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Need advice on walkers

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Strawberry, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I've decided its about time to get a walker. I don't need one for stability as I rarely have vertigo issues anymore, and fall risk is very low for me. But I so often get caught having to go to the pharmacy or somewhere and get caught standing in line for a few minutes. Standing kills me very quickly, so I need one I can sit on comfortably.

    Below is what I am thinking of, but I would like to hear other people's opinions on what has and has not worked for them. Will I wind up fatiguing my arm muscles too much walking with one? How does your favorite one function? Foldability? How well do they actually help us ME/CFSers? Life saver? Moderately helps? Have you ever used one in an airport instead of hiring a wheel chair? Or for that matter, ANY air travel stories with a walker would be nice. (I will need to fly here soon...)


    [​IMG]


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    Looks nice and stable to me. And yes, a place to sit, when waiting on lines, is a big help.

    I would want to check on the overall weight, and hope to get one as lightweight as possible, that is still stable.
    To help yourself if you need to move it, sometime, and to help others lifting it or loading it, who may help you.

    Also, try not to get any smaller diameter wheels, because they do not work as well.


    For myself, most airports are too large, and I would require either a wheelchair or cart rides, they often have, there. But the walker could probably still go with you, and be used at both ends of your trip, and while at the destination.
     
    mirshine likes this.
  3. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    True! I didn't realize they could become heavy, but I will have to be folding it and putting it in my car trunk all by myself, so good to know they can be heavy.


    Do you mean any smaller than what are shown in the picture?

    Thank you!
     
  4. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    HI, @Strawberry

    I think that different materials they are made of, could make a difference in weights.
    And that could be important, as you said, for maneuvering it, in and out of vehicles.
    Or other unexpected , such as curbs or cement blocks.

    The wheels in that picture, APPEAR fine,
    but I just suggest you to be careful, and take some notice of the wheels.

    If you see walker-type things, that are cheap and lightweight,
    they might not be good enough,
    because maybe
    you don't want it, if is has tiny wheels. Those kinds are available,
    and are not good on anything except perfectly flat clean smooth surfaces.

    If you are choosing between a few that you narrow down to,
    then those are just things I would look at, that could sway me to or away from one.

    Wheels that are an inch or 2 different in diameter, from some other wheels, do make a difference in real use.
    I would also look at all the specifications details, such as the seat size, when choosing.
     
  5. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I have similar problems so I thought I'd share what I use.

    I thought about a walker but decided against it for a few reasons. These may not apply to others but I'm listing them here just for folks to consider, to make sure they are not problems.

    First, I'm pretty sure any walker would be too bulky for me to take with me in my car (maybe in the trunk? if it folded up?). And I can't walk from my house to any of the nearby stores -- too far, too many hills, rains too often, etc. Therefore, until the day when I need a motorized scooter (which would require a new car or van with a lift) any mobility device for me must be very lightweight and also easily stored in my car.

    Second, I think I'd have trouble using a walker, pushing it in front of me. My grip strength is not so good and I think my hands would get tired trying to hold on to the handles. And don't you have to bend over the walker while pushing it? While the seat looks quite comfy having to push something in front of me while walking seems a bit awkward. ( for me - others may be less clumsy than I am:D )

    Finally, I have very bad depth perception and have a horrible time judging distances. I can just see me running into everything and everyone if I used a walker. :eek:

    What I needed was something to sit on for very short periods that was also portable and easy to carry. So I got this folding cane/seat:
    cane-seat.jpg
    This is NOT meant for sitting for a long time. It's not very comfortable and has no back support.

    But for short periods of "standing" in line ( 5-10 minutes ) it is fine.

    Note that you have to straddle it, with the handle in front of you, or else it is not stable and you can fall over. This is how you sit on it:
    cane-seat-use.jpg

    When my health was better this was "good enough" for the lines at the airport (although I would get exhausted after). I don't travel much now but when I do I always request a wheelchair. And I don't check my folding cane/seat, I take it with me on the plane. My husband (I never travel alone) puts it in the overhead compartment for me. So it's ready for me when we arrive and I am finished with the airport's wheelchair.

    I hope this is helpful. It's just one option and does not cover all the issues.

    For example, if you regularly find yourself needing a place to sit for longer than 5-10 minutes then I would not rely on this folding cane/seat. But in my case I'm not walking somewhere and then using this.

    I keep this cane/seat in my car and only use it for standing in line at stores, pharmacies, etc. If I need to actually sit down then I go back to my car. My car has comfortable seats and I can even recline the seat and rest for 20-30 minutes if I suddenly feel sick or like I might faint.

