Walkers | General Information
Walker Types, Features and Maintenance
Walkers are frames designed for people (elderly, disabled or recovering from surgery) who need additional support and stability while walking. Most walkers are made from a light weight metal such as aluminum. Walkers are adjustable to accommodate the height of the user. Many can fold for easy storage.
Types of Walkers
There are two main types of walkers: standard and two-wheel.
Standard walkers are the most basic type of walker available. The user needs to pick up the walker to move. It is best used to travel short distances or if stability is the main concern. People who have a tendency to fall forward will find this type of walker most useful. Most standard walkers are foldable for easy storage or to stow in a car for travelling.
Two-wheel walkers have casters on the front two legs and rubber tips on the rear legs. The user can put his/her weight on the walker while moving and the rubber tip legs prevent the walker from rolling.
Frame—Most walker frames are made from 1″ aluminum tubing and are lightweight. The height of the walker can usually be adjusted by 5″–10″ depending on the model.
Grips—Grips are located on either side of the walker. They are generally made from plastic, foam or other soft materials like gel. If the manufacturer’s supplied grip isn’t comfortable, it can be replaced with one that is. For people with hands that have a tendency to sweat, a soft or foam grip might work better. Larger grips are good for people with arthritis or with other issues with grasping.
Wheels—The wheels or the “casters” on a two-wheel walker are normally 3″–5″ and do not swivel.
Inspect the walker regularly. Take note of anything that looks worn or broken. Make sure that when the walker is unfolded, the sides click into place. If they don’t, or if something looks worn or broken, get it checked at by an expert right away.
Cleaning—Simply clean the walker with soap and water.
How much does a walker cost?
The prices for standard walkers start around $35 and can go up to around $100. Folding walkers tend to cost more. Prices for two-wheel walkers start from about $50 and can go up to about $160 depending on the model. Ultra-light frames and other specialty features may also affect the price.