Mobility aids, such as the bariatric walker and cane, are used by millions of Americans.
Close to 1.4 million Americans used walkers – such as the bariatric walker; while 3.1 million used canes, this according to the 2000 data of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
The bariatric walker and cane are prescribed often to older people with mobility impairment.
People with mobility limitation benefit from walkers – including the bariatric walker – and canes as these mobility solutions boost confidence, feeling of safety and as a result increase the level of activities and independence.
Mary Alice Duesterhaus Minor, in her book “Patient Care Skills,” pointed out that canes are suitable for individuals whose level of mobility impairment is only moderate; while walkers – including the bariatric walker – are fitting to those with generalized weakness, incapacitating conditions, severe inability for lower-limb weight bearing or insufficient balance control.
Cubo et al., in the study “Wheeled and standard walkers in Parkinson’s disease patients with gait freezing,” found that wheeled walkers, which include the bariatric walker, should be prescribed to individuals with Parkinson’s disease as this type of mobility device can easily be manipulated and does not aggravate freezing.
Bryant et al., in the study “Gait Changes with Walking Devises in Persons with Parkinson’s Disease,” found that while both wheeled walkers like the bariatric walker and canes compromise the speed of walking speed, wheeled walkers, in particular, compromise the length of the stride.
In terms of weight, cane is lighter than the bariatric walker. If the gait problem is mild and unilateral, the ideal tool is the cane. The suitable user of the cane has good upper extremity strength.
The bariatric walker, meanwhile, is prescribed to those who are weak in the bilateral lower extremity, those experiencing incoordination and those requiring more body weight support.
In the study “Assistive Technology and Mobility Aids for the Older Patient with Disability,” author Helen Hoenig found that walkers may reduce pain from spinal stenosis or osteoporosis.