In the market for a handicap walker? You've come to the right place!
My 94 year old Mom, Gertie, uses a handicap walker, and we've gone through a few to find the cream of the crop. Handicapped walkers come in all sizes and shapes so identifying the one that suits the user's needs is the first step in keeping everybody happy!
Since Mom is unstable on her feet and has shrunk significantly as she's aged (note to self: take calcium...), we selected a junior-sized 2-wheeled standard walker with a few accessories, such as a nice tray and cup holder. She has a handicap walker on each floor of my house so she's always stable (well, physically - mentally is another thing....not really, she's a pretty sharp cookie for being almost 95. She still tells me to wear my coat and take an umbrella on rainy days. I'm very lucky).
Click any of the images below to go see the full product review on any of these handicap walkers.
For a full review of my favorite 3 wheel walker, the Duro-Med 3-wheel Rollator, check out this article: Duro-Med Steel 3-wheel rollator.
And, here's a review of my favorite 4 wheel walker, the Hugo Elite Rolling Walker. It's the cream of the crop.
Update: 11/15/11 - Well, even the handicapped walker didn't save Mom from a fall in the bathroom (ugh). After suffering a broken hip and surgery, she's bouncing back pretty darned well. Mom's a tough bird! Here's an article I wrote about caringbridge.org, a website I use to update her health status: CaringBridge.org - when health matters most.
My new eBook: Senior Citizen Caregiving 101: Things I wish I had known
2 wheel walkers
Your most affordable solution for the mobility challenged
If you have someone who needs to lean on the walker for stability, a 2 wheel handicap walker is probably the right choice. The 2 wheels in front allow the walker to easily be pushed forward while the rubber tips in back prevent the walker from moving when the walkee (is that a word?) steps forward.
We selected a 2 wheel walker for Mom as she needed to lean on the walker for stability. And, even though there were two of us present during her fall, the two wheeled handicap walker tripped her up when the rubber tips caught the edge of an area rug. Over she went. Ugh. She was fine but I learned a few valuable lessons: 1) One hand on Mom when she moves and 2) tack down the edges of the rugs with nails.
Make sure your loved one knows to lift up the back when going over obstacles (and, teach the dogs to stay the hell out of the way!).
To read my full review of The Duro-Med 2-button adjustable aluminum folding walker with 5 inch wheels click the blue link.
Duro-Med Walker with Wheels and Seat, Royal Blue
ITA-MED Deluxe 1-inch Folding Walker with 5-inch Wheels and 2 Buttons
Drive Medical Deluxe Portable Folding Travel Walker with 5" Wheels and Fold up Legs, Red
Drive Medical Clever-Lite LS Rollator Walker with Seat and Push Down Brakes, Gray
Wee Gizmo hitches a ride on Mom's 2 wheel handicap walker
3 wheel walkers
A smoother ride
If your loved one is planning on taking the walker on trips outside and doesn't need as much stability as a 2 wheel handicap walker provides, a 3 wheel walker may just fit the bill. More maneuverable than the 2 wheel walker, but not quite as stable as the 4 wheel walker, the 3 wheel walker is light and easy to transport. Most weigh right around 8 lbs. And, the larger the wheel, the smoother the walker will move over pebbles or bricks or whatever.
Drive Medical Winnie Lite Supreme Aluminum Three Wheel Rollator, Flame Red
Drive Medical Winnie Lite Supreme Aluminum Three Wheel Rollator, Tan Plaid
NOVA "Traveler" 4900 3-Wheel Walker, Black
Guardian Envoy 380
3 Wheel Walker
Qty of 2
3-wheel Walker Burgundy
Duro-Med Steel 3-Wheel Rollator, Royal Blue
4 wheel handicap walkers
For the most discriminating mover!
4 wheel handicap walkers are for those who are on the go! The sturdiest of the bunch, a 4 wheel handicap walker will take your loved one anywhere they please, and safely. The 4 wheel handicap walkers are more for people who just need to have a slight support - they're very easy to wheel and most even have a seat for when your loved one gets tired.
