Walking aids are a great way to maintain your independence if you deal with limited mobility or have issues with stability. They provide a sturdy support to allow you to get out and about without worrying about needing help, getting too tired, tripping, falling or losing your balance.
There are a variety of walking aids available – so how do you know which one is right for you?
We’re here to help you weigh up your options and assist you in deciding which is best suited to your needs.
To do this, we need to first evaluate your level of mobility and your individual needs.
Walking aids such as a walker, walking frame or stick can help to provide you with the independence you need to be more mobile and get out more.
Level of Mobility
How mobile you are and how easy you find getting around will impact the recommendations made to suit your circumstances;
- Walkers – A walker is great if you can walk reasonably well but require extra support and stability over longer distances. Or perhaps you have an injury or suffer weakness and need to rest regularly? Walkers use continuous movement and have larger wheels, so these are not suitable if you are slower moving, or if you like to stop after every step
- Frames – Walking frames provide support if you are slower moving. Unlike walkers, they require you to take a step, then move the frame before taking the next step. These are a suitable option if you’re going through rehabilitation, or if your walking speed is diminishing
- Sticks – Walking sticks are suitable if you have fairly good mobility but need further stability or are lacking confidence on your feet. They provide the least amount of support but are the easy to transport and use in almost any scenario and help to maintain your mobility longer
Stability & Support
If stability is an issue when you’re out-and-about, a walker or frame can help you to be more independent, whilst also helping you to strengthen and improve your stability;
- Walkers – Perfect if you’re working on improving your balance and stamina, as they require you to continuously move, yet maintain your equilibrium
- Frames – A frame is a great option for those who are less stable. Since they can be purchased without wheels, and are more wide-set, they provide you with the most stability of the three options and really assist getting around when your balance is a little off
- Sticks – If you’re struggling with your balance, a walking stick probably isn’t the best option for you. However, there are many people who could benefit greatly from using a walking stick or cane; perhaps you’re afraid of falling, or you occasionally lose your balance going down stairs?
A walking aid can help you navigate journeys that vary in length, terrain and gradient;
- Walkers – If you’re travelling over longer distances, these are a suitable option as they are very mobile. Walkers are quite agile and manoeuvrable, so are a good all-rounder; some even have brakes if you’re travelling on a gradient
- Frames – Frames are generally most suitable for indoor use or flat ground outdoors. If you’re travelling over longer distances, we would likely not recommend a frame
- Sticks – Try a stick if you’re generally very mobile but need that little bit of support or reassurance. We stock a great range of sturdy quad walking sticks, which can offer you additional support and stability in your journey
Walkers are great to use at home or indoors as they give you stability when on the move.
If you are struggling more with your mobility, or if you need to travel longer distances, why not check out our powered wheelchairs or mobility scooters?
People sometimes consider walkers and frames to be large, or not very portable. However, advances in technology have seen the portability of walking aids come a long way in recent times. There are so many options available, which means you’re always able to have your walking aid by your side, helping you to remain independent longer;
- Walkers – Walkers may look big or cumbersome, but there are many options out there that are lightweight and truly portable. Take a look at our range of options here
- Frames – While these can be heavy duty, there are also options that are more portable, such as our Bariatric Walking Frame
- Sticks – The most portable of options, walking sticks are smallest and easiest to carry, with some even folding down to just 30cm (like this Folding T-Handle Stick, perfect for easy transportation)
You can view our huge range of walking aids here, but If you’re still unsure about what the best solution for your needs may be, our experienced team is always on hand to guide you in making the best choice to help you remain mobile longer – why not have a chat with us today.
Feel like you’re ready to purchase a new walker or walking frame now? Check out our blog to help you choose the right size, and guide you to use your new walker or walking frame here.
At Life Mobility, we aim to ensure that people living with a disability are able to lead as active and independent a lifestyle as possible. We understand that each person’s needs are unique, and therefore require a customised solution.