People over the age of 60 are usually affected by Parkinson’s disease or PD. Lightweight walkers with front wheels are particularly useful in patients with this condition.
Parkinson’s disease is classified under the conditions called motor system disorders. Symptoms of this condition include:
– Trembling of the face, jaw, arms, legs and arms
– Stiffness of the trunk and limbs
– Slowness of movement
– Impaired balance and coordination
These symptoms become more evident when patients walk or accomplish simple daily tasks.
Health care professionals often prescribe lightweight walkers with front wheels to PD patients.
Benefits of Using Lightweight Walkers with Front Wheels
Patients with Parkinson’s disease benefit from lightweight walkers with front wheels because of the following reasons:
1. Reduce the risk of falling backwards
The 2-wheeled lightweight walkers are particularly designed for those with weaker upper limbs. People with weaker upper limbs have the tendency to fall backwards when lifting an assistive device.
2. Promote normal gait
The 2-wheeled lightweight walkers allow a more normal walking pattern. The reason for this normal gait is that these assistive devices encourage a forward displacement of the center of gravity. The user of the 2-wheeled lightweight walkers can continue walking without the need to lift the device.
3. Reduce freezing
A study by Cubo et al. showed that Parkinson’s disease patients benefit from the front-wheeled walkers as these devices reduce freezing compared with standard walkers.
4. Ideal for occasional weight-bearing support
In the article “Geriatric Assistive Devices” published on the American Family Physician web site, doctors Bradley and Hernandez recommend that if the patient only occasionally needs weight-bearing support, the 2-wheeled walker is sufficient.
Walkers are simply walking frames. They are classified based on the absence and number of wheels. The 4 types of walkers are the standard type, 2-wheeled or front-wheeled type, 3-wheeled type and the 4-wheeled type.
Lightweight walkers with front wheels are made of aluminum – a lightweight material. This lightweight aluminum frame ensures maximum strength and durability.
Device Selection Process
The lightweight aluminum walking frame is appropriate to those who meet these requirements:
– Those who need both upper extremities for balance and weight bearing; and
– Occasionally need weight bearing support.