The 5 Best Hemi Walkers [Ranked]
Side style hemi walkers are generally lighter than a walker but more stable than a cane.
This makes them ideal for individuals who do not need a walker but still require a wider base for support. These specialty, ambulatory devices are engineered to be used with only one hand or arm (Source).
Unlike standard medical walkers that require the use of both hands, hemi walkers are meant for using at only one side of the body, instead of the front.
This product is ideal for people recovering from surgery or injury on one leg as it helps to keep the weight off the troubled leg during the healing process and thus, expedites the process.
- Designed for individuals with the use of only one hand or arm
- ONE HANDED WALKER. An adult walker for side style walking. Hemi walker is lighter than a regular medical walker, but more stable than a cane. Our adult walkers are very sturdy, stable, and safe, made of 1 inch round aluminum construction.
- For users with limited or no dexterity in one arm or hand; Can be used on left or right side with single hand operation
- See Product Specifications for more detailed information.
- Handle height easily adjusts with unique push button; Back support height easily adjusts with tool-free thumb screw
Adjusting & Using A Hemi Walker
The video below demonstrates how to adjust and use a hemi walker.
This may be helpful to someone who has a history of having a stroke, needing an assistive device for walking, but being unable to hold unto a regular walker with the impacted hand:
Since a hemi walker is a mobility aid, you’d need to make sure that the product you buy can provide optimal support to the user who is having difficulty with maintaining balance or walking without assistance. In order to avoid the risk of injury and ensure proper posture, it’s important to choose a product depending on some important factors.
- Weight Capacity: The first thing you’d need to consider is the weight capacity of the product. Make sure that it comes with adequate weight-bearing capabilities to properly support the user, avoiding the risk of injury when in use.
- Heights Requirements: Second, comes the need for the measurements of the user height and product height. You should get proper measurements of the user’s height and his/her wrist height before purchasing a hemi walker. If the user is taller than general, you may need to purchase an extension kit that can add height to the product easily and quickly.
- Hand Grips: The hand grips of the walker are another important consideration. Plastic hand grips are considered a standard feature on most of these products. But if the user’s hands tend to get sweaty, it’d be ideal to go for a product with foam hand grips which would provide a greater sense of ease and comfort.
You can consider a hemi walker a hybrid between a standard medical walker and a cane. It’s more lightweight than a standard medical walker but offers greater support than a cane.
Constructed from lightweight materials like aluminum, this product comes with four legs together with a bar at hip level. The feet of hemi walkers are equipped with rubber tips, providing excellent traction. It’s important to note the product doesn’t roll.
Instead, the user must pick it up and move in the desired direction. Therefore, the user would need coordination skills and upper body strength to use it effectively.
It takes some practice and time to get proficient at using this product. Here is a video that will help you learn how to use a hemi walker.
Lots of people associate the use of a hemi walker with disabled individuals or elderly. However, in reality, there’re a number of situations where a person could heavily benefit from using this product, even if he/she is neither of them.
You can purchase a hemi walker from medical supply stores or online. Just remember that these products are available in a significant number of different models. The price would vary depending on factors like features, kind of material used etc.
Hemi Walkers For Stroke Patients
A lot of stroke patients encounter mobility difficulty and the hemi walker, as an assistive device, can help them to have greater independence with day-to-day activities.
Patients with hemiparesis (Source) can greatly benefit from using this device.
From increasing movement and strength to remaining active – the device helps in expediting the recovery process in many ways. Probably the biggest advantage comes through increased physical activity, which can increase control, flexibility, and re-establish nerve circuitry in stroke patients.
Hemi Walker Gait Pattern
When stroke patients are recovering, many of them remain afraid to walk. With the help of a hemi walker they can get the needed support to walk again confidently.
One can easily walk with this device by following some simple steps. First, the user needs to open the device until it rests on top of its cross brace directly. Then the height of the walker needs to be adjusted (if it comes with the function) to match the user’s height.
Then the user needs to grip the device with one hand – the one opposite his/her weak side and start advancing it as he/she moves forward with the affected side.
