Walkers are mobility aids for people who need help with balance and more support than a cane provides, but aren’t suited to the faster pace of a rollator, which requires hand strength to work the brakes and the ability of your legs to keep up. Walkers call for some degree of upper body strength because you place more weight on your arms as you lift the aid up and down a step ahead of you, instead of pushing it forward.
The standard walker design has four legs and a light metal frame. Some models offer color choices to make the walker more stylish. Putting glides on the leg tips will allow the walker to move more smoothly.
As its name indicates, front wheel walkers have wheels instead of tips on the front two legs. Wheels in front eliminate the need to pick up the walker to advance it and make for smoother, easy movement. Again, walker glides can be put on the rear leg glides to make maneuvering even smoother (be sure to choose glides of the same diameter as the walker tubing, usually 1”).
A hemi walker is designed for people who only have the use of one hand or arm. It’s lighter than a walker yet more stable than a cane and should be made to fold easily with one hand.
Other specialty walkers include the UpRise Walker and Assist, a combination of a folding walker and rising aid. Secondary handles provide stable assistance from a seated to a standing position. This particular walker has an onyx finish, features a single release folding mechanism and is designed for people with limited hand dexterity. It can also be used as a portable toilet safety frame.
An attachment that offers a feature usually seen on a rollator is the Walker Rest Seat. It provides a comfortable, fold-down padded seat when you become tired and need to rest. The 2” foam padded vinyl cover can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth, and the plywood base has wood frame supports. Two hook and loop fastener straps secure the seat to the uprights or horizontal rails.