4 Wheel Rolling Walker with Shopping Basket, Padded Seat Burgundy color
Drive Medical 8" Wheel Folding Deluxe Walkabout Lite Rollator with Loop Brakes, Padded Seat and Under Seat Pouch, Blue
Hugo Portable Rolling Walker with Seat, Backrest and 8 Inch Wheels, Blue
Hugo Elite Rolling Walker with Seat, Backrest and Saddle Bag
Walkabout Four-Wheel Imperial Rollator
Rollator Walker with Loop Brakes
Watch this grannie buggie with her walker
Using a walker is not going to slow this woman down. And, looks to me like she's still got some pretty happening dance moves as she dances with her walker. It's worth the view.
Additional walker safety tips
Through a lot of trials and tribulations, I've figured out a few things I'd like to pass on about handicap walker safety. Heed the warnings - or not...
- If using a 2 wheel handicap walker, make sure to check the back rubber tips frequently. As they wear out, they will grip hardwood or tile floors, or grab the edge of a throw rug. The results could be deadly if your senior citizen friend takes a tumble.
- Never replace the back rubber tips with tennis balls! Yes, I know everyone does this but the tennis balls quickly wear out and you might not notice as they can still look brand new to a beginner's eye. Instead, make sure to purchase new glides specifically in the size for the walker.
- If your loved one is unsteady on his or her feet even when using a walker, put a belt around them so you have something to grab if they should teeter. You can purchase grab belts specifically for this purpose.
- Pull up area rugs if at all possible. If not possible, tack down the edges with small nails. Forget about using double sided tape as it just doesn't hold.
Here's links to my entire series of handicapped walkers, knee scooters and wheelchairs
My 94 year old Mom, Gertie, uses a handicap walker, and we've gone through a few to find the cream of the crop. Handicapped walkers come in all sizes and sha...
Drive Medical FW19BL Fly-Weight Transport Chair
...And, if my mom were to answer the question, it would be to ride in her Drive Medical Flyweight Transport Chair. As the full time caregiver for my 94 yea...
Hugo Portable Rollator Walker with Seat, Backrest and 8 Inch Wheels
My Mom used a walker as she aged, but she didn't use anything as fancy as the Hugo Portable Rollator Walker with Seat, Backrest and 8 Inch Wheels. No siree B...
Hugo Elite Rolling Walker with Seat, Backrest and Saddle Bag
Here's my theory: if you need a 4 wheel handicap walker, why not go with the best, and that's exactly what the Hugo Eite Rolling Walker with seat, backrest a...
Duro-Med 2-Button Adjustable Aluminum Folding Walker with 5 Inch Wheels
As one who cares for her 94 year old mother, I'm intimately aware of the benefits of using just the right walker and the Duro-Med 2-Button Adjustable Aluminu...
Duro-Med Steel 3-Wheel Rollator
The Duro-Med Steel 3-Wheel Rollator is just the right choice for a portable, reliable, stylish handicap walker. The 3 wheels on this walker give stablility f...
When you have limited mobility, the Drive 790 Neebop Steerable Knee Walker will be your best friend!
As one who has broken her foot (I broke one bone in 3 separate places) and has had knee surgery (I knew exercise was bad for me), I wish I had had one of the...
And, in case you need a wheelchair along with that walker
I've just completed a new article about the Drive Medical Fly Weight Transport Chair which is a companion wheelchair. A companion wheelchair has 4 small wheels so it can be easily pushed. It also weights less than a traditional wheelchair - this one weighs just 19 lbs.
My Mom uses a 2 wheel walker around the house but I rely on the Drive Medical transport chair for excursions to restaurants, local malls, etc. We both love it.
The picture below was taken at Brookside Gardens when we took Mom to the butterfly exhibit. A great day was had by all.
I'm happy to field any questions you may have about the use of handicap walkers. Please leave me any comments about this lens - the good, the bad, and the ugly are welcomed.