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Walking frames guide

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Before you buy a walking frame, consider the points below: 

  • If you need equipment to walk safely indoors or are at risk of falling at home, ask a healthcare professional for advice
  • Indoor walking frames give you additional support if your balance, strength or stamina are affected by an illness or a long-term condition
  • A physiotherapist can advise if a wheeled or non-wheeled frame is appropriate
  • A non-wheeled walking frame has 4 rubber ferrules at the base of the frame for support when walking on hard floors and carpet. A non-wheeled walking frame offers good support if you are only partial weight-bearing while walking
  • A wheeled walking frame has 2 small wheels at the front and 2 rubber ferrules at the back and is useful to give support on hard floors and carpets, when you are walking with a normal walking pattern
  • Walking frames are height adjustable and available in small, medium or large size, and can come in standard width or narrow
  • The correct handle height is important. When standing upright with arms loosely by your side, measure from floor to wrist crease. Adjust the handle height to match this measurement

  • For stability it is important to walk ‘within’ the wheelbase and not push the walker too far ahead of you when walking
  • Glides can be fitted to the rear ferrules of wheeled walking frames, to give a smoother movement on carpets. Glides are not safe for use on hard floors
  • Walking frames have plastic hand grips but are also available with forearm supports
  • A net bag can be fitted to the walking frame to carry light items around at home
  • A clip-on ‘caddy’ with a tray can be fitted to WHEELED walking frames to carry everyday items around at home, including food and drinks: a non-slip mat is recommended to prevent items sliding on the caddy tray
  • Consider door and corridor widths, door thresholds, steps, loose rugs, and thick carpets which may affect safe use
  • Walking frames are NOT designed to take horizontal force so they are not safe to be used for pulling up from a seated position
  • Check maximum user weight on the walker.