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Top 7 things to know when choosing a Rollator

Mobility aids are a boon to those with mobility concerns as these products help them regain their independence. However, it is imperative to make an informed decision of investing in the correct mobility aid, one which addresses the user’s specific needs. Understanding one’s situation, specific needs, educating oneself on the choices available and then investing in the correct mobility aid, is very crucial. It is against this backdrop that this article, with focus on rollators as a mobility aid, tries to understand who needs them, their specific features, types, uses, and functions.

What is a rollator?

 Top six rollators to help you walk around safely

A rollator, also referred to as a wheeled walker, is a walker on wheels comprising of a frame with three or four wheels, handle bars and a built-in padded seat.It features handbrakes, a backrest as well as a basket/pouch to carry personal things. Rollators are easier to use than a walker because they just need tobe pushed around like a cart instead of having to be lifted and placed with each step.

The Drive Nitro Euro-Style Aluminum Four Wheel Rollator is an excellent example of an easy-to-use lightweight model. The large 10 inches front caster wheels make it maneuverable on any terrain both indoors and outdoors. The back is height adjustable and removable. The rollator can easily be folded making it compact for storage and portability.

The Drive Nitro DLX Four Wheel Rollator possesses similar features. It flaunts a stylish, removable deluxe zippered storage bag with a unique attachment to keep it securely in place when the device is open or folded.

Who needs a rollator?

A rollator is ideal for someone who can walk but needs a helping hand in maintaining stability and balance. The following conditions necessitate the use of a rollator:

  1. Decreased weight bearing capacity on one or both the legs: because of fracture, wound on the feet/lower legs, arthritis, pain in legs due to poor blood circulation, surgery, hip replacement, etc.

  2. Fatigue: due to respiratory conditions, illnesses, diabetes, aging, etc.

  3. Poor balance: due to neurological conditions, low blood pressure, dizziness, ear disturbances, slow reflexes, etc.

They primarily keep the users active and independent, while ensuring their utmost safety.

Features to look for when buying a Rollator-

Let us look at some of the salient characteristics of rollators which will help the user pick the one that suits his needs best.

 Top six rollators to help you walk around safely

  1. Style: Rollators come in three and four wheel styles. A 3-wheel rollator is narrower and therefore easily maneuverable in narrow spaces. It is also lightweight, making it ideal for users who want to walk at a faster speed, foldable but does not have a seat for resting. A 4-wheel rollator provides a wider and more stable base. Thus, it is ideal for bariatric users and those with poor balancing. It also has a retractable padded seat which can be used for resting in between walks.

    Drive Deluxe Three Wheel Aluminum Rollator has a lightweight trombone style frame that unfolds with a pivot hinge which locks it in that position. It comes with standard accessories such as basket, tray, and pouch. The handle is adjustable in height with a self-threading knob.

  2. Seat: As mentioned above, only 4-wheel rollators have seat provision. Seat’s height is an important consideration for the user. The higher the seat the easier it is for the user to get on or off it. Some models have seats whose height can be adjusted. Most rollators have the standard seat width in the range of 13 to 18 inches. Shape and material of the seat are other deciding factors. A contoured and padded seat is more comfortable than a plastic one.

  3. Width: The width of a rollator is important especially if it is for indoor use. Three-wheel rollators are narrower and foldable making them an ideal pick for indoor use. Most 4-wheel rollators are wider than 22 inches, the standard width of a door.

  4. Wheel size: Most rollators have wheels that are 6 and 8 inches. The 6-inch wheel rollators are for petite users and indoor use whereas the 8-inch ones are for outdoor use and rough terrain.

  5. Weight: This refers to the weight capacity of the rollator as well as its overall weight. The user’s weight should be within the weight capacity of the rollator. Even its own weight should be manageable, seen particularly from the point of view of portability.

  6.  Top six rollators to help you walk around safely

    Bariatric rollators: They are constructed to accommodate higher user weights. Always with 4-wheels, they provide utmost stability. The wheels swivel easily to allow smooth turning. Made of steel or aluminum, bariatric rollators have reinforced frames and welded stress points to safely handle extra user weight and provide durability. Most models offer height adjustability. Some models also allow width adjustability to have wider space between the handles. The seats are also wide and well-padded for comfort. Most models offer locking hand brakes for safety reasons. They come in collapsible or folding designs which make transportation easy.
     

    For instance, the Medline Bariatric Extra Wide Rollator is a heavy-duty model incorporating all the above-mentioned features. It has reinforced forks to support obese users and a lightweight aluminum frame for easy transportation.

     

  7. Collapsible pouch: Most rollators offer a toting device, basket or storage under the seat. Some users prefer collapsible pouch to basket. Unlike baskets, pouches need not be removed while folding the rollator.

     Top six rollators to help you walk around safely

    Karman Healthcare Tri Walker Three-Wheel Foldable Rollator has a lightweight steel framed body. It is easy to move around and energy conserving. Its loop brake system has locking brakes to ensure the user’s safety. It can be folded to an ultra-compact size and comes with accessories such as tray lid, removable basket and carry pouch.

     

     Top six rollators to help you walk around safely

Another model which deserves a mention here is the extremely lightweight Guardian Ultralight Freedom Rollator . It is easily foldable into a compact sized device making it easily portable. It has height adjustable arms and legs to match the user’s fit. It is beautifully accessorized with a well-padded seat and under seat pouch.

Thus, available in several styles, sizes and configurations, rollators have multiple features that can readily meet individual user needs. So, picking the right rollator must be a well-informed decision. Seeking guidance from healthcare professionals can be very handy in this regard. They can further guide the user on how to use it safely. Lastly, like any other piece of equipment with moving parts, rollators too require periodic maintenance. Regular servicing should be done to correct any damage or wear and tear. This will ensure user safety and prolong life of the rollator.