    Okay, I hope this is not too long. Just saw the time - have to go without more proofreading/editing. Hope there are not TOO many errors! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  6. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    I used one of these for years, and it was a major help for me.
    You can find different brands that are different weights, mine was very lightweight, yet very strong.
    They also are different price ranges.
     
    ahimsa likes this.
  7. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    One last suggestion for anyone who wants to try a folding cane/seat. Get some heavy duty cane tips to replace the very thin white, plastic tips on the legs. The white plastic tips wore down (metal poked through) pretty quickly for me.
     
    Shoshana likes this.
  8. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    Is that folding cane/seat thingamabob available in pharmacies? Or does it have to be ordered online? I am going to attempt to go into my pharmacy this weekend to look at what is available locally, but I don't remember ever seeing walkers there. I'm not sure if I can find them locally (my preferred way so I can see it physically).

    My brain wants to say that the cane isn't enough of a seat, but it sounds like it did well for both of you so I might try it if I can find it. But the weight of a walker being tiring is a very justified concern.
     
  9. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    HI. I think I got mine from sportseat.com

    though I do not remember for sure.

    It is very strong, the seat can hold a lot of weight, but is not too wide and has no back,
    so you do have to be careful how you sit on it.

    I got a cushion for the seat, too.
    Plus, I got something to go on the bottom, for ice grabbing, in winter, but I hope you don't need that!

    Now it is no longer enough for me, most of the time, if I am going on an outing, I need a wheelchair.

    But I always still take the cane/stool with me, and use it for very short walks. And helps me in the bathroom,
    I lean on it. Or to stand on scale at doctors, labtests, etc.
    I hope this helps you.

    I have seen some in medical supply stores. I have no idea if any pharmacies have any.
     
  10. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    Oh boy! I'm not sure where to go if they aren't in pharmacies...
     
  11. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I got mine online. But there's a pharmacy near me that has a cane/seat that's sort of like mine. It's a specialized pharmacy with a lot more medical supply items than the average Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc.

    As I recall the cane/seat in the local pharmacy had a handle that was a full loop instead of a hook. I kind of like the hook since I can hook it over a shopping cart handle.

    It might not work and/or might not be comfortable for you. But the good news is that these cane/seat combos are not very expensive. The one on the Magellan's web site is $32.50 plus shipping.

    https://www.magellans.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=MWA222

    A google search with cane seat brings up several options -

    https://www.google.com/#q=cane seat&*

    It shows links for several "brick and mortar" stores, like Walgreens and WalMart. But I think a lot of those links are for "online only" items (not found in stores).

    It's hard to know which stores will carry this kind of item without calling or visiting in person.

    I hope you can find something similar in one a local pharmacy or medical supply store! I understand wanting to try one out in person.
     
  12. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    So much great info in that post.
    I tried to like it many times, and willnot work. Don't know why.

    Thanks, @ahimsa

    Let us know how you do @Strawberry
     
    ahimsa likes this.
  13. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem All Good Things Must Come to an End

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    @Strawberry - is the a medical supply store near you? That would probably be a good place to look for this type of item.
     
  14. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    Thank you all for all the advice. I definitely will keep you updated!

    I got an idea from "nextdoor.com", someone was asking to borrow a walker for short term, and another person suggested a local senior center has loaners. I may call them and see if I can borrow walkers and the seat cane to see what I need. Then I can spend the energy to go to the medical supply store once I have made my mind up.

    I will post in this thread what I get. Or ask advice if I can't make my mind up... :rolleyes:

    Thanks again!
     
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  15. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    I forgot to update the thread. About a week and a half ago, I went into my local tiny medical store, and they had a seat cane! It works great, and probably added a few minutes more to two brief shopping trips. The handle is not a hook, so I have to hang onto it, which is awkward. But being able to sit while picking out the correct light bulb was a blessing. Definitely better than a walker, which I am not ready for yet, I could tell while trying one. It will be a blessing to have on my trip I do believe!

    Thanks to all for the advice.
     
  16. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    Great news and info there!

    SO glad to find out, that our help did help.;)

    @ahimsa and @Little Bluestem , take note. :D


    And thank you @Strawberry for the update and feedback.

    Its not a perfect item, however At least it is much easier and more lightweight and maneuverable, to carry or load into vehicles or planes, and yes, it helps when selecting an item, as you said.

    Remember to sit carefully, so not to fall over, please! :)
     
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  17. Strawberry

    Strawberry Senior Member

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    It is actually quite stable! :hug:
     
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  18. Shoshana

    Shoshana Northern USA

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    OK, that's great.:)

    Because I cannot catch you if you fall over.

    I would if I could, but we'd just both be worse off afterwards! :ill::ill:
     

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