Senior Care Tips: Your elderly family member might resist using a walker, but if she’s ready to learn how to use one, there is a slight learning curve.
Learning to use a walker correctly from the start helps her to avoid learning bad habits that can become dangerous and are tough to break. Here are some senior care tips to follow...
Make Sure the Walker Is the Right Height
Walkers are adjustable, which might not be something that you or your senior know. Work with your senior’s doctor to help determine the right height for her. You’ll know that the walker is set to the proper height if her elbows are comfortably bent when she’s gripping the handles. If her elbows are bent too much or her arms are totally straight, the walker is not at the right height.
Practice Safe Walking with the Walker
It is not second nature to use a walker, so practice is important. Your senior should start out with the walker in front of her by about an arm’s length. She should then grip the handles and use the walker to help her to balance as she steps one foot forward toward the middle of the walker. If she’s stepping all the way to the front of that area, she’s stepping too far. From there, she should push down on the walker in order to stabilize it and step forward with the other foot.
Practice Sitting and Standing with the Walker
Walking takes practice, but so does standing up and sitting down when using a walker. It’s really important to remind your senior that the walker shouldn’t be used to help your senior to balance as she stands or sits because it’s not designed for that. She should use the chair itself to help her to balance as she sits or stands.
Consider Bringing in Help for Additional Safety
You and your senior may feel more secure if she has an experienced caregiver there with her as she manages walking with her walker. A caregiver can double-check that other safety concerns are resolved for your elderly family member. They can also help her with tasks that may be impossible with her mobility challenges, therefore allowing her to focus on what she can do.
Using a walker on a regular basis can be a very important way for you to make sure that your senior is still being as mobile as she can be while also being safe.