How to use a walker safely
  • Walk slowly and carefully.
  • Put _______ % of your weight on your weaker leg (check with your caregiver).
  • Remove loose rugs or other small objects from floor which can cause tripping.
  • Have someone walk with you on your first few days until you feel steady on your feet, especially when you go up and down steps or on uneven surfaces.
  • To measure the height of the walker, stand with your arms hanging at your side. Adjust the walker so that the hand grips will be at wrist level. When you place your hands on the walker, your elbows should be bent slightly (about 30 degrees). If the elbows are bent too little or too much, it will be more difficult to use the walker.
To stand up
  • Be sure your walker is directly in front of you.
  • Scoot to the front of your chair.
  • If the chair you are sitting on has arm rests, put your hands on the arm rests to stand up. If the chair does not have arm rests, put your hands at each side of the chair seat and push up.
  • Lean forward and stand up, be sure to maintain your weight bearing status as you stand (weight bearing status is noted above in General Instructions #2).
  • When you are balanced on your feet, place your hands on the walker.
To walk
  • Place the walker a comfortable distance in front of you.
  • After all four legs of the walker are on the floor, step with your weaker foot and then step with your strong foot. Do not step ahead of the walker. Be sure to only put as much weight on your weaker foot as your doctor and therapist have told you. (If you are not supposed to put any weight on your weaker leg, follow the above directions while holding your weaker leg up off the floor and hop forward on your stronger leg.)
To go UP one step
  • Back yourself with your walker up to the step. Be sure the back of your walker and your feet are touching the step.
  • Push down on the walker with your arms; step up on the step with your strong foot. Bring your weaker foot up on the step, and then bring your walker up on the step. Walk backwards with the walker a few steps and then turn around with the walker.
To go DOWN a step
  • Walk with your walker up to the edge of the step.
  • Place the walker down on the floor in front of the step.
  • Walk your feet up to the edge of the step.
  • Push down on the walker with your arms and step down with your weaker foot and then step down with your stronger foot.

NOTE: It is NOT safe to use the walker to go up or down more than one step. You will need to hold onto the hand railing AND have someone assist you. If you are not strong enough or do not feel safe, sit on your bottom and push with your arms to go up and down the steps (unless you have surgical precautions that do not allow you to do this).

Disclaimer:This material provides general information only. It should not be used in place of the advice, instructions, or treatment given by your doctor or other health care professional.