Many people have trouble with mobility. The reasons are various. They may be recovering from surgery; they suffer from a disease that affects their ability to move, or simply because of old age. If you find yourself among those people, you may need some help to get around. One of the things that can assist you is a walker. According to statistics, in the US alone, 1.5 million people use walkers, and 77% of them are over the age of 65.
A walker is destined for people who can move around pretty much on their own, but they need a little help to keep their balance. It is a simple item that can change the way you walk. It is not difficult to carry around, and if you browse the internet a little bit, you can find the best walkers for you.
Types of walkers
People who have trouble with mobility have different needs. Not all of them require the same kind of help. That is why there are multiple types of walkers. To find the one that suits you best, here are the differences between all of them.
Standard walkers are also known as medical walkers. This is the most basic model you can find. In order to use it, you need some body strength to lift it up with every step, but standard walkers are not very heavy, so you should have no problems in doing so. They come in various shapes and sizes. However, if you plan on going on long trips, a standard walker may not be the best choice. At some point, the walker becomes tiring to lift. Not to mention that it will slow you down.
A rolling walker is a standard walker with wheels. There are multiple available models. The wheels can be on both front and back, or only on one side. This model is recommended for people who love to take long walks. Rolling walkers are perfect for active individuals because they are not as tiring as standard walkers. Since they have the wheels, you are no longer required to lift the walker with every step. You just push the walker, and that requires less effort. However, there is also a downside. Rolling walkers are not as stable as the standard models. The reason is self-explanatory.
Rollators are rolling walkers, but they are more advanced. They come with four wheels, but they also have brakes. Remember the lack of stability I mentioned when I described rolling walkers? With rollators, stability is not an issue, precisely because of the brakes. They do not require lifting, which means using them is effortless, and they are ideal for people who love the outdoors. Moreover, rollators usually come with accessories as well. The most popular are the bag and basket that can help you carry various items.
Just as the title suggests, this kind of walker is collapsible. It looks like a standard walker, but it is easier to transport and store. It can have wheels or not. This model also has multiple adjustment settings so that you can adjust the height you need when in use.
How to choose the best walker
The first thing you want to do is establish which type you need. That can be determined judging by your level of activity, if you like to go outdoors much, or if you are in the habit of doing your own shopping. However, no matter what model you want, there are a few basic features that you need to pay attention to. Here are the most important.
- Construction – a walker is something that will hold you up, so that means it needs a sturdy construction. You cannot simply buy a poorly constructed walker. That can lead to accidents and severe injuries. That is the last thing you need. You are already impaired. Do you really need another fall? Of course not. Pay attention to what you buy. Anything that is made of aluminum (anodized or extrudate) is good enough.
- Weight capacity – not all people have the same weight, and not all walkers are designed to hold the same amount of weight. Before making a purchase, make sure that your weight can be supported by the model you want. Otherwise, the walker may not be able to hold your weight.
- Folding capacities – if you want to choose a folding walker, make sure that the folding mechanism is easy to use. There are plenty of models that come with a simple mechanism, so make sure that you do your homework on that.
- The quality of wheels – the wheels need to be constructed out of high-quality plastic. They play a significant role in your mobility, and you do not need something that will crack rapidly. They need to withstand almost any surface.
- Grip – you may not think about this aspect very much, but you ought to. If the handles are not coated, for example, you hands may slip, and that can lead to severe injuries. Choose a model that has covered handles that ensure a secure and stable grip.
- Dimensions – unless you go for an adjustable walker, make sure that the model you choose fits your height. A walker with the wrong dimensions is difficult to use and quite uncomfortable.
Not everyone buys accessories for their walkers, but you do have that option. Not all of them are popular, but there are a couple which proved to be most useful for some people.
- Walkers bags – they are the most bought accessories for walkers and rollators. They come in handy for carrying several items like some light shopping or a book when you go and read in the park. They come in a variety of models and colors, they are easy to install, and the people who buy these are satisfied with their choice.
- Walker trays – although they are not as popular as bags, walker trays come in handy for seniors who live home alone or in a nursing home. They are designed to carry food and beverages. If your hands are shaking, walker trays are very useful.
What are the best walkers?
