Discharge Instructions: Using a Walker to Get Up and Down from a Chair

Your healthcare provider has prescribed a walker for you. To use your walker, you need to learn new ways to get around. A walker can help you when you get up and down from a chair or other furniture. (Note: If you have had your hip replaced, you may need special instructions. Ask your healthcare provider or physical therapist to show you the best way to move safely.)

Woman using a walker to back up to chair.

Woman holding onto chair arms instead of walker and getting ready to sit down.

Woman lowering herself onto chair before sliding back.

General guidelines

Tips to follow include:

  • Remove things that may cause you to fall, such as throw rugs or electrical cords.

  • Arrange your household to keep the items you need handy. Keep everything else out of the way.

  • Keep your hands free by using a backpack, fanny pack, apron, or pockets to carry things.

To sit down

Tips for sitting down using a walker include:

  • Back up until you feel the chair behind you. If you have an injured leg, knee, or hip, extend that leg out in front of you.

  • Bend forward at your hip.

  • Reach behind you with one hand and grab the armrest or the side of the chair.

  • Now do the same with the other hand.

  • Lower yourself onto the center of the chair, then slide back.

To get up

Tips for getting up using a walker include:

  • Slide away from the back of the chair until both your feet are firmly on the floor and you can reach the crossbar of the walker.

  • Hold the crossbar of the walker with one hand and the arm of the chair with the other.

    (Never try to use only the walker to stand up—it could tip over.)

  • Raise yourself slowly off the chair.