7 Types of Walkers for Every Need

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Last updatedLast updated: April 26, 2021

In this guide, we’re discussing the most popular types of walkers. Depending on what you need your walker for, one model might be more suitable than others. For example, the different types of walkers for seniors can vary from those that are recommended for ambulation or people recovering after surgery or long-term illness.

Walkers can play a key part in peoples’ mobility. Whether you are buying for yourself or for a family member, you need to make sure you’ve considered the different types and what they can offer. Will you be helping with someone’s mobility or actually providing more of a hindrance by getting the wrong walker? For some people, a wheeled model that can help them zip around the home quickly might be ideal. For others, it is just important to get something that can provide a sturdy base to stand and walk around a little.

What are walkers made for

7 Types of Walkers for Every Need

A walker is simply a frame for people who need extra support when they are walking. It is a product to help people who are frail, or who are recovering from a serious injury or illness. People who don’t have full use of their limbs or who find it difficult to walk around unaided can benefit from walkers, but there are different types, including products with wheels, for example.

Some walkers give more stability, great for elderly people who don’t need to move quickly. Some other walkers might provide a little more flexibility and speed.

Pros and cons

You might be wondering if a walker is the right solution. Would a lightweight wheelchair be a better option? There are some simple pros and cons to consider when buying any of the different types of walkers for adults.

Pros:

  • They allow people to regain independence even if they are finding walking difficult.
  • They vastly reduce the risk of injury as a result of falls.
  • They can reduce the need for any sort of additional care or support.

Cons:

  • Some walkers can be difficult to transport due to their size.
  • People might become reliant on them earlier if they are using them all the time.

Types of walkers

Let’s delve into the different types of walkers for elderly people, or those who have mobility problems brought about by injury or illness.

Rollators

7 Types of Walkers for Every Need

A rollator comes with either three or four wheels and usually has a seat on it as well. The seated position is for when you are resting. A rollator’s wheels make it feel really natural with how it feels and gives you speed when you are turning. This is good for people who still have a good level of muscle control and need to get around quickly. Rollators can be so quick that they need hand brakes!

A great example is the Medline Premium Empower Rollator Walker with Seat which has a comfortable sitting position and even allows you to “step in” for easy access to counter tops. This helps people to retain both speed and independence.

Standard

7 Types of Walkers for Every Need

The “standard” type of walker is the one that is best if you need to offer a lot of stability. They don’t have any wheels on them, so people who have trouble staying on their feet while they walk will benefit from them, with very little risk of falling or slipping. Standard walkers don’t have wheels so they rely on people using them to propel themselves forward. For long distances, this can be a real challenge, so these are best used around the house and for smaller distances. The Drive Medical 10200-1 Deluxe is a great example of a sturdy frame and a walker that can give support to people who would otherwise struggle to get around. It has comfortable handles, and for those who aren’t confident using wheels, it provides a secure alternative.

Two-wheel

7 Types of Walkers for Every Need

A two-wheel walker can give a bit more speed for the walker, as two of the corners of the frame have wheels on them to help moving forward quickly. The user can put their weight forward and smoothly move along the wheels, but the rubber tips on the other two corners or “legs” mean that you’re not at risk of rolling forward.

These walkers are best on flat terrain and also make good folding options. The Drive Medical Trigger Release Folding Walker is a great example of this and even has a trigger release to allow for a braking movement with the hands. This gives an extra level of control.

Three-wheel

7 Types of Walkers for Every Need

Three-wheeled models of walker may be a type of rollator. They can come in designs that look like tricycles or they can simply look like a standard walker with one of the supportive legs missing.

The benefit of these products is just how easy it is to corner and move around. If you still have a good level of mobility and need a walker that can assist with this, the three-wheeled design can be a good choice.

Types of walkers for elderly

The elderly people looking for rollators will usually want something that helps to support them to get back to how they were in their younger years, and to be able to get around the house more easily. Narrow walkers for seniors might be needed, as they can help with getting around the house, even in tight areas. They can also be a good option for transporting as they require less space.

Types of walkers for ambulation

When you are recovering from a long-term illness, you may need walkers for ambulation and the process of regaining fitness and muscle strength. It is best to start with a strong level of stability and work up to something that can provide you with more speed and freedom, like a rollator.

Types of walkers with seats

A walker with a seat is not a wheelchair. If you’re looking for an electric wheelchair then this is a different product. A seat can help if you need some assistance or to stop for a rest. There are many rollator walkers with seats attached, and these can give you the option to take a rest. The seat can also come in very handy for waiting in line, for example, and times when it can be a strain to be on your feet for long spells.

Types of orthopedic walkers

There are many types of orthopedic walkers that can be suitable. People with severe musculoskeletal issues will probably be looking for plenty of stability, which means that you will want something with a sturdy design. For someone who has their mobility severely impacted, a standard walker with no wheels is often best.

Final thoughts

Getting a walker that is appropriate may not be as simple as you first thought! The best types of walkers for you depends on a number of factors such as how much mobility you have, whether you are recovering from an illness, or how quickly you want to be able to go. That’s without even considering things like portability. Following our guide to walkers can help you to ensure you get the right product first time, and the appropriate level of support, whatever ailments you are suffering from, and whatever age you are.

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