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Walking equipment advice

A walking stick may help you to stay active, but it’s best to try before you buy. We can measure you for a stick and you can try different styles to see what suits you. A shaped handle may be more comfortable for you or you might prefer a padded or gel cushioned handle. We always check visitors walking stick ferrules for wear and tear. These rubber grips at the end of the stick are essential for safe walking and they may be cracked, worn or loose. We can replace the standard ferrules when you visit and can also show you a range of specialist ferrules;  a sprung ferrule to take the pressure off painful joints when walking, a flexible ferrule that may be safer on wet ground, we even have a special bowling ferrule to give support when bowling without damaging the green. We can give you information about what is available and where to buy walking sticks and special ferrules.

4-wheeled walkers are designed to support you when walking indoors and outdoors, they have height-adjustable handles and a seat for when you need a short rest and brakes to give you some control when walking and to keep the walker stable when you sit down. We are always researching new designs to accommodate different needs. Come and see us to find out what works best for you. We have walkers that are light for easy transportation or heavier with larger wheels for stability on uneven ground. We have walkers with holders for carrying your shopping, a drink or an oxygen cylinder. We can show you walkers with comfy grip handles and some with forearm supports so that you can use them if you are unable to grip. We have a walker with a laser beam to prompt you to take a step and we can show you a walker with drag brakes that give you more control when you are walking. We can show you 3-wheeled walkers too but we don’t recommend this style as they can be unstable and are heavier and wider than most 4-wheeled walkers.

Zimmer frames are simpler non-wheeled or 2-wheeled walkers for indoor use. You can come and try one at the Independent Living Centre and find out if this traditional indoor walking frame gives you better support. You can also try out the caddy that fits to the 2-wheeled walker, to carry food, drinks or other small items from room to room at home.

Musmate is an innovative invention from Devon which uses simple clips and cords to create a stirrup style support for your foot, to enable you to keep  walking and reduce the risk of tripping. You can try the Musmates that we have here and we can put you in touch with the supplier.

Trackers may be the solution when someone you care for is at risk of getting lost when out and about. The trackers are carried or worn and can be connected to a carers mobile phone so that you always know where they are. ‘Safe zones’ can be set up on the tracker to enable the person to go about freely in the local area, with alerts and location sent to your mobile phone only when they leave the safe zone. Most trackers can also be set up to detect falls and to alert you where that person has fallen. We love these brilliant devices as they give a person more freedom to roam safely and peace of mind for family and friends. We have a large selection of trackers like this Safer walking fob and phone app from Ravencourt. We can talk to you about other technology to keep you or someone you care for, safe and orientated when going out and about.  The person must give their consent for use of any monitoring equipment.

Falls detectors are generally for use within the home and may raise an alarm on site or via a care alarm service to a person who can assist. Some only detect falls that have an impact with the ground and others are set up to detect sudden changes in altitude and increased speed of descent. Mobile phones can be set up with a falls detection app for when you are out and about, to alert a carer and locate the person who has fallen. If the risk of falls is when out and about, most  trackers can also be set up with this facility.

Falls Sensors and Alarms