What are the Best Tips for Buying a Walker?

S. Reynolds
S. Reynolds
Four-wheeled walkers are the most stable; however, the brake is employed using a hand trigger that might be difficult for some to operate.
Four-wheeled walkers are the most stable; however, the brake is employed using a hand trigger that might be difficult for some to operate.

Buying a walker is an important step for someone to regain mobility. Whether someone is rehabilitating an injury or simply has mobility issues, a walker can help restore a person's independence. When an individual is buying a walker, he or she should look for a sturdy device that is the appropriate height and width, and has a good wheel size. Quality is another important factor when making a decision, since not all walkers are created equal.

Walkers need to be strong and the proper height for each user.
Walkers need to be strong and the proper height for each user.

Height is one of the most important features that one should look for when buying a walker. The handles need to be at the height of the user's wrist when the arms are at the sides of the body. Someone who is constantly crouching over his or her walker has a device that is too short.

A shopper should also examine the width of a walker when comparing models. Wide walkers are more stable than narrow walkers, but they can be more difficult to maneuver or get through tight areas. Someone who needs a strong support system should look for wider walkers, which are typically more balanced.

A walker with large wheels may be more difficult to push, but easier to maneuver on rough roads, while smaller ones may be easier to push, but more susceptible to getting stuck in cracks in the road.
A walker with large wheels may be more difficult to push, but easier to maneuver on rough roads, while smaller ones may be easier to push, but more susceptible to getting stuck in cracks in the road.

When buying a walker, one should look for a brake system. Most brakes on four-wheeled walkers require the user to squeeze a hand trigger. This can be difficult for someone who has arthritis or strength problems. One should always test the brake system before buying a walker, because some of the brakes may be too stiff and difficult to enable.

An individual should also consider the wheel size of the walker. Large, thick wheels might be more difficult to push, but they can handle rough roads easier than small wheels. Small, narrow wheels can get stuck in cracks in sidewalks and roads. If the person is going to be indoors often, then smaller wheels might be more appropriate.

A walker is important if someone is rehabilitating from an injury.
A walker is important if someone is rehabilitating from an injury.

A walker should also fold for easy transportation, and be lightweight. If it has a seat, it should be soft and comfortable. The user should be able to sit comfortably on the seat while his or her feet touch the ground. Otherwise, the walker is too high and may be dangerous for a small person.

One should also compare several different models when buying a walker. The quality of an expensive walker might be comparable to a cheaper model. Testing different kinds is key when buying a walker. A particular walker may fit a small woman, but not a large man. The only way to find the best one is for someone to try various models and choose the one best suited to the needs of the individual.

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Discussion Comments

anon126654

I have a four wheeled walker, although it is quite good for going on paved and flat surfaces. But I live in the country and have a wheelchair deck built and the inside of my house to use my walker with the wheels that came with it.

It is very hard to go onto the grass or the gravel driveway because the wheels are too small to accept the rocks or the twigs from the yard that I run into by chance.

But I found a girl whose walker has the bigger tires because she has a disability that requires her use one. Now what I'm wondering is my walker seems like it was designed for town use only but not everybody lives in town so we have to make changes where changes are do for the good of ourselves and people with our needs.

So can people with disabilities do for themselves when we can because we might be down but we aren't beaten. So please I want to get better with what I have so please let people like me do the best with what we've got left.

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    • Four-wheeled walkers are the most stable; however, the brake is employed using a hand trigger that might be difficult for some to operate.
      By: Glenda Powers
      Four-wheeled walkers are the most stable; however, the brake is employed using a hand trigger that might be difficult for some to operate.
    • Walkers need to be strong and the proper height for each user.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Walkers need to be strong and the proper height for each user.
    • A walker with large wheels may be more difficult to push, but easier to maneuver on rough roads, while smaller ones may be easier to push, but more susceptible to getting stuck in cracks in the road.
      By: Robert Hoetink
      A walker with large wheels may be more difficult to push, but easier to maneuver on rough roads, while smaller ones may be easier to push, but more susceptible to getting stuck in cracks in the road.
    • A walker is important if someone is rehabilitating from an injury.
      By: Tyler Olson
      A walker is important if someone is rehabilitating from an injury.