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Things to consider when purchasing a walking aid

26th June 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A walking aid can make a serious improvement on the quality of life for those with reduced mobility as they are able to get out and about freely without the need for extensive assistance from carers or family members. As such, walkers can become a major part of a person’s lifestyle and, therefore, its features should be carefully considered before purchase.

As walkers can offer full independence outside of the home, where stair lifts and handrails can continue the assistance inside to provide a fully mobile and independent lifestyle, it is important to make sure you get the most out of the aid and choose the model that works best for you. This guide offers everything you need to know to feel confident in your decision when choosing walkers for either yourself or someone close to you. For further guidance you can always call the helpful advisors at Handicare who can offer free and friendly advice, answering any questions you may have.

Who
Firstly, when choosing a walking aid it is important to consider the person who will be using it and their particular needs. Think about their specific requirements and whether the model in question would properly support their height and weight, as you want to ensure it is as comfortable to use as possible so that they get the very most out of it.

Many walkers, such as the Gemino 20 walking aid, allow you to adjust the height of the frame so that it fits perfectly so be sure to check this too. Walkers offer the perfect solution of a compromise between a cane and mobility scooters as they help people to stay active, assisting with mobility without putting too much pressure and strain on joints and muscles, so be sure to choose one that is comfortable enough to use regularly as both an assistance with everyday tasks and as an aid beneficial to your health.

Where
As well as making sure that the walker is suitable to its user’s particular needs, it is important to make sure it suits their surroundings and environment too. This means checking the dimensions of the aid so that it fits easily through doorframes and other spaces you pass through regularly.

Most walkers nowadays come with some very innovative technological solutions, meaning that they folds up easily and efficiently, but even in this contemporary climate some perform better in this area than others so be sure to check this as well either through the product’s write up by speaking with an advisor who knows the products well. Walkers also come in variable weights, so if you think you will be using the aid out and about and will be travelling by car, train or even bus to different places, it is important to check how heavy the aid is for when you fold it up and need to put it away. This is an aspect to consider dependent on the user’s health and mobility as well, as a heavy aid is more difficult to manoeuvre. Some of the best walkers now are those made to a low weight, using sturdy aluminium with an innovative design that ensures the lightest frame possible.

When
The only other aspect to consider before purchasing a walking aid is when. There comes a time when we all need a slight bit of assistance in order to maintain a comfortable level of independence, whether that is through walk in baths and showers in the home or regular home care visits, and needing just a bit of help is nothing to be ashamed of. So when the time comes when you feel as though you could do with just a bit assistance getting out and about and don’t want to resort to a motorised scooter just yet then walkers may be just the solution you are looking for.

Image Credit: Luis Vidal (flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.