Disabled people learning to walk have a lot of options. Here are some of the choices available in walking frames

Most walkers are very similar in design and use; they use a three-sided frame that is about waist high. The user grasps the top of the frame with both hands for support while walking.

There are some variations in the design of the walking frame. Those that have no wheels or two wheels in the front and two legs in back are intended for indoor use because they must be lifted over obstructions such as curbs and sidewalk joints. These are lightweight models that are easy for most people to use.

Tricycles, or three-wheeled walking frames, are very easy to manoeuvre, especially in turns. They are compact so they fit into smaller spaces.

The most stable walking frames are four-wheeled units. They can be used indoors and out because the wheels can adjust to changing terrain.

Each of these types is available with a variety of options, including handlebars, totes, trays and seats. Some walkers are collapsible so they can fit in a car boot or in a wardrobe. Many models have padded arm rests

There are versions of these walking frames available for children and adults. Children's models are often offered with bright, primary colors. For very young children, there are also saddle- and spider type walkers that add support between the legs. However, many therapists recommend these only be used temporarily and discontinued once the child has enough leg strength.When selecting a walking frame, it is important to get a sturdy model that can hold

the person's weight. If the frame is adjustable, push on it hard to make sure the positioning doesn't shift easily. Also be sure the grips are securely in place. Accessories such as seats and totes should be made of a durable, easy to clean material.

In order to encourage use of walking frames many people like to add their own accessories. Children enjoy adding horns, stickers and balloons. However, they should be added carefully so they don't impede mobility or visibility.

Walkers are fairly simple to use. Users with non-wheeled models pick them up and place them a short distance away. While still holding onto the walking frame, the users then take the step or two necessary to reach it.  Walkers with no wheels require the most arm strength while wheeled models are much easier to manoeuvre.

In addition to using standard walking frames, there are also a variety of crutches and canes available. Therapists often have their patients use parallel bars for support as they learn to walk forward and backward.

No matter what type of walking frame or aid that is used, it must be properly sized to the user's height and weight. A certain amount of practice is needed to use a walking aid properly. This practice is best provided by a qualified therapist or medical supply dealer.

Using a walking frame can greatly help a disabled person's rehabilitation and self-esteem. By using the right type, fitted properly, therapy can be very successful.




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