How To Safely Use & Fit A Walking Aid

How to Fit A Walking Aid

It’s not uncommon to see walking aids fitted incorrectly. This can be a Two-Wheeled Walker, a Four-Wheeled Walker or a Walking Stick.

Most of the time, they are set correctly by a Health Professional, but over time they get changed for some reason.

Or, they are purchased without any education on how to use and fit them correctly.

It is recommended you see your Health Professional to have your walking aid fitted correctly. However, if required, here is a quick guide to assist you in fitting your walking aid.

Fitting A Walker (Same procedure works for a cane/walking stick)

STEPS TO FIT A WALKING AID:

  1. Wearing your everyday shoes.

  2. Place your arms by your side with a natural bend in your elbows.

  3. Bring the walker/cane handle up to crease of your wrist and lock the clip/screw in.

  4. You should have a 20°-30° bend in your elbows when using the walker/cane and standing upright.

SAFETY TIPS WHEN USING A FOUR WHEELED WALKER

Here are some tips to follow when using a walker to prevent any issues:

  • Ensure your walking aid is right for your abilities. Don't think any walking aid will be fine. You require the one most suited to you.

  • Ensure the walking aid is fit to you correctly.

  • Know how to use it properly, and you do use it properly.

  • Ensure you wear appropriate footwear always when using a walker.

  • Clothing – Ensure pants are not too baggy so they can't come entwined with the wheels

  • Tripping – Not only tripping over the walking aid itself but also clutter and hazards in the house.

  • Repair walking aids regularly. I recommend having it serviced once a year, it's inexpensive and easy. Chat to your local mobility needs store to have this organised.

  • Replace worn wheels, tips or glide skis. It's always good to have extra parts in case something is to fail. Most common issues I see are worn wheels, skis or handle grips, frayed brake cords, and brakes that are not working.

  • Tie down or remove any items sticking out of walker that could get caught on objects when walking — E.G. Items in your basket, or brake cords that stick out.

  • Ensure you are walking with your walking aid correctly. When sitting down, get as close to chairs or furniture as possible before letting go of your walker.

  • If you're leaning over too much when using your walker practice upright walking (rather than adjusting the walker height) and take more rests until you can walk longer with upright posture. This will prevent or decrease any back pain you may be experiencing when walking.

  • When sitting on a walker, ensure the brakes are in the locked position. I recommend you also place the walker against a wall for added stability.

  • When opening the walker after storing, make sure it is locked in place (open) before using it.