How to Use a Walker Properly-Essential Steps to Follow
Whether you recently had a surgery,leg injury or you are at that stage in your life where age is no longer on your side anymore..It important to start to walk soon. But to do that, you will need an extra support.
This is where a walker comes in. A walker will provide you with the extra support that you need to get you on your feet again.
Types of Walkers
There many kinds of walkers to choose from. The choice is yours.
There are walkers without wheels, 2 wheel walkers and 4 wheel walkers.
- Walkers without wheels– If you have a problem with stability, You might consider choosing a walker without wheels. But this kind of walker will require you to lift every step you take. because of that most people prefer to go for either the 2 wheel walkers or 4 wheel walkers.
- 2 wheel walker – This kind of walker allows you to place your weight on the walker as you move. The back legs prevent it from rolling backward and the front wheels make it easier for movements.
- 4 wheel walker– The four wheel walker is the easiest to use among them.You can move around easily and walk farther with it.
If you are using a walker without wheels,you will have to lift the walker forward put it down and step into it. but if it is a 4 wheel walker, you just push it forward and move forward.
When you lift or push your walker forward, ensure that all the 4 tips or wheels are on the ground before you put your weight on it. This will minimize slipping and falling.
Always look forward while using the walker and not down on your feet.
Adjusting your walker to an appropriate height will ensure that you don’t hurt yourself. The best way is to adjust the handles to your hips level while keeping your elbows slightly bent when you hold the handles.
How to Walk with a Walker
If you are using a walker for the first time or you simple want to improve on how to use your existing walker , follow these steps to help you.
- Push or lift your walker a few inches or an arm’s length in front of you.
- Ensure all the 4 tips or the walker wheels are touching the ground before you take your step.
- Use your weaker leg to step forward first. If both of your legs are weak, start with the one that feel weaker.
- Then step forward with your other leg, placing it in front of the weaker leg.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4 to move forward. Go slowly and walk with good posture, keeping your back straight.
How to go from Standing to Sitting with your Walker
The steps below will help you sit properly with your walker
- If you are about to take a seat whether it is a chair, your bed or the toilet.Make sure your legs are touching the back of the seat you are about to take.
- Ensure the tips or the wheels of your walker are touching the floor.
- Reach back with one hand and grab the armrest, bed, or toilet behind you. If you had surgery on both legs, reach back with one hand, then the other hand.
- Lean in and move forward with the weaker leg, slowly sit down and slide your body into position
How to go from Sitting to Standing with your Walker
The following steps will get you from a sitting position into a standing position with your walker.
- Move the walker in front of you and make sure the open side is facing you.
- Unsure that all the 4 tips or wheels are touching the floor surface.
- slightly lean forward and use your arms to help you stand up. DO NOT pull on or tilt the walker to help you stand up as this may cause you to fall. Use the chair armrests or handrails if they are available. You may also ask for help if you need it.
- Take hold of your walker’s handles
- Take a step forward to gradual stand up
- Before you start taking your walk. Stand up still and make sure you are steady to start taking your walk.
How to Use a Walker on Stairs
Follow the following steps when you go up or down the stairs.
- First place your walker on the step or curb in front of you. if you are moving up the stairs. If you are going down the stairs place it beneath the step or curb.
- Ensure that at the wheels and the tips are touching the ground.
- To move up, use your stronger leg to step up first. Put all your weight on the walker and bring your weaker leg up to the step or curb. To move down, Step down first with your weaker leg. Put all your weight on the walker and bring your stronger leg down next to your weaker leg.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind
- Keep a space between you and your walker
- Keep your toes inside your walker:stepping too close to the front or tips or wheels may make you lose your balance.
- When going up the stairs, always use your stronger leg first and when moving down the stairs always use your weaker leg first.
- Make changes around your house to ensure; any loose rug,corners that are sticking out or any cord are all secured to avoid falling.
- Keep floor clean and dry at all times.
- Wear non-slippery shoes. Do not wear heels or shoes with leather soles.
- Inspect the tips and wheels of your walker daily.If they are worn out, you can replace them with new ones.
- Use walkers accessories like basket or pouch to help hold your personal belongings.So that you can be able to use both hands to hold your walker.
- Do not go up the stairs all by yourself if unless you have being trained on how to use your walker to climb stairs.
A walker is a real companion. It offers you the ability to be independent,It helps you to be stable while walking ,give you extra comfort . Walkers give you that possible of being able to enjoy your social life again.
I hope I was able to help you in some way. I will like to hear from you. You may leave your thoughts below in the comment box.
Article inspired by : https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000342.htm
Categorised in: Articles