Put on the Brakes
February 28, 2019
Walk through any senior living facility these days and there are a few things that you will notice about residents in those communities. There’s always residents socializing in common areas. Some are participating in exercise classes or card games. Also, there’s always a few four wheeled walkers around. Whether used as a precaution or out of necessity, these walkers provide support for seniors as they move throughout their daily routines. However, the instrument used to keep our seniors safe can also cause them to fall if they forget to apply the brakes at certain times.
Most all four wheeled walkers have a set of handbrakes that locks the rear wheels. This is designed to hold the walker in place while the senior transfers from sitting to standing or visa versa. If a person is seated in their walker and tries to stand up without the brakes locked, the walker is susceptible to sliding backwards causing the person to fall. This type of fall can result in injuries to the hip, pelvic region and/or the head. There are also instances where one side of the walker will have the brakes applied, but the other side is left unlocked. If pressure is applied to the side that is unlocked, this will cause the walker to spin, also resulting in a fall. Injuries from this type of incident are commonly to the arm, shoulders, hip and/or head.
These scenarios are reasons why we as caregivers for seniors should always stress to them to lock their brakes. These transfers from sitting to standing, and from standing to sitting are times when the brakes on their walkers should always be locked. Walkers are tools used to keep our seniors safe and mobile, but it is also our jobs as caregivers to make sure they stay safe by prompting them to lock their brakes when they need to.