Tall walkers for seniors are designed to provide support and stability to taller users who have a difficult time walking. The few extra inches that tall walkers provide can help to improve balance and coordination, and they can also reduce the risk of falls. As people age, they often face difficulties with mobility. This can be due to a variety of medical factors, including joint pain, muscle weakness, and balance problems.
For many seniors, these issues make it challenging to get around on their own. As a result, they may start to rely on others for help with simple tasks like getting out of bed, getting to their car to drive, or even going to the bathroom. This can be both embarrassing and inconvenient. In some cases, the inability to get around easily may even lead to a decline in mental health. Seniors need to have access to mobility devices for these reasons.
Mobility devices range from simple things like canes and traditional walkers to more complex ones like power scooters and lift chairs. While they may not be able to eliminate the difficulty of mobility issues completely, they can help make life easier. Along with a good support network, staying mobile can help older adults stay active and independent and give caregivers peace of mind knowing their loved ones are safe. Mobility devices are not only a medical necessity for many older adults, but can also drastically improve their quality of life. For all the value they create, the price of a walker is well worth it.
For seniors, having the right medical equipment is essential. A normal-sized walker may not be a good fit for tall seniors as it requires more bending. Tall walkers can make a big difference in quality of life by providing proper support and stability when walking. Here are some tips to help you select the best one for your needs.
Having a caring medical support team is critical as we age.
General walker features
For many people, using a walker is the best way to stay mobile. They come in various styles and sizes. Each type has its own benefits, so it’s essential to choose the right walker or rollator for your needs.
Walker sizing: Standard to tall
Standard size walkers are generally good for people between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 11 inches. If your height is taller than that, you should look for a specialty walker. Most specialized devices for tall seniors will fit users 5 feet 11 inches up to 6 feet 4 inches.
Traditional walkers have four legs and a set of handgrips, making them sturdy and stable. They’re a good choice for people who need extra support when walking.
They have a frame that goes around the front of the body, making it very stable. However, they can be difficult to maneuver and are not suitable for use on rough terrain. You’ll read more on traditional walkers in the next section.
A rolling walker is another option. Rolling walkers are similar to traditional models, but they have wheels on both the front and back legs, making them easier to maneuver. And, because it has wheels, it can be used on uneven surfaces. These are also called rollators, and we’ll talk more about them in a moment.
Folding walkers are lightweight and easy to transport, making them a good option for people who are always on the go. Because folding walkers become more compact, they are a good option for people who need to store their walkers when not in use or transport them when they drive. Many different types of walkers fold, from traditional to rollator, and some have a seat. An ultra-lightweight walker is very light, making it easy to carry and transport. No matter what your needs, there’s a walker out there that’s perfect for you or your loved one. Keep reading to learn more about the four main types.
Types of walkers
There are four main styles of walkers. Each has its own benefits and suits different needs to help you or your loved one move around. When you’re first starting out, you may want to browse on Amazon just to get an idea of what’s out there. Here, we’ll discuss the types of walkers and their features, then get into the specifics for the best practices for using them with taller people.
A standard (or traditional) walker is an excellent option to consider if you’re looking for a simple walking aid that offers maximum stability. Unlike walkers with wheels, which can be more difficult to control, standard walkers have four non-skid legs that are each capped with a flat, rubber tip. This makes them ideal for people who need additional support and who may not be able to move as quickly. Another advantage of standard walkers is that they’re lower in price than walkers with wheels. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this type of walker isn’t designed for fast movements. Additionally, you’ll need to have enough upper body strength to lift the entire device as you move, and they usually do not come with a seat.
Two-wheeled walkers can offer more natural walking, but they have some drawbacks. The fixed wheels on the two front legs turn slower and the walker is less stable, so it’s not ideal if you need to put a lot of weight on the device. However, two-wheeled walkers are more stable than three-wheeled and four-wheeled walkers, so they might be the best option if you need some balance support but don’t rely entirely on the device. The price of two-wheeled options are usually not that much more than those with no wheels. Like those with no wheels, walkers with two wheels generally do not come with a seat. However, some models do include a folding seat. So if two wheels is your preference, you still may be able to find one with the convenience of a seat.
Three-wheeled walkers for seniors are a type of rollator walker, which means that all three legs have wheels that rotate fully. These walkers have two wheels in the back and one in the front, providing just enough support to keep you balanced while moving forward at a steady pace. Three-wheeled walkers can be slightly less stable than two-wheeled ones. However, you can prevent tipping or leaning by keeping the walker close to the front of your body and stepping into it as you drive it forward rather than allowing it to get too far ahead. Positive features of three-wheeled walkers include their speed and maneuverability, and many offer folding options. With practice, you’ll be able to move quickly and confidently with your three-wheeled walker. However, if you want a seat, a three-wheeled walker is probably not the best choice.
