A walker can be a tremendous boon to mobility if you’ve suffered an injury or undergone surgery. Although a walker is relatively easy to use, you must keep safety in mind.
As with operating any other mobility device, using a walker can be dangerous if it’s done carelessly. Here are some basic safety factors to keep in mind:
Stand up straight as you move forward. Also make sure you’re inside the walker. This prevents backaches and allows you to see what’s ahead.
Obey traffic rules. Look ahead and to each side, assess traffic, check over your shoulder and look behind you before you stop, back up or change direction, as you would if you were driving. Watch for problem areas, such as an uneven elevator entry, carpet edges or an electrical cord in your path.
Park your walker in safe areas. Fold your walker, if possible, so that you’re not obstructing a walkway. Some places, such as medical facilities, will stow your walker during an appointment and bring it to you when you’re ready to leave. To prevent injury when you open the walker, make sure the sides are locked in place before you step forward.
Inspect your walker periodically. This will ensure that it remains in safe condition. Replace the rubber tips on the legs when they’re worn. A two-wheel walker can move easily and quietly if you add tennis balls to the back legs. If your walker has a seat or brakes, examine them monthly.
Dress for the road. Long skirts, wide-leg pants and bathrobes can pose a tripping hazard. Take care if you’re using a new medication, as it could cause dizziness. If you become dizzy when you try to stand up, sit or stand still until you feel OK to move forward. Don’t overload the walker with packages or bags.
Would you like more information about using a walker? Contact the experts at Power Mobility & Lifts. We’ll be glad to explain the options available and help you select the best mobility item for your needs. Visit our website for details, or just give us a call. We serve clients in greater Phoenix and elsewhere in Arizona.
Walker image via Shutterstock