If It Encourages Walker Use, Get a Tray
A study from Oxford University found that 75 percent of people who were prescribed a walker and fell at home were not using their walker when their fall occurred. Anything that will make life more comfortable with a walker is a good idea if it encourages the elderly or those with limited mobility to use the device. If a walker tray enables you able to use your walker at times, you might try to skip it, getting one is worth the price.
If you live by yourself and do not have a tray to carry items and feel you have to forgo using your walker to transport a meal from one place to another, this is a perfect situation for investing in a walker tray. Not only can you move things around easier, but you can also utilize a tray for holding small handbags, playing cards on, and as a rest for items such as books or crossword puzzles.
What to Look for in a Walker Tray
Not all trays for walkers are created equal. Before purchasing your pick, there are a few critical factors to consider. Do this before buying a tray to prevent the hassle of having to return an ill-fitting walker tray or one that does not suit your needs.
Check Measurements Carefully
One of the most significant issues with walker trays and negative reviews is the matter of fit. Double and then triple check the measurements of your walker mobility aid, the distance between handles, the type of walker you have, and any requirements in the listing for the tray itself. For example, not all folding tray-shelves will fit your walker or rolling walker. Be sure to check tray weight limits, and the size for walker handles if they’re available.
Particularly in the case of extra-large or bariatric walkers, you will likely need to get a specialized size for a tray. Even in the case of more standardized walkers, you may find that the diameter of tubes on your handles may vary slightly from other designs.
Contemplate the Kind of Use Your Tray Will Get
Before you decide on your walker tray, think honestly about how often you will use it. If you don’t want one attached all of the time, the Yunga Tart Walker Tray model is fantastic overall and can be removed any time you want. Or, for example, you want a tray that will remain on your walker all of the time, that can be folded out of the way, and you’d like to decorate with pictures, we recommend the Yunga Tart Flippin’ Tray.
Read Reviews and Answered Questions
Reading reviews by other users can help you vastly in making a decision on which tray is best for you. If there are a small number of negative reviews, take them with a grain of salt. Look for feedback on sturdiness with trays for walkers in particular, and ease of use from aging seniors who left reviews.
If a surprisingly large amount of users leave only one-star ratings, it’s worth looking into why that is the case. It’s best to aim for a product that has at least four stars. The “answered questions” section on Amazon, which is directly next to the “customer reviews” can be a fantastic help in more specific issues you might be wondering about a product.
If they’re a more popularly purchased item, some products often have hundreds of answered questions. Many of these will be asked by others with limited mobility or elderly walker tray users. The seller will frequently answer some of these questions, so if you’re curious about an odd measurement or the availability of different colors, it’s an excellent resource.
Cleaning Walker Trays
It’s crucial to keep your walker tray clean and sanitized, especially during flu season, if you live in a nursing home with several other people, if you will be using your walker tray for meals, and if you ever set items that get handled frequently—such as keys or phones—on your tray-shelf.
Follow the guidelines for your particular walker tray regarding hand-washing or dishwasher safety. Wiping down trays occasionally with disinfectant wipes or a water and vinegar mixture is an excellent way to clean them up between more thorough washes.
Use Caution with Walker Balance
Whenever you use a walker tray, test out its weight limit in a safe manner and check for balance issues. If you place too many items near the front, for example, does your walker mobility device start to lean forward? If at all possible, do this test with someone’s help, or at a minimum, in a safe location where you will not fall along with your walker if it does happen to tumble over.