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Folding Walkers Elderly Parents Can Use?
What do you think of when you read my title – “Folding Walkers Elderly Use?” My first thought is the original folding walkers for the elderly that I remember from my youth and my grandparents aging issues. Those lightweight walkers for elderly that have no wheels. Or maybe they have two little wheels in the front. But no wheels in the back. Those were the first folding walkers I was familiar with.
And yes. We have one of those here for my mom. It’s pictured above along with a couple of canes, her mini stationary exercise bike pedals and some of the grandkids toys. (You can definitely tell we are fully in the Sandwich Generation!) She used it for a while after a hip surgery or two. I got pretty good at adding tennis balls to it, thanks to the wise advice of a physical therapist. 🙂 I have to admit, they are light and probably the easiest for a caregiver to maneuver. One con to them, of course, is that if they don’t have any wheels, they have to be somewhat lifted each time you want to move forward. Not all elderly seniors are able to do that. My mom couldn’t. Hence the one above with two little wheels.
Happily, as many of us know – nowadays these aren’t the only “game” in town. In fact, there are a few different types of walkers for elderly parents.
4 Wheeled Walkers for Elderly Parents
4 wheeled walkers for elderly parents are quite common now. I personally like them best for my elderly parents. Also known as “rollator walkers for the elderly,” we (my senior parents and I) think they are easier to use. Plus they give you a place to sit. And yes, they fold up as well. Maybe not quite as flat as the walkers pictured above. But still great for putting into cars.
I remember taking my dad to the mall for our walking activities after we got him one of these snazzy, new-to-us 4 wheeled walkers. He loved it. He had a little carrier to hold items so he didn’t have to juggle them. And when he was tired and the mall was busy, no worries. He just turned around and sat on his walker. It was great! And YES, his rollator walker for elderly parents was also one of the folding walkers elderly seniors AND their caregivers appreciate.
They are heavier and a bit more awkward than the 2 wheeled walkers. So they’re a little bit more difficult for caregivers. But if you can manage lifting them in and out of a car, etc., they are wonderful for our aging parents who are able to handle them.
My elderly mom has found her Lumex 4 wheeled walker very handy. Though, sometimes she finds it handy for walking. Other times she finds it handy for hanging clothes and blankets on. 🙂 But when we need it, she is so grateful she has it!!!
3 Wheel Walker for Elderly
Looking for narrow walkers for elderly parents? Here’s one option. This one really fascinated me. I have to admit – I’ve never heard of them before. I did a bit of research and discovered they have some definite pros, and also cons. They appear to be more compact walkers for elderly parents. If you are looking for narrow walkers for elderly AND your aging parent has good balance, they might be a possibility. That statement shows both a pro AND a con – namely, the good balance requirement.
My senior dad had Parkinson’s Disease so it would not have been a good option for him as he did not have good balance. My sweet mom is healthier, but she too needs more stability to prevent falls. So for us, these 3 wheel walkers aren’t a good choice. But for a younger and/or more agile senior who needs some help but does have good balance, they could be a good possibility. ElevatingSeniors.com had some good things to say about them including the facts that they “give you more mobility and allow you to move at a faster pace.”
When looking through the Amazon 3 wheel walkers for the elderly reviews, I did notice that while most of the 4 wheeled walkers for elderly show an average of 4.5 + stars, the 3 wheeled walkers for elderly seemed to average about 4 stars. When I looked at individual reviews, there were mixed reasons, of course. But the stability issue was mentioned quite a bit. Still, most of the people who bought these did seem to love them for their particular purposes. 🙂
Stand Up Walkers for Seniors
Stand Up Walker As Seen on TV
Next is the new stand up walker “as seen on TV,” as they like to say. I’ve only recently noticed it in commercials but have to admit, they do look cool! My dad was quite tall and, at first, I wondered if that rollator for tall parents would have helped him more.
The UpWalker Mobility Stand Up Walking Aid (Upright Posture Rolling Walker With a Seat) by LifeWalker is pictured below:
Per the company’s description at Amazon – click here to read more:
“Is the UPWalker Right For You: Our primary concern is for safe and effective use of the UPWalker. Please review the following points and if any of the following applies to you, or the loved one that you are buying the UPWalker for, then do NOT purchase the UPWalker.
- If you are not of reasonable health, have ataxia and/or some other mobility issues, you may not be able to handle the agility of the UPWalker.
- If you are over 75 years old or have to rely on your current walker for support to stand you may find it hard to control the UPWalker.
- If you are you under 4’ 6” in height then the UPWalker is too big for you.
- If you’re over 5’ 10” tall, or weigh over 300 pounds, then it’s too small for you.
- If your home has doors or walk ways that are smaller than standard, it may be difficult to maneuver the UPWalker. The UPWalker has a frame width of 23.5″. This enables it to maneuver standard doors and walk ways but can be a tight fit in small houses and apartments.
