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Walkers: Basic Guide

The most common types of walkers are: Standard, 2 Wheeled, and 4 Wheeled

    Specifics
  • Decreases the load taken through the legs and/or assists with balance
  • More stable than a cane, a quad cane or crutches
  • Most are collapsible for easy storage and for transportation in a car
  • Walkers are bigger and require more space to maneuver

Caution: Walkers are not designed to be safely used on stairs

Measuring

When standing tall with arms at the side, adjust the walker height so that the handles are level with the wrists.

Standard Walker

  • A standard walker is more stable than a walker with wheels but requires adequate strength and balance to lift safely
  • Usually used indoors for short distances and to help with transfers

How to walk with a standard walker

  1. Lift the walker and place it one step length forward
  2. Take a step forward into the walker, first with the affected leg then with the sound leg
  3. Caution: Always stay within the base of the walker

How to turn with a standard walker

  1. Place the walker at a slight angle (in the direction of the turn)
  2. Take a couple of steps to partially turn the body
  3. Repeat this pattern until the turn is completed
  4. Note: The walker must be stable on the ground before stepping

2 Wheeled Walker

  • Not as stable as a standard walker but more stable than a 4 wheeled walker
  • Does not have to be lifted

How to walk with a 2 wheeled walker

  1. Push the walker forward as you walk.
  2. Caution: Always stay within the base of the walker

How to turn with a 2 wheeled walker

  1. Place the walker at a slight angle in the direction of the turn, then take a couple of steps to partially turn the body. Repeat this pattern until the turn is completed.
  2. Note: The walker must be stable on the ground before stepping

4 Wheeled Walker / Rollators

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Equipped with a seat to use when tired
  • May also have a basket and a tray to carry items
  • Larger wheels make it easier to use outdoors
  • Usually equipped with hand brakes for safety

How to walk with a 4 wheeled walker

  1. Push the walker forward as you walk.
  2. Caution: Before standing up or sitting down, the brakes must always be locked