Is there a reason posterior walkers are used for the elderly? - AgingCare.com

Is there a reason posterior walkers are used for the elderly?

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I'm taking care of a elderly relative that tends to lean back and fall down. She has fallen backwards while holding onto her walker with the walker ending up on top of her. The problem is a issue of technique. She tends to use the walker standing inside it instead of behind it and leaning forward a little bit. I, and PTs, have tried to teach her otherwise but it doesn't take. A posterior, reverse, walker seems to be more supportive of this use. It also seems to be more sturdy in preventing backward falls. I know they are popular for kids but not much is said about them for adults let alone the elderly where anterior walkers seem to be the norm. Is there a reason posterior walkers are used for the elderly? Is it a bad idea? If not, any reason not to try it?

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I think the difficulty would be in getting her properly assessed to see whether such a device would be more helpful. Hopefully there are occupational therapists available to you that have experience with these devices and could facilitate a loan to try one out... your PT's insistence in trying to make her use her current walker incorrectly makes me doubt their advice in this regard.
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The fully encased walker has wheels and also a built in seat that is attached behind the person who is using it. You can move backwards or forwards, according the the photo that I saw.
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Eyerish is right; you stand within the "envelope" of the walker, not behind it, which could encourage bending forward and causing not only poorer posture but imbalance of the body.

I'm surprised a therapist would encourage anyone to walk behind a walker.

You might consider a rollator. It provides a lot more stable walking platform than a walker. It also has a seat if your mother would want to take a break and sit down. A basket underneath the seat provides limited "cargo" capacity. The handlebars are more sturdy, have a hand brake (which might take some strength to operate), and all 4 bases are wheeled - which is why it's easier to push forward than a walker.
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They are called fully encased Walkers or walker stroller. The support bars go all the way around. I'm going to send you a PM with a link for one that is available on line.

I'd be careful of relying on them though, because, the balance may be so poor, that she still falls. I saw that with my loved one, her Vascular Dementia caused her balance to be so poor that she would go straight back. The only thing that helped was when she went to a wheelchair. These fully encased walker might break the fall some, but, I don't see how it would prevent the fall.

I also read that Medicare may not cover these fully encased walkers, since research hasn't shown them to be effective. I'm not sure about that.
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Your relative is using the walker correctly. Standing inside it as opposed to standing outside of it and bending over at the waist to push it.
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