What Are The Best Walking Aids For The Elderly?
Clearwell Mobility offers a wide range of walking aids for the elderly that provide the best support while giving great value for your money. With our vast selection of walking aids that we have for sale, we are confident that you will find the right fit for your needs.
Walking Sticks & Canes
Walking sticks and canes are the perfect walking aids to use when you start to lose your balance, which is quite common as we age. They’re very portable and can be taken just about anywhere.
Sticks and canes also help reduce the strain on the lower extremities, making it the perfect choice for those who can still carry their weight around, but are starting to feel the aches around the knees and the legs. They effectively remove some of the weight from the legs and transfer that weight to the upper part of the body.
They are also non-intrusive and allow a lot of freedom of movement.
One downside to using a walking stick or a cane is the fact that it could end up putting a lot of pressure on the hands and the wrists. This means that those who do have issues with their arms or hands could do better with other alternatives.
Walking frames offer greater support than walking sticks and canes because of their width, which means that they have better contact with the ground. They balance out the weight, distributing it on the walkers’ left and right sides.
Despite its size, a walker still allows a fair amount of independence for the person using it. They are usually made of lightweight materials too, making them easy to take around. However, they could be tough to fit through narrow doors, which could be a problem when moving from one room to another.
Wheeled walkers for seniors are just like walking frames, but with wheels. They offer the same stability and balance as walking frames and come in two varieties - tri-wheel walkers and four-wheel walkers.
Tri-wheel walkers are designed with two fixed wheels at the rear and a single swivelling wheel in front. They come with handlebars that make it easy to push around without the need to exert any effort in lifting the frame. Almost all tri-wheel walkers can be easily folded, making them more convenient to lift and transport.
Four-wheel walkers, otherwise known as rollators, have two swivelling wheels in front and two fixed wheels in the rear. Most of them have seats between the handlebars, allowing the user to rest whenever needed. .
Four-wheel walkers are a bit harder to manoeuvre because of their size. However, they are more stable compared to tri-wheel walkers, which are more likely to trip over due to their shape.
When it comes to crutches, there are two main types - elbow crutches and axillary crutches.
Elbow crutches are also known as forearm crutches. Elbow crutches are a good fit for you if you still have relatively good balance. They distribute the weight well enough and relieve your lower body from a lot of strain. They are also better for one’s posture and usually work better if the user stands straight.
However, the use of elbow crutches also requires more upper body strength, because that’s where most of the weight goes. It also takes more time to get used to the elbow crutch compared to the axillary crutch.
Axillary crutches, also known as axilla crutches or underarm crutches, are easier to use and get used to. This type of crutch is better suited for people who are having difficulty in balancing themselves, mostly because it allows you to throw most of your weight on it without much effort.
Just like the elbow crutch, underarm crutches require some upper body strength to use effectively. But the axilla crutch does not really distribute that weight of the body across the torso and arms that well, making the elbow crutch better in this respect.
The axilla crutch may also lead to poor posture because, even at the right height, the user often ends up slouching to throw their weight onto the crutches as they get tired. When used over the long term, it could cause postural issues, particularly with the user’s back.
Other Features To Consider
Clearwell Mobility also offers different variants for each type of walking aid for the elderly, as well as different accessories that could make their use more convenient. In choosing among these different types of walking aids, it is important to find out about the other features that could make your choice the best fit.
One of the main things to check is the braking mechanism. Mobility aids for the elderly that have wheels always have a braking mechanism. Check what kind of mechanism comes with each walking aid to make sure you’re comfortable using it.
Some use loop brakes, which require squeezing on a lever in the same way you would when braking on a bike. This is easy to adjust to, but it could be problematic if you have arthritis in your hands.
Pressure brakes, meanwhile, are used by applying weight or pressure onto the handlebars for the brakes to work. It could take some getting used to, but it takes less effort once you master it.
It’s also best to check what the material used for the walking aid is, because this greatly affects the weight. Walking aids made of steel tubing are durable, but they are also heavier. An aluminium frame has the advantage in this regard, because it is lighter and therefore easier to manoeuvre.
Check the handgrips on your chosen mobility aid as well, and make sure they are comfortable for you. There are ergonomic handgrips that spread the pressure across the palms more evenly, which makes it easier to use over the long term.
There are accessories that you could add or could be built into your walking aid as well. Shopping baskets or bags are great if you want space for your things when you go out, while a tray would be convenient if you want somewhere to place your food or drink. There are also wire baskets that allow you to transport more of your belongings as you walk around.
Clearwell Mobility can help you choose the right fit for your needs. You can browse through our walking aids for elderly users or contact us at 01444 253 300 to get recommendations on what fits you best.
How Mobility Aids Keep The Elderly Safe
Nowadays, it’s very common for older people to use some form of mobility aid in their daily lives. This includes bathroom grab rails, stair lifts, wheelchairs for seniors, and so forth. All of these help make life much easier for the elderly and aid in preventing potential accidents when performing everyday tasks such as walking and bathing.
However, around 30 per cent of mobility equipment doesn’t see use, because they are a poor fit for the user, as well as their surroundings. Thus, it’s important to ensure that any mobility aids have the right measurements in order to maximise safety.
If you’re looking for the best walking aids for the elderly in the UK, look no further. Our store here at Clearwell Mobility will definitely have what you need. For enquiries on our products and services, feel free to get in touch!
Frequently Asked Questions
What do old people use when they can't walk?
Nowadays, the top mobility devices are walkers, electric scooters, canes, and wheelchairs, to name a few. Scooters and wheelchairs are usually recommended for old people who can no longer walk in a continuous manner (or at all) and have limited body strength.
What are the types of walking aid?
Listed below are the various walking aids that you can find right here at Clearwell Mobility:
- Walker-cane hybrids.
- Wheeled walkers.
Apart from walking aids, we also offer other types of mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, rollators, and scooters.
What are walking frames used for?
A walker is a type of walking equipment for the elderly or disabled. These are used to provide additional support in keeping balance and stability while walking. Most often, these are used due to age-related physical restrictions or disabilities, whether natural or due to injury.
How do you walk with a walking frame?
Here’s how you can use your adjustable assistive device for the elderly:
- Stand upright with both feet together while holding the frame.
- Put the four tips down on the ground by lifting the frame forward a small distance.
- Try walking with one leg while placing your weight through the frame. Then, do the same to the other leg.
How do I choose a walking frame?
Check its handgrip level first and see if it matches with your wrist crease. This will help in identifying the best height.
A good match would be a frame that allows you to stand normally with your hands by your side. It’s also ideal to be able to bend your elbow 15 to 30 degrees for maximum comfort and safety.
How can you stay safe while using your walking frame?
Here's how you can keep your walkers for elderly users in a good condition:
- Before using, ensure that all the legs are set at equal heights.
- Never exceed the maximum weight-bearing capacity of the walking frame.
- Wear flat, supportive shoes while using your walking frames.
- Avoid walking over wet floors to prevent any accidents.
What is the correct height for a walking frame?
All mobility aids in the UK for elderly users come in various sizes. Today, there are about three to four different height ranges. You can find walking frames as short as 67 centimetres (26 inches) or as tall as 94 centimetres (37 inches). Just remember to get a size that’s suitable for your needs and height.
What should I look for when buying a walker?
Below are some tips you can follow when purchasing walking frames for the elderly:
- Get to know the differences between walker types.
- Consider where you will use the walker.
- Keep in mind that more stability means less manoeuvrability and vice versa.
- Find out your size requirements.
- Consider how portable it will be.