The older the person, the higher the likelihood of having chronic illnesses and unwanted age-related changes. Damage and weakening of the musculoskeletal system, vegetovascular dystonia, dizziness, pressure drops and just weakness in the limbs - all this causes discomfort and uncertainty in their abilities. Because of this, there is an unwillingness to once again get up without help, as a result of decreased motor activity, which leads to a complete loss of the ability to move independently in the house or on the street.
To help in such cases it is recommended to use a special device - walkers for the elderly. They are much more effective than crutches or walking-sticks and suggest a wide base of support, which adds confidence, helps to overcome fear of falling and makes it possible to move to people with limited motor functions.
Walkers are recommended for the elderly and physically weakened people, for whom movement without additional support is not possible. They reduce the burden on the legs and spine, add stability.
Walkers will be useful after a severe stroke, when the patient has been bedridden for a long time, lost muscle tone and is afraid to walk without help.
Fractures in the elderly are a big problem, the rehabilitation period is long, and the need to transfer the patient to a vertical position after bed rest is obvious.
With the help of walkers, the process of recovery can be greatly accelerated. They are convenient in everyday life, indispensable in rehabilitation centers, medical institutions, homes for the elderly. The main thing is that the walkers perform their function 100%, they are safe, as convenient as possible, and for an individual purchase they have an optimal price.
Presumably, the walkers were first invented for toddlers, whose parents tried to save their hands and spine from overloads.
The history of the development of adaptations for adults began in the forties of the last century, when the Lithuanian emigre Andréus Mouise proposed as a support for maintaining weight while walking a frame from a frame on four legs that reached the waist of the patient.
A little later, at the end of the sixties, the Swedish inventor Bernt Linder proposed to additionally use wheels on legs, which significantly improved the walkers for the elderly. The feedback from grateful customers gave impetus to the development and introduction of constructive innovations in production.
Modern models, equipped with wheels with a braking mechanism, make it possible to move comfortably in the house and on the street. On the seat you can relax on a walk, and the basket is convenient for transporting everything you need.
Walkers are classified by:
- place of use;
- technical features.
Depending on whether they are used for a rehabilitation course or are selected for everyday use, the models may differ materially.
Walkers intended for movement inside the building can be uncomfortable on the street and vice versa.
Technical characteristics of different models have significant differences: the frame material, weight, the configuration of the handles, the presence of wheels and braking mechanism, the seat, additional compartments for things.
Depending on the design features, walkers for the elderly can be complete and foldable, they are divided into the types:
- wheeled (roller);
- with additional support (elbow or axillary);
Stationary models with a monolith frame of light materials - this is the simplest design. At the initial stage, experts advise choosing exactly such walkers for the elderly.
User feedback indicates that at first, when it is not clear what is better - crutch, cane or more reliable device, it is simple models with a light aluminum frame that are suitable for most cases.
They are not expensive, practical and durable. They are a simple construction of four pillars with handrails for easy moving. Movement occurs within the structure.
Such models are intended for weakened patients, when even getting up from a chair or bed causes difficulty. Handrails in such structures are located on two levels: one designed to stop at the time of lifting the body weight and then lowering, others - to support during standing and moving around the house.
Experience has shown that two-level walkers for elderly patients are more convenient than the usual design, since it is during the rise that a person should exert the most effort, and just the handrails at the right level give additional support and create the conditions for such a push.
Walkers with step effect
Such a variant of the supporting device is a modification of a simple stationary structure, characterized by a hinged connection of the front bridge with the right and left halves.
Such fastening enables a person to move not the entire structure at once, but separately each side of it in time with the step. The model is more suitable in the period of active rehabilitation for the development of coordination of movement.
Go-carts for the elderly walk through the fixation of the swivel joints quickly turn into a rigid stationary structure, which is very convenient at different stages of the rehabilitation period.
A simple variant of mobile walkers assumes the presence on the front supports on both sides of the wheels of small diameter - for easier movement. This design is convenient for patients with weakened hands and after short training gives the opportunity to move fairly quickly.
Walking wheels for elderly patients are recommended for walking and for extra leg training. Such structures (rollers, rollators) are equipped with four wheels of a larger diameter, which allows you to move as quickly as possible, maintaining stability. Usually equipped with a brake on the principle of a manual bicycle mechanism.