The four-wheeled walker is a rollator walker with four fully rotating wheels. It is quite mobile and easy to drive forward without much effort. If you are looking for a bit of balance support plus a built-in seat for short rests, you may find the features in a four-wheeled model an ideal solution. Compared to the three-wheeled walker, it has a bulkier design and weighs more. However, it can hold more weight than the three-wheeled model and there are folding four-wheeled rollators as well, which is handy when you need to drive. It is important to note that the four-wheeled walker should not be used if you have an unsteady balance. The price of a four-wheeled rollator also tends to be higher than other options.
Those are the four main types of walkers and their features. Before you decide on a brand, be sure to check reviews to see what other users have to say. Reviews can be found on Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other online sites. Amazon is also a great source to do price comparisons, even if you don’t end up buying from Amazon. Interestingly, you can even find canes or “walking sticks” on Amazon that fold out into a seat. So even if you’re not ready for a full walker, you can take a cane and a folding seat along with you when you’re on the go.
Older adults face healthcare-related challenges every day, but the help of a trusted and knowledgeable Care Navigator from 1 True Health can bring peace of mind to seniors and caregivers alike.
Benefits of an upright walker
As you browse Amazon or other online sources for a walker or rollator, you may see upright models. Upright walkers offer features that some taller users tend to find beneficial. They are typically rollator style and have forearm rests that make it easier for many users to drive forward. Here are the top 3 benefits of an upright walker.
Reduces muscular stress and pain
Using standard walkers can result in some users bending over to reach the grips and move forward. This unnatural manner of bending the body is poor posture and very stressful to the body’s major joints. Walking with a standard walker for an extended period of time can cause many complications that decrease health and wellbeing. If it is painful to slouch over a walker, people will avoid moving around at all because it causes pain. On the other hand, an upright walker allows the user to maintain mobility and carry out continued physical activity without the risk of straining their back, which can reduce pain.
Physical therapists teach that motion is a lotion to the joints. Physical activity keeps joints from becoming stiff and painful. In addition to causing joint deterioration, avoiding tasks like moving from one place to another further reduces mobility. The resulting joint stiffness further exacerbates pain. Ensure that joints are exercised and flexible by engaging in as many activities as possible. Patients who use upright rollators with an erect profile are less likely to suffer from pain and are more likely to be healthy because of that. Continued walking and physical activity slow the aging process and help keep people happy and active.
Provides safer mobility
As lateral support walkers, stand-up rollators help keep your head up to see and identify upcoming obstacles. Many people using standard walkers lean forward to hold the handgrips while walking with their heads bowed. Being unable to look up often enough to see obstacles while you drive a walker forward often leads to accidental falls. As people lean forward, their upper back, wrists, and shoulders are put under additional stress. When walking upright, the user’s weight is more evenly distributed and balanced.
Promotes convenient user independence
Mobility diminishes with age, forcing people to use canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. The presence of mobility restrictions contributes significantly to a loss of autonomy due to caregivers swooping in to help. The transition to motorized assistance and caregiver support further degrades independence. Self-ambulation, joint motion, and muscular exercise are crucial for maintaining gait, patient independence, and a healthy lifestyle. Upright models offer users all these benefits as well as models that include convenient seat options, folding, and other useful features. All this promotes physical and mental confidence.
The price of upright walkers may be more than other types, but unless you are looking at options that convert into a wheelchair the price should still be within reason. Even with folding options, upright walkers can be found for nearly the same price as regular rollators. If you’re searching Amazon, you can sort by price to find your sweet spot dollar range. If you decide to purchase on Amazon, be sure to retain your Amazon receipt. Your medical insurance may offer reimbursement or partial reimbursement of the purchase price.
Selecting the right walker
When selecting a tall walker, be sure to choose one that is the right height for the user. Walkers that are too tall can be difficult to maneuver, while those that are too short can provide unstable support. That makes it essential to know the exact height of the walker you should use.
Choosing a tall walker should not be a hassle, and with medical insurance options available including Medicare, price shouldn’t be an obstacle either. Here are a few factors to take into consideration when selecting a walker.
