is a walker?
Designed to help people move, stand or walk considering their challenges – such as loss of balance, the walker is a paramedical device, also known as a walker.
It comes in the form of a metal frame with four support points (two at the front and two on the sides) to support its user in an efficient and stable manner.
Its handles, adjusted at waist height, optimize this support, which is superior to that provided by a cane or walker, which is unilateral. Foldable or not, with or without accessories, the market reserves you different options in terms of walkers, both in terms of comfort and practicality
Who benefits from walkers?
The use of a walker is suggested for people who, for various reasons, have reduced mobility. Here are a few clients who benefit daily from the advantages of the walker:
- The elderly: The walker is an appropriate paramedical device for seniors who wish to remain autonomous and independent. In fact, they are the clientele most targeted by the use of this walking aid.
- Accident victims, post-surgery, or rehabilitation patients: Following an accident, surgery or a period of convalescence, some muscles atrophy; this gives way to a shaky balance and mobility. Here, the walker becomes not only a walking aid, but also an accessory for physical rehabilitation.
- People with disabilities: Some physical disabilities require the use of a wheelchair. However, many people with more moderate disabilities may have difficulty walking without the use of a wheelchair.
Choosing the right walker: factors to consider
As stated above, asking questions about the intended functions of your walker is essential to making the right choice. Here are the main criteria to evaluate when shopping for a walker:
- The weight of the walker: Obviously, the lighter the walker, the easier it will be to maneuver. Weight is an essential criterion to validate with the user. A weight that is too great for the user’s strength could not only force the user to move, but also cause certain postural injuries and falls.
- Seat height: Generally, the seat height of a walker is fixed, so it is essential to verify that the seat height is appropriate for the user. However, care must be taken. While it is obvious that the higher the seat, the easier it is to get up, it is also true that a seat that is too high can be dangerous. Here are some factors to consider before validating the height of the walker seat:
- Knees should be aligned at 90* of his hips when he sits, or a little lower.
- The user’s feet must be flat on the floor for stable lifting.
- Backrest comfort: The comfort of a walker’s backrest is as important as it is personal to each individual, hence the importance of selecting a walker with its user.
- Transportation: Offered in a rigid or foldable frame, one must consider whether the walker will be transported by car, bus, or paratransit. Generally, if one mode of transportation is used, the ability to fold the walker makes it easier to transport by optimizing the space occupied.
The different types of walkers
As explained above, there are different types of walkers on the market. They fall into two broad categories; walkers with walking frames (without wheels) or walkers with wheels.
Here are the three most popular types of walkers today:
Standard 4-wheeled walker
- STELLA Model: Ultralight, this model is designed to support users with reduced mobility in their movements.
- AIRGO-EXCURSION Model: This walker is not only the lightest of the walkers offered by Médicus, but it is also foldable. Its advantages make it a popular choice and a device loved by all its users.
2 in 1 walker (walker and transport chair)
- AIRGO FUSION Model: Getting around with confidence and maximum comfort is now possible with Airgo® Fusion™. Folding sideways, this lightweight walker helps you stay mobile and independent, in a pleasant and safe way.
- AIRGO Model: Lightweight, collapsible, and economical, this walker offers optimal stability, allowing you to continue moving from point A to point B without worries.