We sat down with Paul Bode, the Director of Business Development and Marketing at Med Supply, to discuss the different Walking Aids available. Which Walking Aid will work best for you? Find out in this article.
Q: Why would someone choose a Small or Large Base Cane?
A: “In my experience it’s based on what the therapist recommends, but it all hinges on what the patients’ mobility limitations might be. The ultimate goal for somebody is to discharge from one of our nursing homes with no assisted device. The next level up would be a Single Point Cane. But when it comes to the Small and Large Base Canes – the Large Base Cane borderlines almost being a standard walker, for people who need that extra level of support and stability to help them.”
Q: What is the iWalk 2.0 Hands Free Crutch best for?
A: “The iWalk 2.0 Hands Free Crutch is more for foot or ankle injuries, most knee scooters are somewhat…awkward, because you’re rolling on your affected leg which you can’t put weight on – as you’re walking with the other leg. The iWalk 2.0 Hands Free Crutch I’ve found is very nice and patients have told me it’s nice, because it gives you the ability to feel like you are using your leg, you aren’t scooting around, it provides a safer option with more stability than most knee scooters. Also, you can adjust the height, it’s almost like a very low-tech version of having a prosthetic leg so it feels a little more natural.”
Q: What are Rollators used for?
A: “I find that those are usually given to patients where the ultimate reason for using a Rollator is that it has a seat. A lot of times therapists’ will justify a Rollator over a standard walker because the patient may get out of breath, patient may have respiratory issues, patient has a frequent need for stopping to take a break, etc. The nice thing about the Rollators opposed to a Two-Wheel Walker is that it has brakes. So you can click down and lock the Rollator in place and it has the seat in the center there so you’ve pretty much created yourself a rest bench, whereas with a Two-Wheel Walker you’d have to go find a chair to sit on. And if you feel like it might be getting away from you, obviously having four wheels as opposed to two you have the ability to engage the brakes so that’s one of the nicer features. I’ve found a lot of times patients that get these are in assisted-living settings where they have to walk 200 feet to the dining room, so it’s kind of nice that they can take small breaks on that 200 foot walk. Also, underneath the center seat there is a basket area, lots of people like that for storage, even resting oxygen tanks in there. Those come standard in a Rollator whereas with a Two-Wheel Walker you would have to separately purchase attachments. Med Supply currently carries two Rollators: Bariatric Rollator and Rollator Walker with Seat.”
Q: What is the difference between Non-Wheeled and Two-Wheeled Walkers?
Q: Why would someone choose a Non-Wheeled or Two-Wheeled Walker?
A: “In my experience I almost never would recommend a Standard Walker for a patient because it’s kind of cumbersome and a nuisance – if they can do that with a Standard Walker I’d probably just recommend a Cane, it’s less for them to lift up. Therapists’ do recommend them sometimes but it’s pretty rare that just a Standard Walker is given to patients because you’re kind of asking for a trip hazard, say you pick up that walker and the legs don’t go down exactly correct when one hits the ground before the others it’s just not a good transition. Whereas with a Two-Wheel Walker, it’s not as smooth as a four-wheel walker (Rollator) but you can rely on those two front wheels. Med Supply carries the following Walkers: Standard Walker, Deluxe Two-Button Walker, Regular 2-Wheeled Walker, Junior 2-Wheeled Walker.”