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    How to Choose the Best Walker

    how to choose the best walker or rollator

     

    You are looking to buy a walker. But what is the best type of walker for you? With the right walker, you’ll be more stable and have more energy. You will be able to go further, do more things on your own and have more adventures. The right walker makes everything easier. 

    There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a walker for yourself or a loved one. Is the walker needed for balance and stability or because of fatigue? Will it be used indoors or outdoors? Does it need to fold for storage and transport? What features are needed? And, do you like how it looks and functions? You are more likely to use a walker you love. 

    Read on to learn more about different types of walkers and their best uses. 

    Standard Walker

    A standard walker is an aluminum walker that doesn’t have wheels. This type is best for someone who needs to lean a lot of weight on the walker- like after an injury or surgery. It is also good for someone who can’t control a rolling walker because of physical or cognitive issues. A con to a standard walker is that they have to be lifted with every step. Because of this a standard walker is not ideal for someone with balance issues. They can also take a bit more energy to use and can make you move a bit slower. Standard walkers are height adjustable and fold for storage and transport 

    Rolling Walker

    A rolling walker is a standard walker with 2 wheels on the front. The back legs have rubber tips or glides that slide along the floor and provide a bit of friction. Rolling walkers provide a more normal walking pattern than a standard walker since they do not need to be lifted off the ground with each step. They are ideal for those who need some stability but don’t need to put a lot of weight on the walker.

    The front wheels don’t swivel which causes a two wheel walker to have a large turning radius. Because of this, people will often pick up the walker to turn it in a small space which can lead to a fall in someone prone to poor balance. The wheels on a rolling walker are small. This type of walker is not ideal for walking on uneven surfaces like outdoors or in a home that switches from carpet to hard floors often. Rolling walkers are height adjustable and also fold for storage and transport.

    Rollator/4 Wheel Walker

    A four wheel walker (also called a rollator) has 4 rotating wheels, hand brakes and a seat. They often come with baskets and other storage options.
    Rollators allow for a more normal gait pattern than other types of walkers. They are easier to maneuver around turns and do not need to be lifted when turning. Having the seat is helpful for people with poor endurance that often need to rest when out for a walk.

    But many of these features can cause problems too.  Because a rollator is easy to push, it can also roll away from the user if they don’t have the physical ability to control the walker.  

    It is also so important to be safe when using the seat. The proper way to sit on a Rollator is to apply the permanent brakes, then sit down. People should NEVER be pushed on while sitting on the seat of the walker. This is a setup for a serious fall and possible head injury.

    Rollators are available with many different types and sizes of tires. A smaller wheel is fine for smooth surfaces but is going to be hard to use on uneven terrain or in a house where the floor changes from carpet to hard from room to room. If you plan on using your rollator on uneven sidewalks or outdoor paths, choose a walker with larger tires. Many even come equipped with pneumatic air tires that help absorb bumps for a smoother walk. 

    Rollators do fold but not as compactly as a standard or 2 wheel walker. They are also heavier so they can be a little harder to store and transport. 

    the best walkers and rollators

    2 in 1

    A rollator transport chair combination has all the features of a rollator but is also designed to transport someone when they sit on the seat. They are equipped with foot rests and a seat angle that makes it safe for someone to be pushed while seated. These are ideal for people that don’t want to have to choose between using a walker and wheelchair when they go out.
    They do fold but like a rollator, they can be heavy and don’t fold as flat as a standard walker.

    rollator walker and transport chair in one

    Do you need a walker with wheels?

    Think about strength and stability when deciding if you want a walker with wheels. If the walker is being used to lean on and take weight, you are going to want to go with a walker without wheels. If stability and fatigue are an issue, wheeled walkers are the way to go. 

    Do you need a walker with a seat?

    If you like to have a place to rest at all times, a walker with a seat might be a good decision for you. It is convenient to always have a place to rest! As long as you can control the walker and don’t have to put too much weight on it, a rollator is a great solution for people who need frequent rest breaks when out having fun or running errands. Just DON’T allow people to give you a ride while you are on the seat!

