Standard Walkers: Guide to Basic Walkers for the Disabled
Standard Walkers: Guide to Basic Walkers for the Disabled
Standard walkers are common mobility aids for people who are unsteady on their feet. These types of walkers are relatively basic in comparison to other types of walkers, but are no less useful. 

Standard walkers are a walking device that is most often associated with the elderly. They are, however, also commonly used by the disabled and anyone dealing 
with mobility issues, who may not need a power chair or other more
supportive assistive aids. 

What Are Standard Walkers

A standard walker is a device that is meant to act as a 
home mobility aid for people who have difficulty walking or standing. 
They are generally made of aluminum and are constructed so that 
the user can step into the frame and stand between the sides, or 
legs of the device.

Types and Features

Most standard walkers do not have wheels on any of the four legs. 
Instead, the legs are rubber tipped for gripping the floor to prevent 
slipping on most surfaces. A variation of the standard walker has 
wheels on the two front legs, but not on the back legs. This makes them easier to move, but not as prone to rolling away from the user as are walkers with four wheels. 

A desirable feature of the standard walker is that the sides are collapsible for easy storage at home for for traveling.

You can also find additional options such as wire walker baskets and walker glides for more practicality and safety.

Advantages for the Disabled

  • Ease of use - Standard walkers allow the disabled to rise out of chairs or from any seated position without assistance. They also provide support when a user stands and well as and providing support when walking. Unlike rolling walkers, they will not roll out from under the user when using it to steady themselves or pull themselves up from a sitting position. 

  • Inexpensive - This type of basic walker is also much less expensive than many other types of walkers, which make them a good choice for just about anyone who needs some support while still remaining mobile at home.

  • Versatile use - They can also be used indoors or outside, depending on the needs. A person can easily walk about the house or take a stroll around the house or in a paved area for additional exercise, if preferred.

  • Portable - As mentioned earlier, they are also easily stored at home or can be carried on trips, since they collapse easily and don't take up a lot of space. Neither are they heavy or cumbersome, since the frames are generally constructed with lightweight, aluminum frames.

Disadvantages or Problems

For people with limited strength in their arms, the lack of four wheels can be difficult. This is because the walker must be repeatedly lifted to move forward. 

NOTE: However, this problem can often be remedied by replacing the 
standard rubber tips on the back two legs, with walker glides. This makes 
it easy to slide the walker along, rather than have to lift it every time a step 
is taken.

The standard walker's wide width can make it difficult to maneuver in crowded 
or small areas such as doorways or halls that may be a bit narrow. Tipping can 
also occur if the walking surface is uneven or if the walker's legs are not planted firmly on the ground when the user takes a step.

NOTE: This problem can also be remedied by choosing a space saver 
walker that is designed to be a bit more narrow and can easily glide through 
hallways, doorways and maneuver well inside accessible bathrooms at home.

Buying Tips

When buying this type of assistive device, a person's weight and height must 
be taken into consideration. This will effect how comfortably and safely he/she 
can hold onto the handles while walking. 

Check which handle heights are best for people at different height levels. 
You can find adjustable features on standard walkers that make it easy for 
most people to use. 

In addition, it is also important to verify how much weight the walker can support.

Standard walkers are easily purchased online or in your local medical supply store. Be sure to check out the available features to ensure that you choose the right one for your needs.

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