5 Tips for Buying the Right Walker for Your Needs

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The population in the United States is getting older. It is predicted that by 2030, approximately 20% of the entire population will be made up of older adults. As such the number of people who need different types of walkers and mobility aids for seniors will only increase. Currently, about 10% of the people living throughout the country need to use more than one of these mobility devices for seniors. If you, or someone in your family, needs help in this area, it is important to get the right kind of walking support devices. An older American is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 15 seconds. Here are some tips for getting the right walker for your needs:

  1. Talk to experts. Many people go to occupational and physical therapists to help with their mobility. If you already go to someone, that is the first place you should start when you are looking for a walker. They know you and your needs and can tell you what kind of walker will be best for your needs. Different types of walkers are good for different things. If you are not seeing any kind pf occupational or physical therapist, you may want to start. If you are having problems with mobility looking at different medical walkers may be just the thing you need and seeing an expert can help you do other things to make it easier to get around.
  2. Do some research into the different types of walkers. There are standard walkers that are very sturdy, they have no wheels and you have to lift them up in order to move them. There are wheeled walkers that can be moved without lifting, they are easier to maneuver but are a little less stable than the standard models. You can also get walkers that have wheels on all of the feet, these have brakes to make them more stabile but they will not be good for people who have a lot of trouble standing unaided. When you talk to the occupational or physical therapist, you can get an idea of what kind of support they think that you may need.
  3. Look at your home. Do you have a very narrow hallway? Are your doorways narrow? If you are going to need to use your walker around your home, you are going to need to get the measurements for these areas in your home. If you are only going to need to use it when you are outside of your home, this may not be as big of a deal. Similarly, if you have wider hallways and doorways, this may not be an issue. Take some time to get the measurements of both so that when you look at different types of walkers, you know how big (or small) the one you pick needs to be to fit into your home and lifestyle.
  4. Talk to your health insurance carrier. Whether you have Medicare or some other private insurance, you should find out if your policy will cover any of the different types of walkers. Some health insurance policies do cover walking aids for seniors but they may only cover certain models. Before you start looking at walkers, you will want to make sure you know what models will be covered. For many people, finding a walker that is covered by their insurance narrows down the number that they can seriously consider.
  5. Get one that fits your lifestyle. Some walkers are easier to take with you than others. Are you going to need to put it in the trunk of your car? Will you just throw it in the back seat? How you plan to travel with your walker may make a difference in the kind that you end up buying. Liking the maneuverability and stability of the walker is one thing to consider, how you will bring it with you is another. Both are important to consider when buying a walker.

For some people, using a walker will be a temporary thing, for instance, they may use it after surgery. For others, they will use them for a longer period of time. In both instances, it is important to get the right kind.

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