Compared to a cane, a walking aid has more contact points and a larger support area, providing higher support and stability. Therefore, it can better support weight, reduce the load on the user's lower limbs, maintain body balance, and improve the user's standing and walking ability. However, it has a slower walking speed and is more difficult to use on stairs. It is suitable for people with some support and step ability in their lower limbs, but weak muscle strength and poor balance and coordination ability.
Ordinary frame walking aid: It has a frame structure with high stability and is divided into fixed and foldable types. The user needs to lift the walker with both hands to move forward. Therefore, the user should have a certain muscle strength in the upper limbs and balance ability in the lower limbs. When assessing, attention should be paid to the user's momentary balance ability when lifting the walking aid with both hands.
Stair frame walking aid: It has a frame structure with low-level support handle. In addition to the functions of an ordinary frame walker, the user can use the low-level support handle to move from sitting to standing.
Differential frame walking aid: It has a frame structure and a soft chain, which allows the two sides of the walking aid to alternately move, and the walking speed is faster than that of the ordinary frame walker. For users with slightly poor upper limb muscle strength and weak balance ability, they can rely on pushing the walker forward.
Two-wheel walking aid: It has a fixed foot wheel in the front and a footrest in the back with some friction and anti-skid performance. The user does not need to lift the walker and can push it forward with both hands holding the handle. Its stability is worse than that of the frame walking aid and is suitable for those with insufficient upper limb strength or coordination ability and poor lower limb balance ability.
Frame structure two-wheel walking aid: It is a two-wheel walker with a frame structure, and its performance and usage are the same as that of the two-wheel walking aid. Since the center of gravity is closer to the walker during use, its stability is better than that of the two-wheel walker.
Four-wheel walking aid: It has four wheels and is more flexible to move, with faster walking speed. Generally, it is equipped with a braking device and a rest seat. Its stability is lower, and it can only be used by those with good balance ability.
Platform walking aid: It has an armrest platform and four wheels, with a large support area and better stability. The height of the walker should be such that when the body is upright, the forearm is placed on the platform when the elbow is bent nearly 30 degrees. It is suitable for those with low overall muscle strength, poor balance ability, walking disorders caused by cerebrovascular diseases, chronic arthritis, and long-term bedridden patients' walking training.
The walk aid provides a wider and more stable support area, but its volume is larger and will affect normal gait. Therefore, it is mostly used in the rehabilitation early stage or for those who really need to depend on the walker to walk. However, be careful not to overly rely on it.
When using a walk aid, avoid wearing loose slippers and shoes with heels that are easy to come off; always maintain body balance during walking, look straight ahead, and do not look down at your feet; when lifting or pushing the walker forward, do not keep too far away from it, and when stepping, the leg should not be too close to the walker; do not walk too fast when using a wheeled walker.
Before using the walk aid every time, stand still for a moment to achieve balance. If there is discomfort such as dizziness, do not rush to move.
When using a walk aid, the caregiver must assist in checking the stability and safety of the walker, especially to check whether the bottom of the walker's support foot is stable, whether the held parts are loose, whether the wheels rotate flexibly, whether the positioning pins are fixed, etc.