Make sure that you know how to safely use mobility walkers with seats before attempting to navigate outside the home. There are inherent hazards that can be prevented with some insight and information.
You have a lot of choices when it comes to mobility walkers; make sure to have your distinct needs thoroughly assessed by an expert to find the best solution for your limitations, environment, and budget. One of the many options awaiting mobility consumers are walkers with seats; do you need a walker with a seat? What are the benefits? How about the safety of these clever devices? Before buying, talk to your mobility retail professional to determine the best and proper way to utilize these aids.
Learn how to safely use mobility walkers with seats in your home:
The first thing to concern yourself with is the safety; how do you safely use mobility walkers with seats in the home, your office, or public spaces? While manufacturer recommendations will vary depending on the model, there are some basic tips that can increase safety and preserve autonomy for those using walkers equipped with seats.
The walker goes first
Mobility walkers with seats have wheels, and wheeled walkers require a period of adjustment to fully adapt. It is important to know that your walker wheels always are moved first before you take your step. Take your time and don’t attempt to hurry when you are adjusting to your new mobility walker; the wheels will provide momentum and, if you rush, you could lose control of the walker and fall.
Engage the brake
A very utilitarian feature of your mobility walker is the brake system. This provides assurance and peace of mind when sitting and standing, but don’t forget to disengage the brake after. Using and mastering the braking system is particularly important when you go to sit down; if you are a ‘heavy-sitter’, try standing close to the walker and bend your knees before sitting on the seat. This will prevent your walker from sliding away from you on slippery or wet surfaces.
Save your arms for balance
Let the walker do most of the work for you; try to keep your arms free for maintaining balance during use. When you are standing up from the walker, use your arms for balance and use your legs and knees as much as possible. It is also helpful to sit at the edge of the seat when preparing to stand to prevent the drop-and-plop.
Shorten your stride
Shorten your steps and make smaller strides when using a wheeled walker; if you have an uneven stride, purposefully take smaller, more-secure steps to ensure safety and prevent a nasty spill. Taking smaller steps will make each one grounded, stable, and safe. The further you push your walker during each step, the greater the chance to lose control of the walker, which could present problems.
Keep your walker close
It is advisable to keep the walker close during walks and transports, but it also makes sense to keep it near, in general. Try to keep the walker close to you when walking for optimal support and stability that will help you maintain an effective and efficient stride during use. Wheeled walkers with seats are very different than other mobility aids and devices on the market, which may encourage a specific distance for optimal utility; wheeled walkers are best when you keep it close during use.
Face the front of the walker
Remember to always face the front of your walker when moving, standing, or turning. When you are turning, don’t twist your body; simply move your body and the walker gradually around until you have made the angle and turned completely. Remember to use your legs and try to reserve your arms for lightly, but firmly, pushing the walker along, while also maintaining a sense of balance that will prevent you from tripping or falling.
Always ask for a demonstration before buying mobility equipment, and this includes walkers with seats. Don’t assume that you will use it as you would any walker, but instead talk to retail professionals about proper operating recommendations for optimal performance. Also, make sure to discuss service and support available after making your purchase, to ensure you have recourse in the event of an issue, question, or problem.
It is true that mobility devices and aids enhance autonomy and preserve independence, but you could face potential hazards if not used properly. This extends to mobility walkers with seats; make sure to observe one being utilized and ask questions of retail staff before buying. Your walker will be the most effective when you develop a comfort level with it, so make sure that any issues or concerns are addressed promptly to avoid disappointment and an impact on everyday convenience as soon as possible.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)