We know that losing mobility and getting to depend on a lift chair like the ones we described in our review is a major issue for elderly family members since it means losing independence as well. As you are searching for a portable wheelchair or among the best walkers for seniors, you might also be interested in knowing how much such an item costs, especially since more specialized care usually means higher costs as well.
Unfortunately, time is not always on our side, since throughout the years the human body tends to lose mobility, due to the body posture, health issues, and many other factors that can significantly influence this process. The result is that once our loved ones reach a certain age, they require special items, such as a good walker in order to be able to move around easier.
Preventing mobility issues and finding the right solution is also a matter of psychological health since no one is happy about losing the independence to move around freely. In the long run, this can lead to depression and other related issues, which means that the quicker measures are taken, the better the situation is from every point of view.
Being able to perform daily activities is crucial for a healthy and strong mind as well, as opposed to feeling isolated and frustrated. The good news is that a good walker can provide a great deal of help in this matter, so before taking a look at what the average cost might be, let’s see what the some of the main important characteristics to keep in mind are when choosing one.
Standard & front-wheeled walkers
There are several types of walkers you can choose from, and they each provide the main functionality, but with slightly different features. The standard walker is among the most popular models. Its design includes four non-wheeled legs and handlebars that the user can firmly hold in order to walk.
The only minor downside, in this case, is that the person using the walker needs to lift it and lower it a few inches as he or she steps. If the walker proves to be rather heavy for an already less strong senior, the motion might become too tiring and hinder the process.
On the other hand, depending on the user’s overall physical strength, it can also be a way to exercise arm muscles. Such a walker is usually cheap, durable, and lightweight. In terms of performance, it works better on smooth surfaces.
The front-wheeled alternative is similar to the standard model, but its front legs feature wheels, which means that the user can easily push the walker instead of lifting it, in order to walk. Thanks to the wheels, such an item is suitable for uneven terrain as well, and it can be successfully used both within the house and outdoors.
The only surface that might prove to be a bit more challenging when it comes to rolling it around is a thicker carpet. Another thing that is good to know is that if too much weight is placed on one side, the wheels can move and lead to the user losing balance. For this reason, it’s a good alternative for users who have moderate or good balance, in general.
There are also fully-wheeled alternatives to choose from, a rollator being a walker that includes wheels on each of the four legs. In the case of these models, the handlebars also include brakes that can be easily activated through squeezing, in case there’s a risk to lose balance.
Thanks to their construction, these walkers offer the highest level of mobility, and they usually also have seats that definitely come in handy in case the user gets tired, but he or she is still rather far away from a chair or bench. Superior models also include baskets that can be used for further independence.
Since every leg comes with wheels, these walkers are better suited for those users who don’t need to lean on the unit for support and balance. It’s also good to know that 4-wheeled walkers usually work better outdoors. One of the main drawbacks is that these models tend to be heavier, with the average one weighing around 20 pounds.
The 3-wheeled rollator is an alternative to the previous one, having a triangular shape with only one wheel at the front, the other two being at the back. This alternative includes brakes on the handlebars as well, in case the user needs to stop at a certain moment.
The benefits of such a walker include enhanced mobility compared to the 4-wheeled alternative, but they don’t include a seat as well. On the other hand, most units do come with a basket, so in the end, the choice depends on the user’s needs.
Some factors to consider
As you are getting ready to choose the next walker for yourself or for a loved one, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself in order to make sure you get the right type of walker. The first one is whether the walker is going to be used indoors or outdoors. The quality of the terrain matters as well, since wheeled alternatives are better suited for rough ones.
Next, you might want to think about the size of the user as well, since very tall or very short users might be hindered by the size of an average walker, which means that you might need to find one with particular dimensions.
In case the walker is used indoors, you should think about the available space around the house as well. Things such as the width of the doorways or hallways can affect your end decision in terms of dimensions, but also in terms of the model. For example, a 3-wheeled rollator is easier to maneuver around narrow spaces.
Your choice might also depend on how long the walker will be used. In the case of temporary loss of mobility caused by an injury or disease, the right choice might be a standard walker or a front-wheeled one, since these models are cheaper and can be used right away.
If you know that the walker will be used by someone who travels quite often, then portability might also come to mind as an important factor. Some walkers can be folded, while others don’t have this feature, so this is something to be aware of, especially if we’re talking about storing the walker around the house or transporting it in the trunk of a car.
What about the costs?
With all of the above in mind, you can surely tell that the prices can differ quite a lot as well. A standard walker or a front-wheeled one can be found somewhere between 30 and 50 dollars on average. More complex ones, such as the fully-wheeled ones can go as high as a couple of hundreds of dollars, depending on the additional features they include.
If you are looking for a high-quality walker for long-term use, then you might want to plan a budget that goes a bit over 100 dollars, but this also depends on the type of walker the end user needs. For example, if we’re talking about a senior who doesn’t have a good balance, then a standard model is probably the right choice, and this means a lower cost.