Our mum has two. My dad had one.
Observational after our mum spent 2 months in rehab after a fall, and is now in aged care. Her section dining room looks like a supermarket parking lot except they are walkers and not cars.
Unfortunately there are too many businesses selling mobility aids without good sales support! There is an incredible variety in styles and variations in quality evident.
The best advice is to look first at how, where, when, why your mum is going to use the walker. What are her current abilities and limitations? Our mum progressed from having a walker as a convenience and useful aid in place of a walking stick, or hanging off the back of the shopping trolley. There is a point at which without a walker or rail to hold mobility ceases. Our mum learnt the hard way.
Other advice if not done already is to use an OT and Physio to assist with the decision making, advice, and retraining of the elderly user. Yes, we think we know how, it’s just a push trolley. Our mum’s time in rehab showed us just how hard it can be to retrain the older brain cells.
As where to buy and brands, we now have a list of local businesses who specialise in selling just mobility aids. We have been to each and kicked tyres to learn about the staff, sales approaches and stock options. We’ve made a few guided purchases with great success. For our mum’s lift recliner chair there was much research. We received some advice from other’s in a similar situation (you meet like minds when visiting aged care). Most importantly we take our mum with us to test drive all the options. On the more expensive purchases the better stores offer hire, trial & purchase, in home delivery and install. Even a range of quality used.
If she ever needs a new or different walker, we will use the advice of the physio before taking her to our preferred store. We suspect next might be a wheel chair to suit when she is out with us.
With walker quality they seem to vary. A $2 shop style, the Kmart very day bike standard, or a range of $500 plus exotics that may or may not be ideal. The more expensive models appear to cater for more individual needs. EG bigger wheels for more outdoors, wider frames for broader shoulders, adjustable seats, heavier users, etc. There is nothing stylish about a walker, but some do catch the eye. For our mum the operation of the brakes on her cheaper basic model is now proving difficult - arthritis.
Walkers are just not walkers. One size does not fit all. The basic models which all look similar may suit. Both my dad and our mum found difficulty with the brake handles. Look carefully.
Good luck and hope you find a suitable walker.