What If We Started Using Baby Strollers for Balance Instead of Walkers?

Senior Using a Stroller instead of a Walker

The stigma of using a stroller over a walker is dramatic

The other day I was driving by someone taking their grandchild out for a stroll.  Shortly thereafter  I visited  an assisted living community with a large group of residents gathering with their “walkers”.   It occurred to me that the stroller has a more positive stigma in our culture, so what if we started re-purposing their use?

Lets face it, the walker technology has not advanced at close to the pace of strollers!  Today’s strollers are lightweight, attractive ergonomic, and they can fold down easily with the push of one button.

senior/elder with walker

Many elders resist using their walkers due to the stigma, what if a stroller could be modified to offer the same mobility?

In addition, a stroller could be easily used to go on a grocery shopping trip, while a walker it might be rather dangerous carrying bags of groceries.

Do you know anyone that has re-purposed a stroller for this use? I may try to explore this concept in some future posts!


  • Steve, I think your observation is brilliant, and the idea is definitely worth exploring. The only downside I can see is that a stroller typically takes up more space than a walker and might be cumbersome to maneuver, with or without passengers.

  • Steve Gurney

    Thanks Melanie,

    My dad is a retired mechanical engineer and I was thinking this might be an interesting project to see if there is a way to replicate the stability, space, etc. by modifying a stroller. Will keep you posted!

  • Steve,
    This is a very accurate observation. I have had some issues with a bulging disc in my back and a torn miniscus in my knee and it tends to throw off your balance. I push the grandchildren in their stroller as it helps with balance.

  • These are some comments on this post from the ProAging LinkedIN Discussion Group, see http://lnkd.in/ea77X6
    Janet Beard • Things to keep in mind….
    a: empty strollers are not as stable as assistive devices designed to be used for walking b: the braking mechanisms in strollers are often at the feet instead of the hands… requiring someone to lift a foot and press down on a brake which could be a problem for a person with balance issues
    c: walkers are designed to promote proper body alignment while walking, and this isn’t the case with all strollers
    1 day ago

    Steve Gurney
    Janet, Good points – and I don’t disagree with any of them. I am intrigued by the concept because I have never met very few people who wanted to use a walker that didn’t have a doctors prescription to do so. However, I have seen many people of all ages and abilities using strollers and taking advantage of the improved balance it can offer. I am also encouraged because all three of your issues can be addressed by more creative engineering – thanks!!
    17 hours ago

    Brent DeRobertis • Sounds like another opportunity for an entrepreneur. Develop and market a stroller conversion kit that addresses Janet’s issues. After all, walkers don’t have any place to carry your groceries while a stroller does.
    7 hours ago

    Barbara Snyder • Groceries..makes me realize that grocery carts work for balance as well. I’ve noticed many older adults leaning heavily on them, but no stigma attached there.
    2 hours ago

  • Carole Frederick

    Steve, We need to concentrate and remove the stigma of walkers away. The public needs to be educated and adjust its perception of aging. By masking a walker, we are giving in.
    And, yes, the manufacturers of “walk assist devices” need to create super smart fresh and pretty products.

    • Susan McNamee

      I need to use a walker (degenerative discs), but really hate the stigma. I have Googled my heart out to look for alternatives. Yes, it is definitely a project for an entrepreneur. With more of the baby boomer generation needing walking aids and many not wanting to feel “old” quite yet, there’s a real market here. I too came up with the idea of using a stroller, and until someone comes up with something clever, that’s probably what I’m going to do. This is the first internet place I’ve found on the subject!

  • Steve Gurney


    I definitely agree with you. However, my idea is not to mask a walker – its to encourage multiple functions or universal design for those things around us. I think another way of looking at it would be does a walker have a function for someone who does not need assistance with mobility or balance?

    Since writing about this its amazing how many parents have told me how unstable their stroller is! Improving a product that offers balance and stability is better, even if you are not using it under a doctors orders.

    Point being, if people of all ages and abilities are using the same product then the stigma begins to fade away.

    Thanks for the comments – keep them coming!

  • Steve,

    I will have to post a picture of this on my blog sometime! My grandma of 96 could often be seen pushing my nieces and nephews in the stroller and while she didn’t use the stroller everywhere, it was the best way to get her to walk and when a baby is in it, it is much more stable.=) When I would take my grandparents to Giant for our weekly shopping trips, rather than using her cane, my grandparents, moreso my grandma always used the shopping cart. The other best way to get around without having to use a walker, is using your grandkids. That’s where me and my arm come in. It’s so much nicer.=)


  • What a great idea!! I have to say that I think this is a positive solution for the walker. I have seen both, and honestly, seeing a smiling grandma pushing a stroller is a lot more fun than seeing someone struggle with an outdated walker.

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