Also known as a rolling walker, the rollator is basically a walker with a wheel at the bottom of each leg., Depending on the physical size and needs of the user, different models are appropriate. Rollators can be used indoors and outdoors, providing additional stability and more maneuverability than traditional walkers.
Why were rollators created?Rollators were designed to provide additional functionality and convenience. They offer greater support and an easier, more stable, walking experience. People who use rollators are generally active. They want to travel, take walks and go shopping but need some sort of mobility aid. A rolling walker meets the needs of this population; it provides more support than a cane and moves much faster than a walker.
What are the benefits of a rollator?Rollators come with a variety of features that meet the individual requirements of the user. All rolling walkers are easier to use than traditional walkers because they are pushed and don’t have to be lifted with each step. Rollators maintain stability on uneven surfaces and can maneuver through tight spaces. In addition to having a seat, rolling walkers can be fitted with a shopping basket, a walking stick holder and an oxygen tank holder. Rollators have brakes, enabling the user to stop gradually, and they can be folded up to fit into the trunk of a car.
What do you need to know before buying a rollator?The rollator is not a one-size-fits all-product. Depending on the height, weight and strength of the user, different models and various features work best. Another factor is how the device is going to be used. Will it be used indoors, outdoors, for travel, for shopping? Does the user want a seat? For example, larger wheels are preferable for outdoor use. A steel frame is stronger but heavier so if the user is going to do a lot of traveling, an aluminum frame might make more sense. Steel rollators are generally less expensive. Aluminum rollators are much lighter; some weigh as little as 12 pounds. They are not as strong steel-framed rollators, however, so if the user is a large person, an aluminum rolling walker might not be an appropriate choice. The size of the user determines how large the seat needs to be and hand strength is a factor in choosing brakes.
The Three Different Types of RollatorsThere are three different types of rollators:
- Rollator/transport chair
Features to look for in rollatorsThere are many different features to choose from, depending on the physical characteristics and individual needs of the user. Here are some items to consider:
- Three or four wheels?
- Size of wheels
- Seat size and padding
- Adjustability of seat height
- Handle height
- Adjustability of the handle height
- Type of brakes
- Aluminum or steel frame?
- Frame width
- Baskets and holders