    Do you like the walker?

    If you think the walker is ugly and you don’t like it, you won’t want to use it. It will likely get left behind and you will risk not being able to get very far or having a fall. There are many different styles and designs of walkers out there. Pick one that suits your style and your needs. 

    Remember, there are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect walker for your needs. Top among them is your goal. What is the purpose of your walker? What do you plan on doing with it? Do you need to be able to store it compactly or transport it easily?

    Choosing the right walker for your needs is a very personal decision. Ultimately, your choice will be based on your needs and what you want to accomplish. 

    occupational therapist

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    How to Walk With a Walker or Rollator

    how to walk with a walker
    You've decided to use a walker or rollator to keep up with your active life. Great! Now what is the best way to walk with a walker? Many people use their walker like a shopping cart. The handles are too high, they are pushing the walker too far in front of their body and they are hunched over. Walkers and rollators are meant to support your body and help with balance and need to be closer to your body to do so.
    1. Stand close to your walker.
    2. Adjust the handles to wrist height so you have a slight bend in your arms when holding the handles
    3. Walk in the walker instead of pushing it in front of you. Push it forward a slight distance then step in to the walker.
    4. Walk with your back straight.
    5. Look straight ahead and not down at the ground.
    6. Have fun! :)

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    The Best Narrow Walker for Small Spaces

    the best narrow walker for small spaces

    Most people take home a walker from the hospital or medical supply store then don’t use it. It doesn’t fit through the doorways in their home or in to their bathroom. It is too big to use in stores and restaurants and just gets in the way. A walker doesn’t do any good sitting in the closet. What you’re after is a narrow walker that works everywhere you want to go. No need to remove door frames in your home or leave your walker at the entrance of a restaurant while holding furniture to get to your seat. I’ve searched to find the best narrow walkers that work everywhere you need them. Check out these options. 

    • The Nexus 3 Rollator Walker- The Nexus 3 is 23 inches wide so it is one of the more narrow walkers I carry. It comes in 3 sizes so it works well for those 5'-6'6". The Nexus 3 is packed with features and has that Euro look. 
    • Escape Rollator Walker – I love the Escape! Not only does it provide all the features of a premium rollator, it can also be used when folded at a width of only 11 inches. Most walkers do not stand when folded and thus cannot be used to maneuver through small spaces. This is not true with the Escape. With a simple lift of the release handle, the 25 inch wide Escape folds to 11 inches and stands on its large 8 inch wheels. This allows the walker to be used for support in small spaces and through doorways. The Escape is also available in 3 heights making it the perfect fit for those 4’7” to 6’7” - a true custom fit!        
    • Nitro Rollator Walker - At 23 inches wide, this is one of the most narrow walkers in Ease's fleet. Also in 3 sizes for the perfect height. It comes with a convenient storage bag and a comfortable seat. The brake wires are all enclosed so they won't catch on handles and door knobs as you go about your day. And you know what else? It looks great too. In 3 colors. 
    • Carbon Ultralight Rollator Walker - At 24.2 inches wide in the compact width (it is also available in regular and wide widths), the Ultralight weighs only 10.6 pounds. It has seat and a storage back with other accessories available. And it is pretty slick looking too.  
    • Nitro 3 Wheel Walker - The Nitro 3-Wheel walker is perfect if you are looking for a walker that is on the narrow side, is easy to maneuver through all kinds of places and you don't need a place to sit. At 23 inches wide, this is another narrow choice.  
    • EZ Fold N Go Walker – This walker is perfect for you if you need a little help with stability but don’t want to be tied down to something big and heavy. The Fold & Go Walker is the world’s most lightweight and portable walker. It weighs less than 8 lbs and folds down 4x smaller than a typical walker. When open, it is 24 inches wide (23 inches for the shorter model). The small base and 6” swivel casters make it easy to maneuver through tight spaces. Used by many as a secondary walker for travel, the EZ Fold N Go Walker can even be stored in the overhead bin of an airplane. It features a simple but functional design that makes it both durable (able to support up to 400 lbs) and extremely affordable.  

