Recommended by doctors for both temporary and long-term use, walkers provide mobility assistance to individuals whose joint stability, muscle mass, or range of motion is limited. When used correctly, walkers permit individuals who cannot get around without assistance but do not desire or require regular wheelchair use to maintain the sense of independence they cherish. To ensure that a walker serves its intended purpose, anybody who uses one should take the initiative to educate themselves on the following safety precautions.
- Correct Walking Position
Before using a walker for the first time, it is important to meet with your caregiver for an overview of the correct and incorrect uses of a walker. All legs and/or wheels of the walker should be on the ground when a walker is being used, and a walker should generally be arm’s length in front of its user.
- Use of Handles
The handles on your walker are designed to help you maintain your balance. Use them to support your body as you move first your weaker leg forward and then your stronger one.
- Mounting a Curb
Walkers can be used to help you move from a curb to street level or vice versa. A walker should only be moved up or down in height if you have control of your balance, and it is important to remember to step first with your stronger leg when mounting a curb and first with your weaker leg when dismounting.
- Ascending/Descending Stairs
People who require a walker to walk should not climb stairs with or without that walker. To help individuals who use walkers move between floors, a stairway lift can be installed alongside the staircase.
If you follow the advice set forth in this article, you are unlikely to sustain another injury while using your walker. If a doctor has recommended you use a walker indefinitely and you have stairs in your home, a stairway lift is an investment that may be well worth making. Temporary walker users can even look into renting a stairway lift or stair glide.