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A Guide to Walking Frames

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A Guide to Walking Frames
The following is a brief guide to the different types of walking frame that are available to help people maintain their personal mobility. However, please note that every individual's needs are different. Customers should base their purchasing decisions on the user's particular needs and preferences and, where appropriate, upon advice from medical and care professionals.

What is a Walking Frame?

A walking frame is a portable device that provides support for someone who can stand and walk independently but who may be a little unsteady or who might find it very tiring to walk unaided. Walking frames are very helpful for people with stiff or weak joints, arthritis or some other condition or injury that restricts movement.

Walking frames normally have four legs or feet but they come in a wide variety of different designs. Some are intended only for indoor use whilst others may be used outside. Others have wheels at the front to aid manoeuvrability, and others still are supplied with forearm cradles and easy-grip handles that are ideal for people who suffer from reduced grip strength. A variant on the walking frame is the wheeled walker, which has wheels on all four legs.

Walking Frames Without Wheels

The simplest, 'classic' style of walking frame (without wheels) is sturdy and stable. It can be used indoors or out, although most frames are unsuitable for use on loose or uneven ground.

Walking Frames with Two Wheels

Designed for indoor use, a two wheeled walker makes for easier, smoother progress because the user does not need to stop between steps in order to reposition the frame. However, it might not be the best buy if the user is prone to falls or loss of balance. The wheels are small and are not generally designed for outdoor use.

Safety Considerations

To ensure maximum safety, check that the walking frame is a good fit. Many frames are height adjustable and the user should be able to walk as upright as possible. However, the width might also be a factor in ensuring a stable and comfortable walking action. Look for a frame that provides good all-round support without restricting movement but one that is not so wide that the user's hands have to be placed uncomfortably far apart.

Walking frames are normally grasped at the sides, so look for a strong, ergonomically shaped handle or easy-grip materials that will be easy to grasp even if the user has cold, stiff or wet hands. If the user has limited grip strength or hand co-ordination, choose a frame with forearm troughs and vertical handles as these enable the user to transfer his or her weight much more safely and comfortably.

The feet should be capped with non-slip rubber ferrules. These should be strong enough that they do not quickly wear out if they are used outdoors, and they should be designed not to mark floors.

Other Considerations

  • Folding action - ensure that the frame folds to a convenient size for storage but check that it cannot fold by accident when it is being used.
  • Strength - check that its maximum weight capacity is appropriate for the intended user.
Click here to view the original Zimma Frames

Some of our popular walking frames

Complete Care Shop, a trading name of Nottingham Rehab Limited, seeks to ensure that the contents are accurate but visitors should be aware that every individual's needs are different. Customers should therefore base their purchasing decisions and other actions upon the user's particular needs and preferences and, where appropriate, upon advice from medical and care professionals. Please click to see our disclaimer.
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