How to use a walker
It's important to know how to use a walker if you are injured or elderly
Elderly people frequently experience problems with their balance and their vision as well as leg weakness and they need the help of a walker. After hip or knee replacement surgery, a walker is a Godsend.
There are different types of walkers including a pick-up walker which has four solid prongs on the bottom. This type of walker gives the patient the most stability and it allows you to keep some or all of your weight off of the lower body. When using a walker of any kind, the individual must learn how to stand using it, how to turn, how to walk and how to sit down.
Pick Up Walker
When using this type of walker, the patient uses his arms to support his weight. The top portion of the walker should match the crease in the wrist when the individual stands up straight. When using a walker, do not be in a rush, particularly at first. Go slowly. As you heal, you will regain some of your endurance and strength and you will be able to carry more weight in your legs.
When walking with the four solid pronged walker the walker must be placed one step ahead of you. The legs of the walker must be level to the ground. Using both hand grips, grip the top of the walker which gives you support and then walk into the walker, stepping off on the leg that is injured.
Make sure that you touch the heel of your injured leg's foot to the ground and then flatten the foot before lifting the toes off the ground as you complete your step with the good leg. Be careful not to step all the way to the front of the walker because this can cause you to lose your balance. Remember to take small steps when you turn.
When you want to sit down while using a walker, back your legs up until they touch the chair that you want to sit in. Reach behind you to feel the seat before you sit down. If you want to get up from a chair, using your walker, push yourself up and then grasp hold of the grips on the walker. The rubbers tips on the legs of the walker must be in good shape so that they function as they are supposed to.
Using a walker on stairs is not a good idea. Actually, it is pretty much a recipe for disaster. Do not use a walker on an escalator. Find the elevator, which should be clearly marked and near the escalator or stairway.
Front Wheeled Walker
Another type of walker is the front-wheeled walker. When using a wheeled walker, place the walker ahead of you before you take any steps. Gently roll it ahead of you as you walk, keeping it close enough to you that it provides support. If you find that your steps aren't even, shorten your steps. Shorter steps are better if you are having issues with balance. When you want to turn around, stay within the walker width even if you are situated slightly behind it. Roll the walker around you but do not twist your back. You need to face the front of the walker at all times.
Four Wheeled WalkerThere is also a four-wheeled walker, which is called a rollator. When using a four-wheeled walker, you must engage the brakes before you attempt to stand up. Move forward in your chair, sitting as closely as possible to the edge of the chair. Your feet should be as far under your body as possible. Place your toes directly below the edge of the chair. Put both of your hands on the arms of the chair you are sitting in or you can put on hand on the walker and your other hand remains on the chair.
Do not cause the walker to tip which can happen if you put too much weight on one side of the walker while you are attempting to stand up.Lean forward, putting some weight on your feet, and use your legs to help you stand. Your arms should be used to lift only that weight which your legs can't. Do not start walking until you are sure you are balanced. Now you can disengage the brakes on the four wheeled walker.