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Getting About with a Walking Frame

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 5 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Getting About With A Walking Frame

If you're relying on a walking frame to get about, you're not as restricted as you might think. Walking frames have come a long way since the old-fashioned Zimmer frame, and some are even motorised!

Walking frames

These is the type of walking frame that is most likely to spring to mind if you try to picture one. They most resemble the traditional walking frame, although some models now feature wheels on the front legs of the frame. Those that don't usually have slip-resistant tips at the end of each leg to reduce the chances of an accident. Most of these types of walking frames can be adjusted to suit your height.

Walkers

These are a modern version of the traditional walking frame. Most models now have wheels, so you can push them along. This is intended to walking easier, as you don't have to physically lift the frame every time you take a step. Some models have a basket underneath the seat so you can store shopping there. The seat isn't actually for sitting on for any great length of time - it's designed as something for you to rest on when walking tires you. Because of this, many models don't have a backrest, which makes the seat more of a flat panel. Some models have fold-up seats and are adjustable, so it's worth taking the time to shop around to find the one that's most suitable for you. You can fold up many walkers so that they fit into the boot of a car.

Walking with a Walking Frame

It's best to put the frame a step in front of you and move to it using your weaker leg first. Small steps are usually easiest as you're less likely to lose your balance during the step forward. Once you've successfully reached the frame, move it slightly forwards again.

Getting Up and Sitting Down with a Walking Frame

Your walking frame can also help you stand up and sit down. In both cases, it's vital to take your time when lowering yourself into a seat or raising yourself up from one. Lean on the frame too, as this will take a lot of the weight for you.

Safety

Most of the Required Safety Advice is Little More than Common Sense:

  • Flat shoes are essential to avoid accidents, but most people with mobility problems wear these anyway.
  • Stay away from surfaces that can contribute to accidents, such as wet floors, rugs, or uneven surfaces. These are a potential disaster zone for those who are already unsteady on their feet.
  • Don't go over the maximum user weight for each frame.
  • Avoid frames that have suffered any previous damage or are worn.
  • Keep an eye open for loose joints, wear and tear around the adjustment holes (that adjust the height of the frame), loose or damaged leg tips and/or wheels.
  • Keep the frame clean by rubbing a soft cloth over it from time to time.

Choosing the right type can be a minefield, but once you've done this, using a walking frame or walker can be a great help for your mobility if you have a disability or other chronic illness that makes walking difficult.

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Hello my comment is regarding the paragraph titled getting up and sitting down with a walking frame. You mention about using the walking aid to stand up and sitting down but when you read the user instructions for most of them they show you should use the chair arms and not the frame. Surley this could lead to incorrect use and possible injury for example. if a person trys to pull themselves up the walking aid may become unstable or tip.This would encourage an observer to apply force to the frame through the top or by putting thier foot on it. I am fairly sure the manufactures of such devicies would not recommend this?
Pete - 5-Oct-12 @ 3:57 PM
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