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.
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.
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 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.