How to Use a Walker on Stairs

There are times when assistance may be required for things like walking and such. This may be because you have had an accident and are recovering. It could be because time crept up on you, and you don’t move as readily as you used to.

To use your walker, you will have to adapt in getting around in your home. Also, you should understand that different scenarios may arise.

Of course, for the most part, therapists and physicians will tell you to steer clear of steps and use an elevator if one is available. On the off chance that you do need to use the stairs, make sure you have someone there to assist you. This can prevent you from falling if you lose your balance or footing.

However, even with that assistance, you still need to know the right way to use your walker with stairs. We will be going over the steps about ascending and descending stairs, but before we do that, let’s look at some of the basic guidelines to understand when you should be using a walker.

Note that this is all in reference to a non-rolling walker. If you have a rolling walker, it is best to stay clear of stairs altogether.

Basic Guidelines To Use A Walker on Stairs

Before you start the big maneuvers like making your way upstairs, I have a few key basic guidelines. Following these guidelines will help you stave off injury and improve your mobility, as well.

Here are some key fundamentals when it comes to using a walker.

  • Make sure to relocate or get rid of things that are trip hazards — for example, throw rugs or power cords
  • Ask family or friends to move things that you will regularly need within a convenient distance from you. Keep everything else out of your normal path
  • Keep your hands free by using a knapsack, fanny pack, or pockets to carry all things that are important and necessary for use
  • Be certain your walker is in good condition. Your walker ought to have plastic caps covering the base of each leg
  • Be cautious when strolling on wet or tricky surfaces
  • Wear low profile, lace-up shoes for better stability

There are many more basic rules and tips that you can use to ensure the best results and safety precautions, but these are the most fundamental. Start with these and then you can move on to the hard stuff, like conquering the stairs.

How to Go Up Stairs

As we said, most physicians will urge you to stay away from stairs altogether. However, there may be a need for you to climb flights on occasion. Be prepared to take your time and try to only do it with someone with and helping you.

Here is how to use a walker to go upstairs.

  1. The first step is to turn the walker, so the crossbar is closest to you.
  2. Now, you will want to put the front legs of the walking aid on the first step directly in front of you.
  3. Then, you will want to grab the walker with one hand and the handrail with the other hand.
  4. Try to balance your weight equally between the handrail and walker.
  5. Now, it’s time to climb the stairs. Bring your uninjured leg up to the step in front of you and step up.
  6. Then, carefully managing your weight and balance, you can bring your injured leg up to the same step.
  7. Now, you will move your walker to the next step and repeat the process again. Remember to take your time and stay focused to ensure that you don’t step wrong or lose your balance.

How to Go Down Stairs

Once you are upstairs, it stands to reason that eventually you will want to head back down them. This process requires even more balance and focus, as you will be facing the downward slope.

Here is how to use a walker to go downstairs.

  1. Start by preparing your walker in the same orientation as you did going upstairs. Turn the walker to the side so the crosspiece is alongside you.
  2. Now, you will want to carefully set the back legs of the walker on the stair that is adjacent to you.
  3. Then, you will want to hold the walker with one of your hands and the handrail with the other. This will help with stability and support.
  4. Shift your weight onto your uninjured leg so that you can take the weight off of your bad leg.
  5. After you have stepped down with your bad leg, then you will want to bring your uninjured leg down to the same stairs as the bad one.
  6. While doing this, make sure to distribute your weight evenly between the handrail and walker.
  7. Now, you will want to move the walker down to the next step. Repeat the process, taking it slow and being as careful as possible.

Once again, before attempting this, you may want to consult your physician so that you have customized instructions. These are basics and may not work for everyone’s predicament. With that being said, even knowing the basics can help you reduce your risk of further injury.

Final Thoughts

Being laid up and stuck in one room or level of your home can be detrimental to your mental and emotional well-being. Having some mobility and the ability to take care of yourself just a bit can also help improve your rate of healing. All this should be coupled with your physician’s recommended therapy and exercises, of course.

Just remember, as you attempt to do these things, take your time and if you don’t feel comfortable just step back down and try again another time. As we said, make sure that you are not attempting this process without someone nearby or without having the means to call for help.

Leave a Comment: