Reasons For Using A Walker ( When And Why)

As we get older we may have to start depending on mobility aids to help keep us moving.  A mobility device like a walker or rollator can keep you walking independently while helping to increase safety and prevent dangerous falls.  Walkers can help you improve the distance you can walk while provided less pain and comfort doing so.  The reasons for using a walker can be large, but one thing is for sure.  Using a walker can most definitely help you or a loved one gain confidence and increase stability and mobility to keep you moving. 

So, what is the main reason for using a walker?  Walkers can greatly increase your ability to walk by creating a stable and safer environment that you can rely on when walking.  Walkers safely allow you to walk farther, reduce discomfort,  and increase safety and independence while keeping you moving in your everyday life. 

Regardless of your situation if you feel that you need help walking a walker may be the right mobility aid for you.  These devices are lightweight and can be used daily no matter where you are, even on vacation.  Let’s outline some of the main reasons you may need to start using a walker. 

Table of Contents

What is a walker designed for?

A walker is designed to help anyone that needs extra support while walking to do so.  Walkers are built from lightweight yet strong materials that allow easy transport, ability to lift and lean on to regain balance and stability while walking.

Some walkers are easier than others to transport.  While others have seats and storage to help bring stuff with you.  Regardless of the design, a walker is created to give support to those that need it when walking in the house or out.

Reasons for using a walker

Increase the ability to walk

Using a walker helps to increase your ability to walk further and safer for those who find it difficult to walk without a mobility device.  Walkers provide extra stability and support when needed and some models even have seats that allow for you to sit when a break is needed.  

Stayin mobile and keeping muscles moving as we get older is vital in living a more fulfilling life.  It also has many health benefits to keep moving, especially as we get older. 

Decrease your chances of falling

Falling as we get older gets dangerous.  Bones become less strong and if we fall we have much higher chances of breaking our bones. There are many reasons seniors can fall and falling is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a senior.  Bathrooms are the most dangerous and account for thousands of hospital visits and deaths each year in the United States.

Walkers are designed to give excellent stability and balance when using them.  Their wide frames allow for a lot of weight to be distributed on them to keep you upright while walking. 

If you have lost strength

If you have lost strength because of older age, or from an injury and find it difficult to get up and walk on your own without having to hold on to something.  It is natural to lose muscle mass and strength as we age and if you feel unsure about walking because of lack of strength we recommend getting a walking aid.  This could also be a cane to get back stability.  But walkers provide much more stability than a cane so keep this in mind.  

Recovering from an injury or surgery

For those of us who have had an injury or surgery and find it difficult to walk without the support of aid may need to think about using a walker or rollator until we feel strong enough to walk on our own.  A walker can give the support you need to safely keep moving to gain strength back into your leg or foot to walk on your own safely. 

Tire quickly when walking

If you tire quickly when walking or have shortness you could benefit from using a walker with a sit.  Not all walkers have seats but those that do can make resting really easy no matter where you are.  Walkes that are equipped with seats are typically very sturdy, offer storage, and even drink holders.  

Difference between a walker and a rollator

Key components

Walker

Rollator

Wheels

No

Yes (4)

Best for people with:

Balance and stability issues.

Endurance issues, out of breath easy, needing a place to sit while out

Ability to sit:

No

Yes

Brakes

No

Yes

The main difference between a walker and a rollator is wheels.  When speaking about a walker there are no wheels and all four legs stay on the ground because of this.  A walker still must be lifted in order to move forward.

A Rollator on the other hand has four wheels, brakes, and a seat and is much easier to move around outdoors but can be a little tricky to move easier inside because they are typically larger than a walker.    

If you suffer from balance or stability issues a walker will probably be your best bet as they may provide a little more stability for you. 

Most people that still have good balance but run out of energy or breath quicker would probably opt for a rollator.  Both can help you gain mobility back by help you walk.  Be sure to assess your situation and what mobility product would be best for you. 

Related questions

Is a cane a better mobility device for stability than a walker?  No,  A walker has some of the best stability and balance design in a lightweight mobility device.  While canes have their place for some people it does not compare for stability issues.  

What is the standard size of a walker?  Standard size walkers will be from 32″ to 40″ high.  These heights can accommodate a large range of people that have heights from 5’5″ up to 6’6″.  These devices are wider and can be difficult to move in tight hallways. 

Is a knee scooter the same as a walker?  No, a knee scooter has wheels and brakes and is designed for that person to rest the injured or healing knee on a pad of the knee scooter.  You can learn what a knee scooter is and what the best ones are if you are interested. 

Final thoughts on why you need a walker

If you feel like you may have any of the following issues above and need help walking you may be ready for a walker.  Not being able to walk to complete day-to-day tasks can feel depressing and overwhelming.  Don’t let this get you down.  The use of a walker or rollator can bring back independence and get you moving in the right direction quickly.  

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About ASmith

Adam Smith is the main researcher and contributor at Mobility Medical Supply. Adam has many years of research in public data, and software security. With Mobility issues within Adam's family, he decided to dedicate in-depth guides on mobility products to anyone looking to improve movement and gain independence.

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