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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 have liked 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 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 some definite 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 stand up walker “as seen on TV,” as they like to say. [When I first wrote this article they were fairly new. Now I see them all over the retirement communities I take my real estate clients to and one of my neighbors even has one and LOVES it!] My dad was quite tall and, at first, I wondered if that rollator for tall parents would have helped him more. But his Parkinson’s had progressed quite far by the time he started using it. Couple that with the original disclaimer that came with this walker when I first shared it, I doubt he would have been able to use it. Here’s a link to the original UpWalker Mobility Stand Up Walking Aid . Many people can use it and love it.
And click here for some links at Amazon for various other stand up walkers – many are much less expensive now.
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! Amazon carries it – you can click here to see it. BUT check this out…
TheWrightStuff.com also carries it and has a great couple of photos to show to you – they are the same – just one is open and the other is closed.
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:
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.
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