Finally, the user needs to take a small step with the help of the good leg. Here, the device helps the user to stay balanced. If a patient is concerned about falling, it’d be helpful to practice with this mobility aid with someone close by.
Tall Hemi Walkers
- Designed for individuals with the use of only one hand or arm
While a hemi walker is a great mobility assistance device, it needs to be of adequate height to prevent accidents.
Often, the inadequate height of the device becomes a problem to the user, especially for tall people. As with any walking aid, you’d need to ensure that the product isn’t too low or too tall for the user’s height.
For tall people it may lead to pain in the neck, shoulders, and back if the walker is too short. If the user is around the 6-foot mark, you should look for a product with the height between 33 and 37 inches.
The base footprint should be small enough to conveniently fit through standard doorframes while being large enough to offer stable support. If your local medical supply store doesn’t sell tall hemi walkers, a thorough search in popular online marketplaces would help you find them.
Hemi Walker Vs Quad Cane
- Effortless switching to fit either hands. Simply press the knob release and switch direction. Conveniently folded for carrying and storage.
Both hemi walkers and quad canes (Source) help people with balance problems, weakness, and pain, enabling them to walk more comfortably and safely.
However, these two assistive devices don’t cater to the same purposes. You should have a clear understanding of their differences to be able to make an informed decision.
First of all, if the patient feels unsteady on his/her feet or experiences poor balance, a walker should be the ideal choice while a quad cane might be helpful for patients having weakness or pain on one side of their body that makes it difficult to balance or walk.
Another major difference between these two devices is that a quad cane for patients having mild balance problems while a hemi walker offers more stability and ideal for patients having medium to bad gait and balance problems.
Invacare Hemi Walkers
- Sold by the Each
This product comes with the perfect shape and size to support a person who’s trying to get a fresh beginning. It not only reaches the hips to give the user a nice position to hold but it also assists him/her in regaining the confidence and ability to walk. Made from a sturdy material, this product is designed to last for years and doesn’t fall prey to corrosion easily.
- Though hemi walkers look similar to standard walkers, they’re smaller and need one hand to use.
- Probably the biggest advantages lie in the frame of a hemi walker and its affordable pricing. These factors make them perfect for people who don’t want to use more elaborate walking assistant devices.
- The frame of the product is usually constructed from lightweight aluminum tubing and each leg’s end is equipped with rubber tips.
- Two hand grips – one for holding the frame while sitting and one for holding it while walking – provide better stability.
- Many can be folded as well for easier transport and storage.
Though a hemi walker is a simple device, you’d need to make sure the presence of some useful features so that the user can make most out of the product. First of all, it has to be lightweight as the user will need to pick the walker up every two steps. Second, comes the ability to adjust the height of the product according to the user’s height and needs. Finally, ensure that all the legs of the walker touch the ground properly when kept on a level surface.
Hemi Walker Vs Rollator
- Comes with wheels and a vinyl contoured hand grip. With your arm extended down, handle should be at wrist height. With your hand placed on the hand grip, your elbow should be flexed 20 to 30 inch
If you’re looking to buy a hemi walker for you or for someone you know and have completed some research on the available products, you’ve probably come across the term rollator both at the medical supply stores and online.
Before you make a final decision, it’s important to learn the key differences between these two products. You can consider the hemi walker a simple handled frame with legs while the rollator is a much more complicated device. A rollator (also known as a 4-wheeled walker) comes with wheels on all four legs and has the ability to move along with the user.
While these walkers provide great mobility as they come with handbrakes and swivel handlebars, the user needs to have enough strength to properly control the device, which isn’t the case with a hemi walker. Rollators come with seats and are sometimes equipped with baskets that are perfect for users on the go.
When the user needs to take a break, he/she can lock the device’s wheels and use the seat to sit (Source).
Are you looking for a product that could provide optimal support to any of your closed ones having a one-sided weakness? If yes, you shouldn’t look beyond a hemi walker.
Also known as a one-handed walker, this specialized device is designed to help people with limited mobility.