Walkers for Elderly: How To Use Them The Right Way

July 27, 2023 3 min read

Foldable walking frames or walkers are among the best mobility devices that help elderly persons to get around safely and independently. However, learning to use one correctly takes some practice, and the movements are not always as intuitive as it seems. More importantly, incorrect usage increases the risk of falling or developing body strain. If your ageing parents or relatives have recently purchased a new walker, this article will explain how they can use the mobility device safely and enjoy greater independence.


1. Adjust the walker to the proper height

Ensure that the walker is suitable for the user's height to reduce stress on their back and shoulders when walking. Ideally, your healthcare professional or physical therapist can provide guidance on how to make these adjustments. If this is not accessible to you, you can adjust the height on your own. To determine the right height, look out for these: 

  • Their elbows should be bent slightly (around 15 degrees) when their hands are on the grips, allowing for a comfortable posture and keeping their shoulders relaxed.
  • When their arms are hanging freely at the sides, the top of the walker should be level with the crease on the inside of their wrist.


2. Walking safely with support from the walker

Learning the correct movements when using a walker is key to improving an older adult's mobility without compromising safety. This may take some practice at the start but eventually come more naturally. Here are the key steps:

  • Place the walker at arm's length in front of you, by taking the weight off your hands and pushing the walker forward.
  • Using the handles for support, step forward with your weaker leg into the centre of the walker and avoid stepping all the way to the front. If both legs are equal in strength, either one can go first. 
  • Push down on the handles when bringing the other leg forward until it lines up with the first leg. Be sure not to push the walker forward, as it may slide unexpectedly and cause a fall. Repeat.


3. Standing or sitting with a walker

Learning to sit and stand correctly with a walker is an important skill that helps prevent unexpected slips and falls. When sitting down, the user should move back until their legs touch the seat and then use their hands to feel behind the chair arms before slowly lowering themselves into a sitting position.

When standing up, the user can hold onto the armest of the chair or sofa, push themselves up to a standing position, then hold on to the walker's handles to move forward. During this process, they should avoid pulling or tilting the walker to help them stand up.


Essential do's and don'ts for walker safety


  • Stay upright and avoid hunching over to protect the back.
  • Look straight ahead when walking.
  • Take it slow when changing directions.
  • Always step into the walker and never walk behind it.


  • Push the walker too far ahead of you.
  • Adjust the handles too high.
  • Climb stairs with the walker.



While it may seem like walkers are easy enough to use, it takes a bit of practice to use them correctly in a way that avoids the risks of falling. We hope these tips above will allow you to get the best out of your walker and ensure your loved ones feel safe and remain independent.

If you are looking for other mobility aids or eldercare equipment, look no further than The Golden Concepts. We provide a wide range of quality mobility aids and home furniture such as wheelchairs, walking canes, rollators, and transfer aids such as lift chairs for the elderly which encourage independence and safety. To find out more about our eldercare products, don't hesitate to reach out to us any time.

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