It seems logical that someone who is taller will need a taller walker, but you may be surprised at how tiny changes in the height of a walker can impact the user’s body. A few inches in the wrong direction, whether up or down, can mean posture problems and difficulty using the walker, which can result in even more medical problems. People who are too tall for their walker may hunch over it, causing back pain and muscle pain. Safety hazards may also arise if a person cannot use a device correctly due to an incorrect size. The reduction of tripping risks is helpful to prevent falls for people with mobility challenges, since falling is already a significant risk.
Too-short walkers can cause a person to stumble, but too-tall walkers are equally dangerous. The user may find it difficult to hold the walker properly if the walker is too tall. Attempting to maintain a grip while walking may cause them to strain their arms and shoulders. Take a few walkers for a test drive to check for comfort and usability for an ideal fit. The walker’s elbows should bend at around a 15-degree angle, which is a loose bend rather than straight out or at 90 degrees. With relaxed arms, users should be able to grip the handles of the walker securely.
The features of each walker should list the ideal user height in feet and inches for the best fit. When searching for a tall walker or rollator, ensure this information is clearly stated or contact the manufacturer before purchase to be sure. If you’re shopping online, such as on Amazon, check the return policy. You’ll want to be able to return the walker or rollator if it turns out to be the wrong size.
You may not think to consider weight when choosing a walker. It is obvious that weight is important when using a walker with a seat. But even for standing-only type walkers, weight matters. With their added height, taller people typically carry more weight, and anyone heavier or overweight will benefit from heavy-duty equipment. A product should have a rating, such as a maximum load capacity of 350 pounds, that tells you whether it will suit your needs. Also, consider that many users like to hang bags or carry medical equipment on the front or sides of their walker or rollator. This frees up their hands so they can hold and drive forward the device, but also may add significant weight to the frame.
A heavier person using a walker with a low weight rating could present a fall hazard. It is possible for the walker to bend or even snap depending on the material used. Weight limits are therefore important to pay attention to. The size of your body also matters because some walkers include a seat for occasional use. A walker needs to be wide enough that users can walk within the supportive frame. It should also allow users to sit comfortably, if necessary.
When choosing a mobility aid, it is crucial to keep individual needs in mind. If users have difficulty lifting, folding, and pushing objects in front of them, you will want to select a lightweight and easy-to-maneuver model. There are a variety of options available on the market, so it is important to compare features to find the best fit. A traditional walker, for example, may be too heavy to manage, while a rollator is typically much easier to move forward. Ultimately, the goal is to select a mobility aid that meets your unique needs and provides as much independence as possible.
Your medical doctor may have a specific walker or rollator recommendation for you. Check with your medical insurance as well, to be sure your preferred walker is covered if price is a concern. Some companies require a prescription for a walker or rollator, so ensure that you have determined what their requirements are before purchasing in-person or online at Amazon or other retailers that sell medical equipment.
How tall should a walker be?
Do you know what the proper height of your cane or walker should be? These tips can help you ensure that your mobility aid is properly adjusted. Follow these steps to determine how many inches high your cane, walker, or rollator should be:
- Put your shoes on and stand straight up with your hands hanging freely by your sides.
- Measure the length of your wrist from the crease to the floor. You can use this number to determine how high your walker handles should be from the ground.
- Make sure you adjust the height of your walker or cane in accordance with the instructions for your device.
- Take hold of the handle of your walker or cane. Your elbow should be slightly bent (about 15 degrees) when you do so. Adjust the height of your walker or rollator if your elbows are too bent or too straight.
Getting the right height is still possible even if you are buying it for a loved one who is unavailable for measurements at the time of purchase. The height of the person is generally all that is needed. You can usually get a fairly accurate idea of the appropriate height for a cane or walker by dividing the person’s height by two (varying 1 inch). The device can be adjusted to an appropriate height for their needs if you have this information. This makes shopping online at Amazon or other retailers easier.
You may have trouble finding a cane or walker that is adjustable to your height if you are very tall or very short. Shorter individuals can choose from special petite walkers so that their mobility aids will work properly. If you find a walker you like but it’s not tall enough for you, you might also want to consider walker leg extensions. They are available on Amazon and other online retailers or brick and mortar stores, and allow your walker to be adjusted to a higher height.
Seniors need extra care, but they also want independence.
One step towards a healthy future
Now that you know how to select tall walkers, it’s a great time to consider the benefits of remote health monitoring. 1 True Health provides compassionate care that informs, educates, and empowers older adults to manage the challenges of aging, including handling chronic diseases. Utilizing a unique combination of personalized, one-on-one service and technology, our Care Navigators work with you directly to improve your overall quality of life. Stay independent for longer with a little help from 1 True Health.