Tips from Kerr Medical Products
When your senior parent or elderly patient begins to struggle with mobility, a walker or a rollator can help them remain active. Here are a few tips for guiding the decision to start using a mobility aid.
Signals that it's Time for a Walker or Rollator
Take time to observe your parent or patient and then have a conversation to discuss the following questions:
- Do you find yourself getting winded and needing to sit down more often when walking?
- Is walking painful for you?
- Have you noticed you're less steady when you walk?
- Have you recently fallen or begun stumbling?
- Did you doctor diagnose that you have osteoporosis?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is 'yes,' then a walker or rollator can provide needed stability and safety. Some seniors may resist or object to transitioning to a mobility aid. Be sure to remind them that having a little assistance from a walker or rollator will improve their ability to stay active. They'll be able to go further without getting fatigued or winded.
Mobility Devices from Kerr Medical
Kerr Medical carries several types of walkers and rollators for seniors. Choosing the right option depends on several factors. We suggest consulting with your parent or patient's medical doctor for counsel about the best solution. Physicians may also have safety tips that reassure your senior about using a mobility aid.
A walker is a metal frame with four legs that is available in standard and wide sizes. Walkers, which adjust to patient height, are an excellent choice when your senior patient or parent:
- only needs partial support for his or her body weight
- requires more balanced stability than a cane provides
- has the upper body strength and mobility to lift the walker, then set it down and step forward
- must be able to move through narrower spaces
A hybrid walker is also a metal frame, but typically has two wheels in front and two legs in back. The hybrid walker doesn't require placement with each step. The patient lifts the walker and then relies on the weight of the walker to slide forward on the wheels. A hybrid walker is useful when your senior:
- wants support while walking, but desires to move at a faster pace
- has stability and balance to remain upright as the walker rolls
- needs a mobility aid that works in smaller floor plans
A rollator or 4-wheeled walker moves forward without any lifting. Most rollators have a seat and removable back to allow the patient to rest. All have hand brakes as a safety feature. Rollators are available in steel and aluminum to support different weights. Since the rollator supports the patient, the type of metal is only a concern if the patient will need to be able to lift it for any reason. A rollator makes sense when your elderly parent:
- needs help with balance and standing
- lacks the strength to lift and place a traditional or hybrid walker
- becomes fatigued while walking
- wants to be mobile outdoors or in an open floorplan
Contact the Kerr Medical team with questions or concerns about mobility aids. Our friendly staff will talk with you about your senior loved one or patient's physical condition and limitations and recommend a walker or rollator that meets your needs.