There are so many models out there that it can be challenging to find the best walker for you. However, you will find below three examples of the best walkers. They are simple walkers, not rollators, but according to customers’ reviews, they are high-quality and will satisfy your needs. After all, who is more qualified to tell you if a product is worth investing in if not a person who has already bought it?
Drive Medical Deluxe Two-Button Folding Walker
Drive Medical is a well-known assistance products company. They manufacture high-quality items at affordable prices, which is why their products are among the most popular in this category. It is not difficult to see why. People who bought products from Drive Medical are more than satisfied with their choices.
This product is a rolling walker with two wheels in the front. The wheels are highly resistant to almost any surface, and the fact that they are 5 inches in diameter makes maneuvering it effortless. You do not have to lift it when you walk, which means there is no way of you getting tired. Moreover, the rear glide cap will allow you to slide smoothly over most surfaces. Basically, your efforts are minimal. The construction is flawless. The walker is made of sturdy 1-inch aluminum for maximum strength and security while you are using it. The weight capacity is 350 pounds.
Just as the title suggests, the Drive Medical Walker is foldable. It is easy to store and transport. The mechanism that allows that to happen is simple to use. It is an easy push-button mechanism that can be operated by palms, fingers, or simply by the side of your hand. You should have no troubles as far as folding is concerned. The hand grip is vinyl-contoured so that you have a secure grip. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Drive Medical Trigger Release Folding Walker
I know that this is another Driver Medical product, but that just proves the people’s trust in this brand. This is yet another popular product that has proven to be most useful for individuals who have trouble in moving around by themselves. It is a deluxe model, but you would not say so looking at the price.
This product is also a rolling walker. Standard walkers are not very popular, and rollators are more expensive, which is why a rolling walker is the best alternative. It comes with a Deluxe soft ribbed contoured hand grip that will make pushing it forward very comfortable. Not to mention the security your get out of it. The wheels are designed to withstand almost any surface, and the package also includes a set of rear glide caps that will make you job easier.
The Drive Medical Trigger Release Folding Walker is made of anodized, extruded aluminum. It is extremely reliable, sturdy, but at the same time, it is lightweight. It also has a capacity of 350 pounds. As you read in the title, this is a folding walker as well. It can go from 32 inches in height to 39. It has a simple trigger-release mechanism that will allow you to operate it easily. You do not even have to move your hands from the handle. The design is ideal for people who have trouble with dexterity. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Medline Heavy Duty Bariatric Extra Wide Folding Walker
Leaving Drive Medical aside, Medline is another brand that customers trust. That is because they also manufacture high-quality assistance products. This particular product is one of the most popular Medline walkers I found online. It is not a common choice because just as you may have already figured out from the title, it is an extra wide walker that is meant to support people who weigh up to 500 pounds. Obesity is not uncommon, which is why the manufacturer decided to release a product that is able to support that much weight.
The extra width provides extra comfort for people who have weight problems, but at the same time, it comes with a two-button folding that will allow you to enter narrow spaces. The overall folding mechanism is very easy to use. The heavy duty walker has an aluminum frame with a front cross brace and double braces. Not only that it makes the walker extremely stable, but it also provides durability. The bariatric double-wheels are made of high-quality plastic so that they can withstand the weight of an overweight person. You can use the walker on almost any surface.
The height of the walker is fully adjustable It can go from 31 inches to 41 inches. When you are not using it, you can simply fold the walker and store it in a narrow space. Transportation is also without challenges. It may be made from heavy duty aluminum, but it is lightweight. The handles are covered in foam for a secure and comfortable grip. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
In my honest opinion, all three products are reliable and will satisfy your needs. However, if I had to choose, I would go with the Drive Medical Trigger Release Folding Walker. It has an excellent price-quality ration; the folding mechanism is easy to use, and it provides incredible support for users. That is why I believe this is one of the best walkers you can find online.
Finding the best walker is not supposed to be challenging. It may seem that way because there are so many of them, but if you pay attention to details, you should have no trouble finding one that suits you best. However, if you are in no mood for extensive searches, you should know that the products above are excellent. If you do choose one of them, your needs will be met, and you will not regret your purchase. Click here to buy on Amazon