The Walkabout®, an entirely new concept in mobility assistance, has been designed as an elegant yet practical solution to address the various levels of mobility assistance needed by individuals who find that their ambulatory needs fall in between the minimal support of a cane and the maximum support of a walker. With simple adjustments to the device many unique functions are revealed:
- Two-legged, two-handed Walkabout® - retains gait, stride and momentum
- In all two-handed configurations- increases anterior and lateral stability
- A one-legged, two-handed walker- for uneven terrain
- A side-by-side walker- in a mid-wide stance
- An effective stair-climbing aide- with a height adjustment of one leg
- A cane- in the closed position (supports up to 250 lbs)
- In all configurations- provides assistance from sitting to standing
All of these functions are accomplished by a single device that can be converted with minimal effort. A unique articulation assembly allows the legs to be moved through an infinite number of positions; from a single-point cane to the width of a typical four-legged walker (up to 24”). This provides the anterior and lateral stability of a walker, but with a comparatively small “footprint”. Torque (twist) of the Walkabout® is minimal since it is locked into position once adjusted. And when used as a two-legged device, it forms a triangle with either foot on the ground, a strong support structure which is stable even on irregular surfaces, floors and sidewalks. To see how the Walkabout® compares with other mobility devices click here.
For individuals with imbalance or weakness in walking, sitting and standing, current mobility-assistive devices (canes, crutches, four-legged walkers and wheelchairs) provide support and stability at the extremes of mobility compromise and are the most widely used, simple-assistive devices. With regard to mobility assistance, no significant advances have been made in half a century. Yet the total U.S. population presently using canes, walkers and wheelchairs is almost 16 million persons, and is growing in excess of 3% per year (National Centers for Disease Control 2008).
Canes provide minimal support and are adequate for the individual who is uncomfortable in walking without some assistance. As stability decreases, the individual loses confidence in the cane and moves to the next level of assistance in walking. At this juncture, there are limited choices: the walker and the wheelchair. Many individuals have two or all three of these devices for use, depending on a given day or task.
The four-legged walker is the next level of support for the mobility impaired and is a major transition from the cane. There are many challenges, both physically and psychologically, with this transition. The walker is reluctantly adopted in a great many cases since it “announces” one’s physical disability. Most importantly, four-legged walkers destroy gait, stride and momentum that otherwise might be substantially preserved.
Thus, the adoption and use of the four-legged walker is attended by major adjustments and drawbacks. The cumbersome nature of the device is well known. A walker takes up about the same space as a typical dining room chair. The “footprint” of the walker-assisted individual is triple that of a standing person, which makes turning and negotiating obstacles extremely difficult. Maneuvering around normally placed furniture is often restrictive if not impossible. Safety is a concern since the incidence of falls with a walker is 7 times that with a cane.
Those in rehabilitation programs following surgery or other trauma that affects mobility rely on a number of devices as well. The goal is to graduate from devices that provide more mobility assistance during the early healing process to less assistance as normal gait, stride and balance are restored. Problems similar to those described above apply to such patients – little is available other than a cane to transition from a walker to normal stride and walking.
Practically, there is a gap in the type of mobility-assistive devices that can match the continuum of gradually increasing (or decreasing) need for walking assistance. For individuals in this category, the support provided by a cane is not adequate while the level of support provided by a walker is really not needed.
Introductory price through March 31: $79
Regular price: $119