Walkers: The Most Common Piece of Mobility Equipment Used By Older Adults

Summary: Walkers are perhaps the most common piece of mobility equipment used by older adults. There are several different kinds of walkers, including walkers with seats and walkers with wheels. The most popular kind seems to be one with a seat and wheels known as a rollator walker.


Dear Maria: My neighbor recently returned home from receiving rehab with one of those basic walkers without wheels.  I’m assuming he used it as part of his physical therapy.  Someone from the rehab added tennis balls with a slit in them to the bottom to help it to glide along the floor, but who has a house full of linoleum like in a rehab?  Although he has a very thin wall-to-wall carpet in his home, it’s getting stuck everywhere. Where do they sell walkers with wheels?  Ruby, Bethpage, Long Island

Dear Ruby: Walkers with wheels are sold in almost every durable medical equipment store and maybe even at your local pharmacy.  If you’re looking for something that your neighbor could use both inside and outside of his home, he might prefer one with wheels and a seat too.

Many seniors like these combo walkers because they enable them to venture further knowing they can take a seated break when needed. Before purchasing any kind of walker, my strong advice is to talk with your neighbor about what he would like and be willing to use.  Several years ago I tried, with the best of intentions, to persuade my aunt to use a walker with wheels and the outcome was less than stellar.  In a nutshell, she wasn’t ready for my idea of what she needed and your neighbor may not be ready for yours.  Although you can’t imagine why, he might be very happy with the basic model that catches on everything.  See where he stands before spending any money.

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