The United States is an ageing country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since January 1, 2011, and every day for the next 20 years, nearly 10,000 Americans will celebrate their 65th birthdays.
The unprecedented number of the senior population in the US means that there will likely be a growing demand of products that ease mobility problems commonly encountered by older adults.
Mobility reduction is one of the common difficulties faced by the elderly population. It affects not only the person’s movement, but also one’s ability to accomplish personal tasks. It also affects how a person views oneself, others and his or her surroundings.
A standard walker is basically a frame with four tips. This device has to be lifted when moving. It is one of most popular mobility assistive devices among older adults due to the following reasons:
- It serves as a supporting device during standing and walking.
- Loss of bone mass is avoided when using this device.
- Formation of skin sores is avoided when using this device.
- It improves blood circulation, respiratory, digestive, urinary and kidney functions.
- It is good for the psyche of the user as it is beneficial to self-esteem and relationships with loved ones.
- Compared to other walkers, the standard type is the most stable. It, however, results to slower walking as the user has to lift the equipment off the ground in every step.
- Those with medical conditions such as severe myopathy, severe neuropathy and cerebellar ataxia can use this equipment.
According to doctors Sara Bradley and Cameron Hernandez (based on an article entitled “Geriatric Assistive Devices” published in the American Family Physician magazine), to find out if the adult standard walker is the right equipment for you, answer these questions:
First question is “Do you need one or both upper extremities for weight bearing or balance?”
Second question is “What frequency of weight bearing is needed?
If the answer to the first question is “both”, and the answer to the second question is “constant”, then the standard walker is the right equipment for you.
When using the standard walkers, Bradley and Hernandez recommend the following:
-Both feet should stay between the equipment’s posterior legs.
-Posture should be upright without forward or lateral leaning.
-Users should take their time when turning and refrain from lifting the device off the ground while doing so.
The adult stand-assist walkers, in particular, get patients upright and ready to go. From a seated position, users can gradually progress from the lower level of handles to the top level. The adult stand-assist walkers with bi-level handles also enable users to position the walker over the toilet. This can be used as a toilet safety frame when using a restroom away from home.