Stand Up Walkers for Elderly Including With Parkinsons
Another stand up Walker is called the U-Step Walking Stabilizer by In-Step Mobility Products, inc. My local medical supply company carries it (as does Amazon) and has had several customers with Parkinson’s Disease buy it and love using it. Notice the extra wheels on the u-shaped base. It seems to make it even more stable than the 4 wheeled rollators for elderly. That being said, do make sure your senior parent can easily hold on to the handle bars for a prolonged period of time. One of its advantages – the reverse braking system that enables it to stop immediately the minute you let go of the handle bars, thus protecting you from a “run away” walker – could also be one of its disadvantages. I have arthritis in my hands. It could easily become painful for me to have to hold a handle non-stop while walking. Thus I would probably have to pass on this one. But for someone without hand issues, who does have a need for more stability from the walker, this could be a real help! Plus some have extra features that are specially made to help Parkinson’s patients with gait issues!
StandUp Walker Mobility Aid by URise Products
This one is definitely a “horse of a different color” when it comes to walkers of any kind and particularly stand up walkers. It is primarily geared to help elderly seniors to stand up though it also helps them to walk with more security. The photo above is from Amazon. They don’t currently carry it, though that may change. Another favorite resource of mine – AlzStore.com – DOES have it in stock along with this video to explain it.
One caveat to this. I agree that it is important to find a walker dementia patients can handle so they stay more active. I think this could work well in the early stages of dementia and maybe for those parents who start using it right away and get used to it and then continue on using it as their memory loss progresses. I know that one of the loved ones with memory issues in my family would not be able to remember how to use this. If you were interested in trying it out, I would look for a local place or if you have to order online, be sure you can return it easily and, hopefully, inexpensively.
Walker With Toilet Seat
Here’s another medical tool I wish I’d learned about for my dad (assuming it existed back then). It’s a walker with toilet seat. This particular one is called the Free2Go Rollator. You can walk into a toilet stall with this rollator walker for toilet use, position it over the toilet seat, lift the padded seat and easily go on from there. WHAT A HELP for so many elderly seniors – both men and women – with mobility problems from Parkinsons’ Disease or other health issues. I’d never heard about it until I was researching for this article! I would highly recommend checking into this commode walker!
In looking at Free2Go walkers for the elderly reviews, I noticed Amazon has 5 reviews – 4 are 5 stars and the 5th is a 4 star, only because it’s a bit heavy for her, which would probably be true for most walkers. Kudos on the good reviews!
TheWrightStuff.com also carries the Free2Go rollator. Click here now to see it. Their site points out that, “Overall the rollator measures 24 inches wide and weighs 20.2 pounds, and has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. The Free2Go Rollator provides users with benefits of 3 different mobility devices in 1 item – walking aid, raised toilet seat and toilet safety frame.” Very cool indeed!
Best Walkers for Elderly Parents
As you can see, there are many different types of folding walkers for elderly parents. These walking aids for the elderly seniors in our lives all have definite advantages and uses for different people at different stages of an injury or illness. Your doctor or therapist is the best one to help you decide which is the best walker for your elderly parents. Hopefully, this guide will help you decide which is the best option for your Sandwich Generation family member.
To me, the most practical place to start when selecting equipment like this is to have your aging parents test it out first to be sure they can walk comfortably with it and to see if it really is a help for them. Some of these items are quite pricy so you definitely want to be sure they work well before you spend extra.
Best Walker For Elderly Parents With Dementia?
If you are caring for elderly parents dealing with dementia, be aware that they may have a more difficult time using any folding walker for elderly patients. Many will not remember they need a walker and just start walking, using the walker as a blanket and hanger storer. If they remember the walker, they may lose the ability to control any part of it.
The more complicated the walker, the more difficulties they may have. In that case, you might want to downgrade to the basic 4 wheeled walkers that only have brakes. Most of the time, if they are in a house and someone is with them, they can probably do ok without the brake if they forget it. Alternatively, the 2 wheel walker with tennis balls would probably be the simplest. The walker with no wheels requires lifting and that could be more difficult for them to handle. Time and experimentation will help you determine that.
Where to Buy a Folding Walker for Elderly Parents
First! Be sure to talk to your doctor or health care services to see if a folding walker of any kind is covered by medical insurance. I bought my senior dad’s first walker without knowing to ask that. Turns out, his insurance would provide that. Even thought we had the one, we went ahead and ordered his insurance-provided one as well, since it looked like it might be a bit better for his height. It worked out well as one was better for home use and the other was easier for traveling.
You might also talk to a physical therapist to see if they have a variety of options for you and your senior parent to “test drive.” Once you narrow it down to what you want, you can then shop at a local medical supply store or online by clicking the above links as well as at the options below:
Some of the Folding Walkers for Elderly Carried at Medical Supply Depot
Some of the Folding Walkers for Elderly Carried at Amazon
We’d Love To Hear
Once you purchase your folding walker for your elderly parents, we’d love to hear what you selected or what choices you had available. Just leave a comment below or over at Facebook. 🙂
P.S. Check this out! MedicalSupplyDepot.com carries many styles of walkers for you and they currently have a great coupon for free shipping over $50