Walking frames are often used by the elderly or disabled to provide extra support when walking.
They are widely known as Zimmer frames; the name coming from Zimmer holdings, a well-known producer of walking frames. Walking frames are also referred to as Tri walkers or Walking trolleys.
Walking frames offer a stable base so that people with balance or mobility issues can move around independently. There are many types of walking frames with different designs based on intended use.
The standard frames come in two, three and four-wheel varieties, with and without trays. Frames intended for use outside the home include storage bags, baskets and seats. They include brakes for stability and safety.
Here is a short video with tips on buying a walking frame.
Generally speaking, walking frames are lightweight, with handles for gripping.
Most users cannot move them if they are heavy. They are usually waist high, and most will be height adjustable. The height will have to be set correctly for that specific user to avoid back problems and other physical issues for the user.
To use a Walking frame, the user walks within the frame with the front and the sides surrounding them.
If non-wheeled, they hold on to the sides of the frame and walk forward by picking the frame up and placing it in front of them. The process is the same with wheeled walkers but they make walking easier as the frame does not have to be picked up every few steps.
Wheels are also necessary for effective use of trays to carry items from one room to another.
There are many types of walkers available. The prospective user should choose one based on their needs, level of mobility and strength. Below are some examples of the different varieties of Walking frames: Two-wheeled walkers
Best suited for indoor use, two-wheeled walkers are suitable for people who need a sturdier support when walking. The 2 wheels are located at the front, with two rubber stoppers or glides at the back closer to the user. The rubber stoppers are more stable than the glides but the glides are more easily pushed.
These walkers are much less manoeuvrable than the other designs but provide more support.
One can use this style of walker both inside and outside the home. It is most suited to those who may need added support when outside or when covering longer distances.
Three-wheeled walkers are less stable than the four-wheeled variety but many users prefer them as they offer greater manoeuvrability than the four-wheeled versions and take up less room when folded. These walkers generally feature brakes.
These are much the same as three-wheeled walkers. As mentioned in the earlier paragraph they offer more stability for the user. This added stability comes at the expense of manoeuvrability.
Additionally, they feature a larger support base than the three-wheeled version. Four-wheeled walkers are the most commonly used walking frames.
Rollators are used by a more mobile person.
They come in three or four wheel varieties. The wheels are larger than on regular walking frames. The main feature of these is the seat which allows for rests without having to find a bench.
Rollators are generally very sturdy. They have many features, with good quality, lockable brakes for safety and baskets and storage bags attached.
The following are considerations that should be considered when choosing your walking frame.
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