Choosing the right walker.
Walkers come in a variety of
styles and sizes. Below we will go into detail on all the styles and features
that are offered on walkers.
Standard walkers have a 300 pound weight capacity
unfold for easy transportation. They have height adjustable legs so that the walker
can fit you properly. Most walkers come with front wheels and glide on the back
of the adjustable legs so you can have a normal gate when using the device.
Certain walkers have triggers as handles so you can fold it up easily while
other versions have buttons which you have to push down in order to fold the
walker for transportation reasons. They make standard walkers in junior and
adult sizes so you can pretty much fit anyone that is between 4’8 all the way
up to 6’6
Walkers with seat (also known as rollators)
This type of walker has become extremely popular
over the last 20 years. The Rollator comes with a seat option and gives you the
ability to sit when you need a rest which can be very handy when walking long
distances. This version of Walker does fold up. It has a lot more options than
your standard walkers. Most Rollators have 6 inch wheels but some of the
versions have 8 and 10 inch wheels which are great for outdoor use. They even
have different back styles to make sitting more comfortable. Some versions of
the Rollators are adjustable in height and can be extremely handy when sitting
down and getting up. Most of them have a pouch under the seat which comes in
very handy to put small items.
The translator is a new device is a transport chair and a
Rollator all in one. These have adjustable backs that flip back-and-forth so
you can easily sit down from either side of the device so if you are too tired
to walk you can have someone push you. This is very handy and takes up less
trunk space then having a walker and a wheelchair. They fold up like a
wheelchair and weigh around 20-23 lbs depending on the model.
The Upright Walker is the newest style of walker on the
market. It is built with handles that sit up close to chest and shoulder area
which allow you to lean on the armrest and stand up straighter. They definitely
can help if you have back issues or have difficulty standing for long periods
of time. They also have a seat so if you need a place to rest, you’ve
There are certain models that
are available with higher weight capacities, some go up to 500 pounds. The
biggest thing to look at when searching for a heavy-duty device is the width of
the seat between the armrest and make sure that it will adequately fit your
needs. Not all versions of the walkers and Rollators that we spoke about in the
above section are made with a higher weight capacity.
Are Rollators Dangerous?
If a rollator is used properly, they are not
dangerous. They are a walking aid and not a transport device. They have 4
wheels so they do move side to side easier. Typically they are used for
individuals that have issues with walking long distances and are not
recommended for people that have balance issues. If you have concerns contact
your physician or Physical therapist and get their opinion.
Why do People put Tennis Balls on Walker?
A standard rolling walker has two wheels in the
front and glides on the back. These glides can wear out over time and if they
do you will need to replace them. You can purchase glides at most medical
supply stores but you will commonly see tennis balls on the back. Tennis balls
are easy to find and work well as a replacement but do not hold up any better
than the glides that come with rolling walkers. You will find that some walkers
with wheels have rubber tips on the back instead of the glides and this is
another reason tennis balls are added.
Does Medicare or my insurance pay for walkers and
This is a very important topic. Most insurances
cover standard walkers but they are only going to pay for the most basic model.
Insurance companies only reimburse around $50 for this item. They also cover
rollators which they refer to as rolling walkers with seats. Insurance
companies typically pay for a steel version and the reimbursement is around $75.
Most of the rollators cost more than this so they are usually and out of pocket
expense. We recommend calling your insurance company and ask them the following
questions: Do you pay for walkers? If they say yes which they most certainly
will ask them the most important question that no one asks. What’s the medical
criteria for me to qualify for one? This is the question that most everyone does
not ask. They assume that if their doctor writes an order for it, then its covered
when in reality it isn’t. You have to show medical justification on why it’s
needed so your doctor will have to do more than write walker on a prescription
pad. They will need to show detailed information about the need and then the
insurance company will have the final say if they pay for it or not.
If you like our blog please share it and know
that we also have a You Tube Channel that we go into detail on a variety of
these products along with other items like Mobility Scooters, Power Wheelchairs,
and Lifts Chairs. Thanks for reading and have a great day.