Walkers have a huge effect on seniors’ lives and make it approachable for them to go outside and participate in pleasurable activities instead of being limited to the house. In other words, a walker can make it significantly easier for a senior to maintain their independence.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to walkers. Taller individuals tend to struggle with the more common brands available and have a hard time finding the right walker or rollator for themselves.
Walkers, when selected and used appropriately, can also help to lessen the danger of stumbling or falling for taller people, and can actually enhance and help one’s daily lifestyle in old age instead of limiting or merely assisting them.
Walkers and rollators can help people with chronic health concerns, including arthritis, hip and back pain, and severe breathing difficulties that limit their stamina and overall endurance, especially those taller people whose joints are starting to stiffen up.
This article will explain the many kinds of walkers and rollators available for tall people as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can make the best choice for your senior.
Types of Walkers for Tall People
Walkers can provide the required stability and balance for seniors who require some movement aid but do not need the complete support of a wheelchair. Understanding the many choices available on the market is necessary for selecting the best one for your senior, especially if they’re on the taller side.
Conventional walkers, front-wheeled walkers, and rollators or rollator walkers are the three main types of walkers you can buy.
A traditional, conventional walker is a basic frame with four rubber-tipped legs on which a person can lean for assistance. This is useful for taller individuals who apply more pressure on their walkers when leaning over.
Aluminum is used in the construction of such walkers in order to keep them light but sturdy at the same time to accommodate heavier and taller seniors. Standard walkers provide the most stable support out of all these alternatives.
They are perhaps an ideal option for those who frequently stumble or are unable to put weight on one leg due to an injury or illness.
The drawbacks of these walkers, on the other hand, are that they provide relatively modest mobility and are not ideal for uneven ground or bumpy surfaces. They’re also not suitable for seniors who don’t have a lot of upper-body strength.
A front-wheeled walker is similar to a conventional walker. However, its front legs do not have swiveling wheels.
Over tougher terrain, the two wheels on this sort of walker make it easier to handle. Front-wheeled walkers are easier on your senior’s upper body since they are meant to be propelled forward instead of being lifted.
Some types feature detachable wheels that may be used to transform them into ordinary walkers. Detachable wheels that can be replaced with rubber-tipped legs are the best for taller seniors.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Walker or Rollator
Walkers and rollators are available in a broad array of sizes and designs. However, it’s critical to pick the right type for your requirements.
But don’t just take one from a friend or relative and expect it to function; there are factors that may impact your senior’s experience to consider, including:
Weight: You don’t want a walker that’s too heavy for your senior to lift on a daily basis, but make sure it’s not too light either. A good balance of weight will ensure your senior can lift and move the walker while maintaining a good amount of sturdiness for longevity.
Handle height: Look for a walker that is adjustable – at least an inch higher and lower than that to accommodate varying shoe heights and surface conditions. Otherwise, your senior may be compelled to lean down if the handlebars on a walker are too low, and they’ll have problems shifting their weight to their arms if they’re too high. You want a walker that is able to extend its handle to a height that is high enough for your senior so that they don’t have to lean over it.
Width: A walker intended to be used inside the house must be able to fit through the entrances and doors of your home. If your walker has a seat, you’ll want to have approximately an inch or two of space on each side while sitting down.
Seat height: Rollators with four wheels feature seats that are already built-in, so if you’re thinking about getting one, ensure the seat height is appropriate for your senior. When researching rollators, measure the height of a seat so that your senior can easily get in and out of it and have those measurements handy so you can ask at the store or cross-check it online. The height may be adjustable on some rollators, so taller seniors can be accommodated as well.
Weight capacity: Most, if not all walkers, have a capacity for the amount of weight they can hold. For some models, this could be somewhere between 250-300 pounds, although some brands do have walkers which can hold up to almost 500 pounds of weight. Considering taller people usually tend to be heavier, make sure you have all your numbers and measurements right before you buy a walker.
Portability/Foldability: Most walkers can be folded for storage or transportation purposes, although some types are more straightforward to fold than others. Certain walkers have baskets that need to be detached prior to folding. If you have limited storage room in your house or need to move the walker into and out of a car, you’ll want a walker which collapses down to a more manageable, compact and size.
Price: Needless to say, price is a hugely important factor when buying anything, especially if it’s a health-related investment for a senior citizen. A walker might usually cost anywhere from $40 to $150, based on the style you pick. The cheapest walkers are the standard or conventional ones, while rollators are the most expensive.
Best Walkers for Tall Seniors
With a clear picture of what you’re looking for in your head, you’re likely much better prepared to find a specific product that will work for your senior. Below are some of our favorite recommendations, many of which are especially suited for those who are taller:
This model is a super versatile walker that caters to almost everybody.
