Seniors and those with disabilities need to find a way to get around somehow, but how can they go about doing this safely? What are some modern-day tools that can help make life easier for seniors and those with disabilities? The mobility walker is a top choice among many seniors and disabled people due to its ability to provide support, prevent falls, and allow the individual more independence.
Independence, the ability to do one's own thing, is what any senior or disabled person wants. It's the key to them feeling like they're still in control of their own lives and that they still have a sense of self-identity. Unfortunately, this can be difficult due to physical limitations and other issues facing seniors. Mobility walkers are explicitly designed to assist with this problem. Typically, these convenient devices have features such as:
- A seat to rest on between uses
- Easy-grip handles that are ergonomically designed
- Large wheels that make it easier for the user to roll over obstacles (such as stairs or loose rugs)
- Some come with a basket attached to the front for storage
- Raised grips along the side of the walker
Using A Mobility Walker
Safely Mobility walkers are beneficial for seniors and disabled people because they help prevent falls due to their ability to provide so much support. A wheelchair can do this too, but mobility walkers are designed specifically around the needs of an individual who wants more freedom with their daily activities. There are still dangers to be aware of when using a mobility walker. Here's how to use one safely.
1. Don't Hesitate To Ask For Help
Always ask others around you if they can help or watch out for your safety when you're getting up and down from the walker (or anywhere, really). Using a walker is much more different than using crutches or a cane, so the way it's used needs to be adjusted accordingly.
2. Use The Proper Grip
Make sure that both of your hands are placed properly on the grips when using a mobility walker. For some models, this means holding onto them from the outside, while others require you to hold onto them from the inside.
3. Watch Out For Obstacles
Especially when going downstairs, it's important to watch out for loose rugs or other obstacles that might cause you to trip and fall. Using a walker does not necessarily make you more stable than using a cane, crutches, or wheelchair. Always be mindful of your steps and plan them out carefully before you take them.
4. Stop And Rest As Needed
As with using any other mobility tool, it's vital that you stop and rest as needed to avoid exhaustion or possible injury due to overuse. Work your way up to longer distances/times when you first start out. Don't rush it or push yourself too hard.
5. Use The Seat When Needed
If you feel that standing for an extended period of time will leave you tired and sore, sit on the seat and then get back up using the grips on both sides of the walker.
6. Use Caution Going Up And Down Stairs
Mobility walkers are not built for stairs, so using them on them can lead to falls or other injuries. If possible, avoid using stairs or step over them slowly, one at a time. If you need to go up the stairs, turn your walker around so that the seat is facing the stairs and walk up one step at a time.
7. Don't Attempt To Use Your Mobility Walker On An Unlevel Surface
One of the dangers associated with mobility walkers is that they can easily tip over or flip when used on an uneven surface. The wheels are designed to roll smoothly on different surfaces, such as carpet and tiles. If the surface isn't even (such as a grassy or gravel area), then you should use caution when trying to go over it with your mobility walker.
8. Don't Try To Get Up Or Sit Down Too Fast
Getting up and down from a mobility walker is a difficult task that should only be done when the individual feels confident. Sliding onto a seat can be tricky, but it's completely possible with a bit of patience and practice. However, you don't want to get up or sit down too fast, because this could cause you to lose your balance.
To safely do this, you must first carefully stand up with your walker using your arms. Remember to hold onto the grips, not the seat. Once you're standing upright, move closer to the seat until you feel confident enough to sit down or stand back up. Ensure that you continue holding on to the grips while seated to prevent the walker from tipping over.
Mobility walkers are designed specifically to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled, but they can still be used by anyone who wants them. When using a mobility walker correctly, you should always watch your steps and plan your route in advance.
Also, keep a lookout for obstacles in your path, sit when needed, and ask others for help whenever you need it. Get About Mobility showcases a wide variety of mobility walkers and accessories that you could use to improve your independence and quality of life.