shuffle: a man wearing blue hospital gown using a walker

Many older adults that use a folding walker need it to move around more safely and independently. Learning how to use a walker correctly takes practice because the movements aren’t always intuitive. Using a walker incorrectly can actually increase the risk of fall or body aches.

The first thing any adult needs to do when getting a walker is to adjust it to the correct height. This will reduce the stress on your shoulders and back as you walk.

a man wearing blue hospital gown using a walkerIt is critical to learn the correct movements so when using a walker it will increase your mobility and safely. The steps are:

  1. Put the walker at arm’s length in front of you. Take the weight off your hands and gently push the walker forward.
  2. Use the handles of the walker for balance as you step forward with the weaker leg to the middle area of the walker. Don’t step all the way to the front. If both legs are of equal strength, then it doesn’t matter which one goes first.
  3. Push straight down on the walker handles as you step the other leg forward until it’s even with the first leg.
  4. Repeat

When using a walker to safely sit:

  1. Back up until legs touch the chair
  2. Use hands to feel behind for the seat of the chair or chair arms
  3. Slowly lower into the chair, using the chair arms for support if needed

When using a walker to safely stand up:

  1. Hold the chair’s arms and push up using arms
  2. After standing up, hold the walker’s handles
  3. Don’t ever pull on or tilt the walker to help stand up

Information provided by DailyCaring.