The Medline Premium Empower Rollator Walker can carry weight up to 300 pounds, and its memory foam seat is foldable for those days when you need to put it in the car – and, as a bonus, it has a cup holder!
It comes with antimicrobial protection against bacteria and odor, and its height is suitable for anyone between 4’11 to 6’4, so this will definitely help those seniors on the taller side.
While it is a rollator, it has four wheels which make it slightly less balanced than your conventional standard walker, and the vast array of features may be slightly overwhelming for seniors. However, if you’re willing to take them through a small learning curve, they’ll be sure to love this walker.
If you’re looking for a walker loaded with all the features, Drive Medical has you covered. If you like your walker to be slightly easier to understand, Drive Medical has you covered there, too.
Drive Medical is known for its extremely durable and highly reliable walkers. Their Four Wheel Walker, albeit slightly heavy, is economical, and your senior will welcome the comfort it provides. There’s an easy-turn lever that lets you adjust the handle height quickly and easily, so taller seniors can increase the height that’s suitable for them. It’s foldable and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor usage. It even comes with a pouch if you or your senior wish to store any belongings like medication, glasses, and so on.
If you want a walker that’s slightly narrower, look no further than the Able Life Space Saver Walker. It’s highly durable and can hold up to 400 pounds of weight, despite being very lightweight. It comes pre-assembled in the box, and the padded handle is suitable for seniors from 5’6 to 6’3 in height, so Able Life is definitely catering to the taller population here.
Its narrow design allows it to fit through slimmer doors and halls, and it’s foldable so you can carry it when traveling without any problems.
There’s no seat, but an added bonus is that you can swap out the front wheels – which are stationary – for swivel wheels if you need more mobility.
A three-wheel walker is suitable for your senior if they’re stable enough on their own but need minimal added support since stumbling can be a slight issue for those who are entirely dependent on their walkers.
Apart from this, the NOVA Medical Products Traveler 3 Wheel Rollator Walker is another excellent walker with a slimmer profile for those narrow doorways and passages. It’s for average to taller-height users who range from 5’4 to 6’2 in height, and the handle height is adjustable up to almost four inches.
The ride is smooth thanks to its three 8” wheels, and the brakes are easy to operate.
It has an inbuilt tray and a storage basket for your belongings and can be folded if you go traveling.
However, be wary of its 250-pound weight limit. If that isn’t a problem for you, this is a superb option and one of the most user-friendly walkers out there.
Back to the two-wheel walkers, and Invacare’s I-Class Adult Paddle Walker is one of the best on the market for tall people.
Although it doesn’t have a seat, it can be folded and has a large number of adjustments for people of different heights. With the adjustable height being able to extend all the way from 33 to 39 inches, this walker is ideal for taller seniors.
It provides fantastic support at a great price, and its lightweight design doesn’t compromise on its durability – it might not look it, but this thing can hold 300 pounds and is built like a tank.
A standout feature of this walker is its plastic glide on the back for improved maneuverability.
Vive’s Folding Rollator Walker is one of the most popular rollators for seniors. It can accommodate individuals up to 6 feet in height, so it’s slightly on the shorter side, but it packs so many features that it’s simply too good to leave out.
The seat and backrest provide ample comfort and cushion for people up to 300 pounds in weight. It has 8” sport wheels which allow it to glide over any surface fairly easily. Its aluminum frame is even corrosion-resistant. The walker’s handles are placed ergonomically at a comfortable angle to reduce fatigue, and the breaks will lock to make sure the rollator doesn’t move when you activate it.
It’s foldable and gets down to a decently compact size, so narrow doorways shouldn’t be a problem with this walker. An attached storage bag and cane holder come in handy too.
A knee walker is another type of walker suitable for seniors who are suffering from a temporary foot injury or those who cannot put any weight on their foot. In essence, a knee walker is like a scooter that acts as an alternative to crutches, thus easing the burden of weight.
All Terrain’s KneeRover Knee Scooter is the most popular knee walker around. It’s especially useful for taller seniors.
The wheels on these are 12 inches and heavy-duty, so they can handle the bumpiest of terrains, all while keeping you comfortable through its foam knee rest. This knee rest is comfortable, padded and most importantly, adjustable. It keeps your knee cushioned and accommodates individuals who range from 5’6 all the way to 6’6, and can hold individuals who are 350 pounds in weight.
If possible, try to examine and trial as many walkers and rollators as possible so that your senior can choose which walker they feel most comfortable in. Most walkers cover a good height range so you should be able to find a walker that hits the sweet spot for your senior, with enough room for them to move around while staying comfortable at the same time.
If you want more information on the costs of buying a walker and how to choose one that’s a good fit, click here.