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How do I Choose the Best Folding Walker?

By J. Beam
Updated May 17, 2024
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Mobility devices are useful and often necessary to maintain mobility. While primary mobility devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers are ideal for use around the home, it may be more convenient to travel with different versions. One walker option is a folding walker, which is a walker that folds up to lie flat for easy transport and storage. Choosing a folding walker is based on several factors, but is based on individual preferences and needs.

Walkers have many different features available, including two or four wheels, seats, and even shopping baskets. When selecting a folding walker, determine when and where the device will get the most use to help you decide on which features are important. Obviously safety features like stability, hand brake function for wheeled models, and height adjustment are a primary concern, but don’t overlook other available features.

Consider the differences between wheeled and non-wheeled models. Depending on stability needs and the strength of the user, a non-wheeled version may be the best option. However, if specific strength or coordination issues are a concern, wheeled models are easier to move. Talk to a physical therapist or doctor about which version is best for your circumstances.

In addition to the basic function and features, you might consider other options, such as walkers with seats and shopping baskets. Both features are nice for long outings and are an extra convenience. Fortunately, these features are available in folding varieties. A folding walker with a seat and basket is not only convenient for transporting, but gives the user the opportunity to stop and rest whenever they need while also providing a place to put handbags, medical supplies, or other personal items.

Compare features of several models before you buy. Keep concerns like comfort, durability, and practical use in mind. For instance, one folding walker may feature a padded seat, while another may be a molded plastic seat. One model may feature push button mechanisms for folding, and another may have a lever mechanism. By carefully comparing the features of several different models, you will have a better idea of which models are best for your needs.

If you are the primary care giver of the user, also keep in mind the weight and compactness of each model. Determine which models will best fit into your mode of transportation and which ones are lightest in weight for easy lifting. Even if you plan to order from a catalog or website, you might want to visit a medical supply store to get a hands-on look at different models first.

Be sure to check with Medicare or a supplemental insurance provider before ordering. Some or all of the cost may be reimbursed or provided for the purchase of a folding walker, but some models may not qualify. The retail price of medical supplies varies greatly so be sure to comparison shop if you are paying out of pocket.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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