Mobility is one of the most important human faculties. It influences not only a person’s walking ability, but also the ability to accomplish personal tasks. It also affects one’s physiological health, as well as one’s interaction with others and his or her environment.
Mobility reduction is one of the problems that affects most of older adults. In the U.S., the growing population of older adults (65 years old and above) means that there will be more demand for mobility assistance.
Caregiver Versus Adult Walker
People with reduced mobility resort to two types of assistance: personal assistance and assistive device. These two types of assistance reduce task demand so that people with reduce mobility accomplish their tasks more easily.
Personal care can be from family and friends or from someone who is paid, also known as caregiver. Assistive devices, meanwhile, can be in the form of canes, walkers, rollators and scooters. Among the many devices, the adult walker is often prescribed by health care professionals.
Through the years, there has been a decline of personal care demand as a result of increase education among the elderly population, as well as the decrease in the availability of informal caregivers.
The demand, however, for assistive devices has increased through the years.
Here are the top reasons why an adult walker is often prescribed to the elderly population:
1. It works as a supporting device during standing.
2. It is used in order to move.
3. It prevents the loss of bone mass.
4. It avoids the formation of skin sores.
5. It improves blood circulation, respiratory, digestive, urinary and kidney functions.
6. It is beneficial to the psychological health as it positively impacts relationship and self-esteem issues.
A study by Lois M. Verbrugge and Purvi Sevak demonstrated that devices may have distinctive psychological and technical advantages such as:
- It can be tailored to a person’s specific needs.
- It is available when needed; and
- It maintains self-sufficiency.
Another study by Agree et al. showed that assistive technology reduces informal care hours, especially for those who were better educated, unmarried or had better cognitive abilities.
Who can use
The adult walker is not for everybody. A user of this technology must be capable or has the following functions:
- Can walk independently but needs support for balance on both sides of the body;
- Have good hand and arm to pick up and move the equipment; and
- Those who find themselves continuously holding onto furniture and walls inside the house for support.
The adult folding paddle walker without wheels, in particular, is suited for patients with manual dexterity limitations. The paddle mechanism of this equipment can be flipped-up or pushed-down to fold the walker. In addition, the location of the paddle enables patients to keep hands on the grip while using the paddle mechanism.