Can Seniors Use Knee Walkers?
- There are plenty of benefits for seniors using knee walkers. You may have seen people sporting a cast, carrying on daily activities with the help of a fun looking device that is called a knee walker (or knee scooter).
These wonderful devices first made an appearance as an ambulatory walking aid just over 30 years ago and are a fantastic alternative to crutches since they do not require upper body strength to operate and allow more independence to the user.
In fact, the reason seniors benefit so much from knee scooters is that they are more stable and less painful to use than crutches.
Best Recovery Method for Seniors
While many elders who struggle with balance choose the option of a walker, those who are more able to physically balance themselves and lead a active lifestyle want different options. These options do exist but there are some limiting factors contributing to them.
There are of course crutches and a wheelchair, but these can be often difficult and cumbersome to use. The knee scooter can allow the elderly to be more independent as well as active during recovery.
Although the knee walker is one of the best methods for seniors to recover with this goes without saying elders must have good balance, strength and coordination in order to properly use the knee walker to take full advantage of what it has to offer. Having poor balance can lead to falls and potential mishaps. This can slow the recovery time down, so sometimes a wheelchair is the best option, especially when balance is an issue.
Not every senior is able to use a knee walker. An elder patient must also be physically fit to use the walker. Most models can accommodate up to 300 – 400lbs so anywhere near or under this range will be safe to use. If a patient weighs more than 400lbs consult with you doctor to see what the best options for recovery are.
Related Story: Traveling with a Knee Scooter
Why Seniors Love Knee Walkers
Some elderly just simply cannot use crutches efficiently, so the knee walker becomes the best option of recovery. The knee walker is not intended to replace other walkers like the standard walker or the rollator models which are completely separate designs that attribute for a multitude of different factors.
The other models don’t take into consideration the active life that people live. Recovery can be made better by simply choosing the right recovery method and the knee walker assists in this.
Why Knee Walkers Can Work for Seniors
The following list are a plethora of reasons of why Knee Walkers are simply the best fit for seniors who want to lead a more independent recovery, who have great balance and were already active.
Lightweight - Many models like the Swivelmate are lightweight making it easy for seniors to use
Steerable - A knee walker is steerable so navigating around the home or outside are made easier
Hand Brakes - Seniors don’t need to worry about stopping as our models come with hand brakes for easy stopping.
Four Sometimes Five Wheels – Walkers have four wheels and in The Swivelmate’s case 5 wheels aiding in the stability of the overall model.
Basket - Seniors can take advantage of the front basket design to hold their belongings during use.
Foldable - If going to doctors’ appointments or running errands the knee scooter is easily foldable to fit in the back of a car.
Knee Pad - The knee pad allows the senior comfort while using the walker for extended periods of time. This comfort helps seniors with their posture. Standing up while straight is important as not to ad any stress onto already potentially ailing joints.
Why Knee Walkers Don’t Work for Seniors
Depending on if the patient is physically able to utilize a knee walker there are limiting factors as to why a knee walker might not work for seniors.
Weight - Some models are heavier than others which is why there are tests to see which knee walker is right for you. It’s important for seniors to have something a little more lightweight.
Stability - Seniors need to feel stable on knee walkers, so balancing is important. If a person is incapable of balancing on the knee walker then perhaps a rollator or alternative method would work better.
Practicality - Using a knee walker specially to get from place to place requires travel. In order to use the walkers at other destinations transport can be required. Although many models are easy to transport simply getting the walker in and out of a vehicle can be challenging. Not all models are heavy but be aware this could be an issue.
Stairs - Knee walkers need to be lifted up stairs and cannot traverse them. Although they cannot traverse stairs one model in particular can. That is the iWALK3.0.
Best Knee Scooter Walker for Seniors
The best knee walker for elderly people is The Swivelmate. Many of our wonderful customers send us some great photos of themselves and all their adventures. It’s easy to see why this model is the best choice. It’s versatility of use indoors and outdoors is unparalleled.
The design is very easy to use and figure out. It comes fully assembled and the benefits are incredible. Just look at some of the people who have used this model to get ahead in their journey to recovery.
Louisa from Evanston, Illinois
"Taken the day I got home from the hospital after Achilles tendon transfer surgery. Pain pills in the background on the table! I couldn't have managed being non-weight bearing for 7 weeks without this scooter. It is very maneuverable.
I hate to send it back! The scooter enabled me to live alone and even go out occasionally in Chicago during the winter time! Thank you!"
The worst part about the post operation is being non-weight bearing. The knee walker allows a senior to continue their active lifestyle making for a happier and healthier recovery.
David from Greenwich, Connecticut
"My photo was taken in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I was able to go away on vacation and enjoyed almost all activities using a knee scooter.
I had just coasted out to the deck of a rental house in this photo. The scooter is so much easier and better balanced than crutches, it's also more comfortable.
With a non-weight bearing broken ankle, I am able to participate in activities and be so much more independent than when using crutches. Love this Swivelmate; back up and moving so much faster."
Recovery can be made better by the comfort a knee scooter provides. It's great to see David was able to take full advantage of The Swivelmate. It truly boosts moral and gets a person back to doing things that feel normal which is the best part of the recovery process.Ilene from New York City
"Here I am enjoying beautiful Central Park in the heart of Manhattan just as summer arrives. The knee walker helped me get there and it also helped me enjoy the park after both foot surgeries. I was able to enjoy the park during 2 of it's most beautiful seasons: spring and summer! No sitting in bed for me!"
Ilene certainly certainly looks like she had fun with her recovery and showed that just because an injury happened doesn't mean you have to stop being active. The always beautiful Central Park is always nice to take a stroll around!
Related Story: 5 Outdoor Knee Scooter Activities
Suzy from Allendale, New Jersey
"Gardening with the granddaughter on my deck. I was still able to get around the house and yard!"
Suzy was fully able to enjoy the convenience of what a knee scooter can provide. She was able to do gardening with her granddaughter and still maintain a happy healthy lifestyle. Seniors can enjoy a much better living experience by utilizing the great comfort a knee scooter provides.
Although simple chores like gardening may take slightly longer the feeling of doing normal everyday tasks can significantly help a person's mental health during recovery.