      Most standard interior doors are 28-32 inches wide with exterior doors being even wider. If you live an an older home, the doors may be narrower. It is always best to measure to be sure.

      Don’t rip apart your house or risk a fall. These narrow walkers will allow you to go through doorways and small spaces at home and on the road. Whether you’re looking for a narrow walker as a more mobile complement to a larger walker, or you need something that will work anywhere, consider the above three choices. When it comes to walkers, bigger isn’t always better! 

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      How to Measure for a Walker or Rollator

      how to measure for a walker

      You've decided a walker is the best way to stay active in your life. Congratulations! It is very important to choose the proper size for your walker when ordering or adjust it to the right size when it is received. Having a friend or family member to help you measure is ideal.

      1. Start by standing up straight with your shoes on.
      2. Allow your hands to hang naturally at your sides.
      3. Measure from the crease in your wrist to the floor.
      4. This length should be your handle height.
      5. If possible, choose a walker that adjusts at least one inch higher and lower than your actual measurement so you can adjust it as necessary.

      The Escape Rollator is adjustable and also comes in 3 different sizes to accommodate users from 4'7" to 6'" providing for the perfect fit.

       

                   How To Measure For A Walker Or Rollator   How To Measure For A Walker Or Rollator

       

      Now that you have a walker fitted just for you, get out there and enjoy life.

      Deciding between a walker and a rollator? This article will help you learn the difference and decide what is best for you. 

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      The Ultimate Guide to Walkers and Rollators

      the ultimate guide to walkers

      A walker doesn't mean you're old. Mobility aids like walkers and rollators are effective tools that can help people be independent and get around easier and more safely. A rollator walker helps you or a loved one gain independence, allowing them to move around as they need to. You have options for a walker, such as a walker with wheels or a walker with seat. This guide will tell you everything you need to about walkers and rollator walkers.

      How do you know when you need a walker? There are a few indications. If you have trouble bearing weight on your legs, fatigue easily or have issues with balance, a walker might be for you. 

      If you have decided a walker is a good idea, you need to learn how to choose the best walker for you. A rollator, or 4 wheel walker, is a walker with a seat, 4 wheels and hand brakes. They have a seat to rest so are an ideal choice for those who tire easily. They also allow one to move a but faster since there are 4 wheels. A standard walker comes with either 2 front wheels or with no wheels. They do not have a seat or brakes. They allow for a slower pace and fold up smaller for easier transport. Rollators often have a basket under the seat for storage but walkers and bags can be purchased for standard walkers to allow for storage. Think about what you need and want out of your walker and you can figure out which one is the best for you.

      Once you get your new walker, you will need to learn how to use it properly. It all starts with learning how to adjust the height on the walker so that it is the perfect height. To adjust it to the proper height, you should stand with your hand on the hand grips while your shoulders are relaxed. Make sure your elbows are bent about 15 degrees. The top of the walker should line up with the crease on the inside of your wrist.ii If it is too tall or too short, you won’t be comfortable.

      To use the walker, put it in front of you and slide forward in the chair. Lean forward and use the arms of the chair to push yourself into standing. Grasp the handles and step into the walker. Make sure you feel balanced and ready to walk then move the walker about 1 step ahead of you. Don’t push the walker very far in front of you like a shopping cart. It doesn’t offer good support when it is too far from your body.

      If you use a rollator, or 4 wheel walker, make sure to lock the brakes before you sit and when you stand up. Don’t ever use the walker like a wheelchair unless it is designed for that purpose with footrests to keep your feet from dragging.

      Ease Living has curated some of the best walkers available including narrow walkers, rollator transport chair and folding walkers. Click here to see the selection .

      Whatever walker you choose, make sure it is one you like. It will do you no good if it is left behind. Now get out there and live your life with your new walker!.

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