Are they worth the extra cost?
At HSP social events I meet other HSPers who have a wide range of disability – some don’t use a walking aid, some use a walking stick, some (like me) use a walker and some use a wheel chair. While I use a walker I enjoy going on public transport by myself, it boosts my self-esteem.
Shopping around the price for a walker varies considerably, at the low end of the market they are an affordable price but at the high-end, they are very expensive – about three times the cost! High End walkers as well as expensive, fold up sideways, that is at right angle to low-end walkers.
The question is: Are high-end walkers worth the extra expense?
Your needs are probably different from mine, so in sharing my experience owning two expensive walkers, I’ve tabulated the features that are important to me.
Walker A Walker B
Weight 6.5 Kg 8.3 Kg
Compactness good fair
Performance on Rough Surfaces good fair
Locking in Folded position excellent not provided
Locking in unfolded (using) position not 100% reliable excellent
Braking on flat surfaces adequate excellent
Using brakes on down ramps adequate poor
Wheel diameter front 240 mm 210 mm
Wheel diameter rear 200 mm 210 mm
- Omission of this critical locking mechanism is a significant negative.
- Sometimes embarrassingly difficult to unlock, needs to be completely redesigned.
Independent Living Centres have branches in most States where you can see and compare walkers. The NSW Branch website lists 95 walkers for comparison.