High Fall Risk Due to Collapsing Posture
By Lise McCarthy, PT, DPT, GCS
When people are using their arms and legs, but are still having significant difficulty standing and walking, then their posture is collapsing and they have a very high fall risk. For people experiencing collapsing posture, there are alternatives to falling and to having to use a wheelchair to get around. And the good news: Medicare may partly cover the cost of a more supportive platform walker.
Accessorizing a front-wheeled walker: A front-wheeled walker may be accessorized with platform attachments, swivel front wheels, and back gliders (Please see the 4 pictures immediately below).
- Note: this type of platform walker set-up is not for everyone because the added weight of the platforms makes the walker top heavy and easy to tip over.
U-Step Platform Walker: For those with severe ataxia (e.g. unsteady gait, Parkinson’s disease, moderate-severe dementia) who need more support, Medicare may also partly cover the cost of a U-step walker. Dr. McCarthy worked with in-step mobility to develop the U-Step Platform walker. Learn more about the U-Step platform walker here:
Alpha Basic Dolomite Walker: Although Medicare does not yet cover the cost of the Alpha Basic Dolomite walker, it can be purchased through many on-line retailers, including MIPT, Inc.
Talk with your local physical therapist, physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner. Any of these licensed clinicians can help you determine if obtaining a more supportive platform walker will help keep you or loved one walking.
- If you are concerned about collapsing posture and are located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. McCarthy can help you determine if a platform walker trial is indicated, as well as help you obtain and ergonomically set up the correct platform walker to meet your postural support needs. For an appointment, call 415-665-4953.