What to Consider When Buying Glides for Walkers
Picking the right glides or wheels for walkers is vital to ensure optimal mobility. There are several factors for seniors to consider so that they pick the right product.
Walker and Environment Details
It is imperative that you know the details of your walker. Measure the diameter of the legs to ensure that your chosen wheels or glides will fit.
Consider your overall strength. If your current walker cannot afford any additional weight, you will want to seek out wheels and glides that are lightweight so that they do not inhibit your mobility.
You should also consider the places where you will use your walker. For example, if you use it a lot at home and you have carpeting, your glide or wheel has to work on this flooring surface.
Types of Glides for Walkers
Glides allow you to push your walker around with limited effort. This ability can enhance your mobility so that you have greater independence.
Tennis Ball Glides
These glides resemble tennis balls, and they typically last longer compared to plastic guides. When exploring your options, make sure to determine if the tennis ball is pre-cut. If it is not, this will require some hand strength and steadiness to make the proper cuts.
This type of glide looks like a sneaker, so you can personalize your walker. They typically install without any tools, so you will not have to worry about hand strength to put them into place. They usually glide over most surface types.
This type of glide is typically very lightweight, making it a good choice for seniors with limited strength. The tips generally are a rubber material, so you will not have to deal with friction or your walker getting caught on surfaces as you move around.
Types of Wheels for Walkers
Having wheels on your walker can help you to move faster on a variety of surfaces. It is essential to choose the right wheel type and number of wheels to get the most independence when you are using your walker.
Wheels range in count and size. You may consider adding wheels only to the front of your walker to enhance mobility without causing your walker to move too much. However, on certain surfaces, such as dense carpeting, having wheels on all four legs may allow for easier pushing of your walker.
Three wheels may allow for a tighter turning radius, making this option a good choice for smaller spaces. However, four wheels usually make your walker more stable.
Rubber wheels offer more grip on surfaces, especially those that are slippery. They may also better absorb shock when you are using your walker on uneven or bumpy surfaces. They will roll across carpeting, but they might not be as efficient on carpeting as plastic wheels.
Swivel wheels on a walker allow for limited movement restrictions. You can turn your walker easier, even when corners are tight. You can also back up and move forward while making directional changes easier.
This type of wheel usually has a locking mechanism. This lock is often a small latch on the wheels, so you will need to be able to use your feet to engage and disengage the locks.