Will converting a folding walker from single to dual wheels improve stability?

by the husband

The wife uses a regular folding walker with single wheels on the front and skids on back.

We see dual wheels on the front of walkers for elderly which look more stable from side to side. I have seen the dual wheels for sale online under walker accessories but the wording always says "will convert heavy duty walkers to dual wheeled" or something to that effect.

Will these work on just a everyday folding walker NOT special bariatric or designated heavy duty?

She doesn't need a bariatric folding walker (160 lbs). She just wants me to add dually wheels on the front as she is kinda inclined to lean left or right at times.

Anybody know? Seems like they should make them for regular walkers.

the husband

REPLY from Caring-for-Aging-Parents.com
A regular folding walker for elderly can certainly be converted from single to dual wheels in the front.

As per your description, I looked online as well and I'm assuming the reason the description says: "will convert heavy duty walkers to dual wheeled" is because the dual wheels are made to support heavier individuals.

This doesn't mean that you can't use them on regular folding walkers if you think it will improve stability for your wife.

This isn't something I normally recommend as I'm not sure it will actually improve stability. However, if I was having this discussion with a client, I would certainly encourage
them to try it as it won't hurt. I'm always open to new ideas and once I know something works, I can pass this along to others.

If you are purchasing, just be careful of the following things:
  1. the diameter of the legs will fit the diameter of your wife's folding walker.
  2. you do NOT get the type that are swivel or pivoting. With the description of your wife's movement, having a swivel option on the wheels would be unsafe for her.

If you would like any more information about walkers for the elderly, see our pages:
The great thing about folding walkers is they are lightweight and easy to transport. Usually a folding walker with wheels in the front and skids on the back will be used for a person that needs more support/stability than a rollator walker but needs it to move more easily than a folding walker without wheels.

Folding walkers without wheels are typically used by elderly who need to put significant weight through the walker or to keep the weight completely off a part of a body like one knee or hip.

Thanks for this great question. I'm sure it will help other visitors.

Let us know if your wife finds the change from a single, fixed wheel to fixed dual wheels improves her stability by adding a comment below.


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followup dual wheels up front walker
by: Anonymous

Hi, I wish to say I never did try to convert to double wheels up front walker because my wife went to nursing home and declined rapidly. She passed away Jan 2015.
However, I did install her front wheels on the outside of her front legs in the front. This helped her side to side...she said. I was a little harder to get through regular doors etc. but for her this wasn't a big concern because she didn't "roam" anywhere toward her last months. She got up and went through one doorway which was cleared on both sides so she could swing around better. This got her to her bed and her portable
potty was always put near her. (we had 2 for her).
So...that is the follow up...take home info I guess is that installing wheels on outside of leg COULD be a help ...depends on each case.
Good luck everybody..remember ..we can just do the best we can. Don't carry guilt.. I keep reminding myself too.

Terry from southern Oregon coast.

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