Whether permanent or temporary, mobility issues can drastically decrease one’s ability to perform daily functions and can diminish one’s quality of life. Devices like a U Step Walker are popular for people who struggle with certain medical conditions that may impair their ability to get around.
Differences Between Conventional and U Step Walkers
The most noticeable difference between the U Step walker when compared to more conventional-style walkers is the base itself. The U-shaped design of its base improves stability and provides the center of gravity for the walker due to most of the weight being carried so low. People who struggle to maintain their balance may feel more secure using a U Step walker rather than a conventional walker which does not always evenly distribute weight while in use.
The U Step walker is also more maneuverable than other common conventional walkers on the market. Seven wheels, three of which swivel, allow users to glide and pivot easily around corners or in small spaces. The U Step walker can be built to accommodate several variations of use. While all models include a seat and backrest, consumers can choose between the Standard, Platform and Press Down models depending how much additional support or which style braking capabilities they need.
Further modifications can also include a laser or sound cue that helps the user maintain their path, gait or walking speed. These cues are toggled by an easy-to-use set of switches that are installed on one handle of the U Step walker. A basket and tray-style lid can also be added to the U Step walker for even more convenience. Additional weights can be purchased to increase stability for anyone who needs it.
Who Benefits the Most From a U Step Walker?
The U Step walker was designed for people who struggle with mobility issues due to neurological conditions. Although anyone with mobility issues that a conventional walker would address can also use the U Step walker, those with neurological conditions that negatively impact their balance or ability to walk may prefer the advanced stability and features of a U Step Walker.
The battery-powered laser guide and sound cue are particularly suited for anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and experiences freezing gait, a neurological symptom that the stimulus of a light or sound can disrupt. Stroke survivors or anyone who has their grip strength limited to one hand can also opt for a model that operates with a single handbrake instead of two.
Medicare Coverage for a U Step Walker
Medicare benefits provide coverage for certain products that qualify as durable medical equipment. Medicare defines these products as items that can handle repeated use for at least 3 years, are being used because they are medically necessary, are meant to be used in the home or, in the case of mobility devices, used outside of a medical setting such as a hospital or skilled nursing facility.
The U Step walker can fall under coverage through Medicare benefits provided by Part B when a recipient also has a condition that makes the U Step walker more effective than a conventional walker. These conditions are typically neurological in nature, but recipients without a neurological condition that meet requirements based on a collection of symptoms may be able to have the U Step walker approved as durable medical equipment, too. Your physician can help you determine these parameters.
Under Part B terms, recipients are obligated to pay 20% of the amount Medicare approves for the total cost of a product deemed to be durable medical equipment. The deductible for Part B also factors into out-of-pocket expenses for a recipient. Some Medigap or Medicare Advantage plans may help reduce cost-sharing amounts, but plan availability is dependent on location and insurance carrier options.