We are so thrilled to have found a walker that works for Braeden. We had trialled quite a few options and I have to say I was losing hope of finding the ideal walker. Part of the issue was that I was set on an anterior walker (walker goes in front of the person using it) as that was what Braeden was using so well during his gym sessions. At an equipment expo I agreed to try the R82 Crocodile Walker before I realised it was a posterior walker. Braeden walked really well using it and I couldn’t have been more surprised. Now we have the R82 Crocodile Walker at home and Braeden’s been using it for a while I thought I’d share what we like about it.
R82 Crocodile Walker review
I wasn’t able to find a photo of Braeden’s first walker. It was something that Hubby welded together so Braeden had something to start with. It had a bungy like harness to support his weight and while it wasn’t a roaring success it got him started. Keep in mind, when Braeden was younger there were far fewer options in paediatric walkers.
Then along came the Hart walker. I had a love hate relationship with this brilliant piece of equipment. Braeden could walk independently in it, he had his hands free and it was fabulous in providing some weight bearing activity. Getting our squirming worming kiddo into it would have me in a lather of sweat and thoroughly exhausted. The harnessing required was not to Braeden’s liking.
Braeden then progressed to the Kaye walker but he needed it to be weighted down. Hubby’s mum sewed two denim sand bags so we could weigh him down on either side. While the weight meant he was more stable, it also meant that the walker was more difficult to turn or move. As Braeden got steadier the heavy sand bags were removed but we still found that Braeden found turning the Kaye walker put off his balance. We never felt he was safe in it.
So, you can imagine how delighted we are to watch Braeden’s progress in the R82 Crocodile Walker.
The biggest issue we had with many walkers we tried was that Braeden’s feet would kick the legs of the walker as he walked, they were not wide enough for his stepping pattern.
We don’t have that issue with the Crocodile Walker and it turns well and seems stable when doing so. Although Braeden hasn’t used the seat, I can imagine it would be helpful when we get to the stage of taking the walker out with us, replacing the wheelchair for short distances.
The long arms on the Crocodile Walker mean Braeden can find his comfort zone and what suits him with his grasp. It’s always good to have choice as everyone stabilises in different positions and there’s a need for scope to hang on in a position that best suits.
The R82 Crocodile Walker folds easily.
And we love the fact that it’s easy to know where to set it again for the perfect height for Braeden with measurements marked on the side. Braeden’s walker is set at the maximum level of eight.
Anti-tips at the back save me many a heart attack and keep Braeden stable. Some in the family will tell you that the sound of the anti-tips running along the wooden floor is an annoying noise. It doesn’t faze our noisy guy of course.
We were about to apply for funding for a new R82 Crocodile Walker when one of our lovely Have Wheelchair Will Travel readers contacted me to say she had one that wasn’t being used if we’d like it. It’s been brilliant and we were grateful avoiding the process of physio reports and applying for funding and of course the waiting. Our physio thinks it is the best walker we have tried and is coming to our house next week to assist us with teaching Braeden the best transfer method to the lounge. Our dream for the future is for Braeden to have the walker near the lounge and for him to independently access it and use it around the house. The trickiest part of this seems to be the return to the lounge and the organisation of his movement to position himself, turn around and sit down. That’s a work in progress.
The R82 Crocodile Walker comes in a variety of sizes that will suit little ones to adults like Braeden. This is not a sponsored post, just our experience we wanted to share. You can see the R82 Crocodile Walker options on the Etac website.
I’m keen to hear about other people’s experiences and what you’ve found works for you.