Models with additional support
It also happens that a person has a desire to get up and move, but the usual designs with an emphasis on the level of the pelvis do not give such an opportunity, since they can not create sufficient support. In such cases, additional elements of supporting the body weight at a higher level should be added.
Go-carts for elderly patients with an emphasis on the elbow provide an opportunity to carry the weight of the body while walking on the forearm. A higher emphasis ensures good stability even for severely weakened people.
The emphasis in the axillary region makes it possible to completely unload the spine and maximally secure the movement process. Such models are recommended for people with impaired coordination.
Universal walkers and their modifications
Currently, the market offers both stationary and folding compact models, convenient for storage and transportation. The mechanism for folding the frame can be present for simple stationary structures, for walking walker versions, and for more advanced rollers. All of them are easily transformed into working position and can be quickly prepared for use.
Often for patients with a large weight of conventional aluminum construction is not enough. In such cases, it is necessary to choose a variant of a stronger frame with improved technical characteristics. There are models designed for a load of up to 225 kg.
At present, there are comfortable walkers for the elderly. A photo of such a model is presented above. There are designs with a folding or stationary seat, the front jumper in this case serves as a backboard. Additionally, there may be a table, storage compartments and carriage of the walking stick.
How to choose a walker for the elderly?
In order for the patient to benefit from the walkers, they must be selected specifically for him. The right choice will help make the attending physician familiar with the physiological state and physical health of the patient. Also help can be provided by a qualified specialist of the trade network where you plan to purchase walkers.
General recommendations boil down to the fact that in the first stages the simple standard models with four legs are best suited. It will not be superfluous to have the possibility of installing an additional block of detachable supports in the walker.
For weak patients, it is better to choose designs with wheels on the front legs. If they are removable, it will be even better.
For walks it is necessary to choose rollators with large wheels and sitting for rest. The variant with three wheels is less bulky and more mobile, it is good for both home and street.
People with impaired coordination should choose a walker-support for the elbow or armpit.
Specificity of choice
The design should be as light as possible, accurately approach the patient's growth or be able to adjust. Any walker for the elderly (the photo makes it possible to understand the principle of determining the height) should be conveniently fixed in freely lowered hands.
Handles should be comfortable. Most often they are plastic or rubberized, but for people with excessive sweating of the palms, you need to take care of the models with handrails from porous materials in advance. For patients suffering from arthritis, there are options with thickened handles.
Big wheels scooters will cope better with a rough road. The presence of depreciation in the road models will soften the impact on the hands. To move in the conditions of the room will be enough and small wheels. Their blocking should have a simple mechanism and ensure reliable fixation.
The technological load on the frame can correspond to the weight of the patient with an insignificant margin of safety.
It's nice to read the grateful comments of elderly people to whom the walkers really benefited. In general, the convenience, lightness and practicality of aluminum structures during movement are noted. The regulated walker for the elderly is in demand. Reviews show that such models are finally adjusted to the growth of the patient after the start of use.
There are grateful comments for the two-level walkers, helping many to rise independently. It's nice to know that thanks to a supporting folding structure, an elderly man was able to go out to the sea with his children.
Special thanks from elderly housewives for comfortable seating, compartments for food packages and for rubber pads on racks that protect the floor.
There are also caveats regarding the use of wheeled models to people after a stroke with a partial loss of motor functions.
Justified and lamenting the "biting" prices for comfortable structures, but with the proviso that such a case of money is not a pity.
Go-carts for the elderly have an undeniable advantage in comparison with other support systems. These designs allow you to quickly restore the motor function of a weakened person, help overcome the fear of walking.
Due to the wide support base, walkers are considered to be the safest device for helping elderly people, they give a real sense of confidence in their abilities. Such a means of rehabilitation is uniquely more practical than crutches or walking-sticks, and for some patients it allows you to replace a wheelchair.
Using walkers, the elderly can return to active life, making walks, doing simple housework, serving themselves.
The task of family members caring for elderly relatives is to choose the right model, take care of its reliability and safety, help to make the first steps with it, to support the patient's moral and psychological adjustment.