Mid January Golden Years

Keep on Walking

Whether you’re popping to the shops, or just pottering around the garden, a walker can help you to keep your independence. It’ll give you something to lean on if you’re feeling a bit weak or unsteady, and the extra support can help to ease aches and pains.

There are two main types of walker. David Walter, mobility specialist at Living Needs, explains how to choose the one that’s right for you:

Basic walking frame

A basic walker either has just two small wheels at the front, or none at all. You lift the walker slightly as you step forwards. Basic walkers are mainly for use inside, although they can also help you to move around your garden if the ground isn’t too soft.

Wheeled walker

Also called a rollator, a wheeled walker makes it easier to move around, as you don’t have to lift it with each step. There are different styles and models available, including ones with seats, and baskets or bags. Some rollators have three wheels, but four wheeled walkers tend to be more stable and easier to manoeuvre.

When choosing a walker, the main points you’ll want to consider are:

  • Will it take me where I need to go?
  • Is it comfortable to use?
  • Will it keep me safe?
  • Does it have all the features that I need?

Will it take me where I need to go?

Where are you mainly going to use your new walker? Do you need a smaller model for moving around your home, or a sturdier one for walking around town? Or do you need something that has the flexibility to get you wherever you need to go?

If you’re going to use your walker outside, you’ll probably want one with wheels that can negotiate curbs and uneven terrain. It’ll need to be made with materials that can cope with our British weather. A good sized basket or bag is also handy.

Is it comfortable to use?

You’ll want to make sure you can lean on your walker comfortably, so ergonomic or padded handles are a good idea. The walker also needs to be properly set up for you by a professional. If it’s too high, for example, it won’t give you the support you need, and if it’s too low, you might get backache. A walker with a seat can be a good investment.

Will it keep me safe?

A good walker should be sturdy enough to support your weight and have reliable brakes to make sure you don’t slip.

Does it have all the features that I need?

You’ll want to think about how you’re going to use your walker, and where you’ll be storing it. A foldable walker is handy if you want to store it inside a cupboard, or pop it in the car boot when you’re going for a drive.

I know it seems there’s a lot to think about. A walker can make a big difference to your life, so it’s important that you’re given the support you need to choose one that’s right for you. I always advise people to get properly assessed by a professional who can explain all of the different options and recommend the mobility aids that are most suitable.

At Living Needs, we take the time to get to know you, and find out exactly what you need. We’re more than happy to visit you at home – just call us on 01271 374600. You can also pop into our showroom, halfway down Mill Road in Barnstaple. Look for Living Needs above the door.

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If you have mobility issues, learn how removing the bath and creating a large level access showering area can help you to use your bathroom safely and easily again

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Learn more about the many products on the market which are of a high quality and stylish finish that help you maintain your independence and dignity for longer.

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With over 25 years of building experience, we can adapt your home to make it suit your changing needs. Learn more about what we can do.

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Living Needs, Solutions for Independent Living

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The Federation of Master Builders

The Federation of Master Builders is the UK's largest trade association in the building industry.  Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized building firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit-making, lobbying continuously for members’ interests at both national and local levels.

The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members. The FMB also offers advice to consumers via its 'find a builder' and 'check a member' web pages giving you peace of mind that your project will be handled professionally.

FMB's mission is that "Our construction companies are uniquely placed in the construction market to deliver the highest quality and best value to clients."

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TrustMark is a Government-backed quality mark which operates a framework under which 26 scheme operators work in the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement sector, including trade associations, local government trading standards teams, and independent scheme operators.

These schemes are approved to carry the TrustMark logo and recruit reputable and trustworthy tradesmen. This enables the TrustMark scheme operators to promote improved standards, and tackle related issues such as better enforcement. All of these scheme operators are audited annually by TrustMark, to ensure processes, standards and complaint procedures are being maintained.

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