A walker is an assistive device that provides support for individuals with mobility issues. There are several different types of walkers—all designed to decrease the risk of falling and reduce pain associated with weight bearing. Knowing what style of walker you require is pivotal in ensuring you receive the stability you need. Below are some examples:
Standard walkers are the most basic type, but they’re reliable if stability is your main concern. A standard walker has a robust metal frame and a sturdy design that promotes balance and provides support while walking.
If you struggle with mobility, the standard walker may be the right fit for you, as they’re designed for people who can handle their mobility issues independently. The hand grips are made of soft foam or stiffer rubber foam. While the softer foam handles are easier to grip, they can wear out faster. You have to pick up this type of walker to move it, which is why they have rubber tip legs for better support. Remember to keep the walker still as you step forward, and be sure not to get too close to the front bar.
Most standard walkers are foldable and easy to transport and store, although the foldable options tend to cost more. Because these walkers are on the larger side, they’re not the best choice for long distances. Their material and design make them much more suitable for indoor use, which means this is an ideal walker for people who mostly stay home.
Two-wheel walkers are slightly different from standard walkers, just as the name suggests. Users must place their weight on the walker while in motion. The front wheels help facilitate movement, and the rubber tips on the back legs prevent the walker from rolling forward. How? By adding friction to the walker, the user will have more control over whether they want to move.
Two-wheeled walkers work well on flatter terrain, but their small wheels might not be suitable for rough surfaces. You can easily fold it up for transport or storage purposes; two-wheel walkers are more compact than other models.
This type of walker is for people with limited mobility. If you walk slowly due to a mobility issue, you might benefit from the acceleration that the two wheels provide.
This walker type is just as the name implies. The three-wheel walker consists of a frame supported by three wheels: One in the front and two in the back. It provides better maneuverability than a two-wheel—useful when walking around tight spaces.
The three-wheel has an efficient weight capacity, but it may not be the best choice if you’re someone with limited balance. This walker is meant for users that can maneuver around without severely struggling. The walker’s lightweight design makes it easy to move, transport, and store.
The only issue with this walker is that if there’s an obstruction in the way of the front wheel, it could cause the walker to flip forward. Some three-wheel walkers come with storage baskets for your convenience.
A four-wheel walker, also known as a rollator, is different from a standard walker. The major difference between the two is that each of the four legs has a wheel that slides the rollator forward, so it doesn’t require lifting.
While these walkers tend to be more expensive, they offer flexibility—if you plan on doing a lot of walking and stopping along the way, the four-wheel walker allows you full control over your motion.
However, something to be mindful of is the weight capacity. These walkers often come with seats for the user to rest upon when necessary. There are different weight categories for each four-wheel walker. The higher the weight-bearing load of a rollator, the more the unit will weigh and the less mobile it will be.
Knee walkers are slightly different from most assistive devices. This type of walker is also referred to as a mobility scooter or knee scooter. Knee walkers are a more comfortable and safe alternative to crutches. If you’re recovering from an injury/surgery or have a partial/complete foot amputation, you can rely on this non-weight-bearing mobility device.
You can rest your knee on the padded platform, which allows you to balance naturally using your legs. You can then move forward by pushing off the ground with your good leg and steer the front wheels of the unit by using the handlebars. This ensures you have full control over the walker and keeps your hurt leg fully elevated.
Who Can Benefit From a Knee Walker?
Knee walkers can provide relief to those with injuries and conditions, such as:
- Partial/complete amputees
- Torn Achilles tendon
- Sprained ankles
- Surgery recovery
- Diabetic wounds/ulcers
- Limited mobility
Are you looking for walkers in Winnipeg? You can rely on our knowledgeable staff at Re-New Mobility to provide more information about the different types of walkers we carry. Our selection is extensive, which means we’re sure we can find the right fit for you. Contact us today!