Mobility problems are challenging to deal with. Being unable to move freely about on your own, much less going anywhere outside of your home, can be frustrating. The good news is that there are mobility aids such as rollator walker that allow people to maintain a certain degree of independence. So if you or your loved one suffers from mobility issues, a rollator walker can be a life-saver.
Rollator: What Is It And Whom Is It For?
Rollators, sometimes called rolling walkers, are mobility devices with three or four legs and a broad support base to provide stability for both sides of the body. They’re similar to standard adult walkers but with a wheel at the bottom of each leg, providing easy maneuverability. Some even feature a seat for a convenient place to rest.
Rollators offer stability and balance and are suitable for those who:
- Have moderate to mild balance or stability issues
- Get tired quickly while walking and need a place to rest in between walks
- Are recovering from surgery and requires support on both sides of their body
- Can’t walk on their own without the risk of falling due to old age, bone loss, or weak bones
How To Choose A Rollator Walker
Here are several tips to consider when looking for a rollator walker:
Decide Between Three Legs And Four Legs
As mentioned, rollators are commonly available in three- and four-wheel models. Both options have their pros and cons.
A three-wheel rollator is narrower, so it easily fits through smaller passageways and allows for tight turning, which is why it’s more popular for indoor use. It’s also portable and lightweight. However, since these rollators have an odd number of wheels, they’re less stable. Also, some aren’t equipped with a seat.
Most people prefer four-wheel rollators. Despite being heavier and broader than the three-wheel version, they’re more stable and can accommodate a much wider range of heights and weights. They also come equipped with a convenient seat to rest on if you ever get tired from walking.
After deciding the number of wheels you want, you need to consider the diameter size of the wheels. Most rollator wheels are six to 10 inches in diameter.
To determine which wheel size you need, you should take into account where you’ll be primarily using your rollator. If you want to use it outdoors, then a rollator with large wheels (eight inches and above) such as this one is a better option since it can handle uneven and bumpy outdoor terrains. If you think you’ll be using the rollator mostly indoors, then a model with smaller wheels (six to seven inches) would be a better option. The smaller size would be especially helpful when walking in narrow hallways.
Ensure Proper Fitting And Capacity
Finding a rollator that fits your build, weight, and height is essential for your comfort and health. So before purchasing one, ensure that it can accommodate your body properly. Some of the things you have to look into are the following:
Most rollators come with a seat for you to rest on. Standard seat widths run small, ranging from 13–18 inches. However, the inside width of the rollator should be several inches wider.
In order to determine the right fit for you, sit on a flat surface, and then measure the width of your backside. Then, add an inch or two to the measurement you get to ensure comfortable seating.
A good seat height or seat-to-floor height should allow you to sit securely and comfortably without your feet dangling. While standing, measure the length from the crease in the back of your knee to the floor. This should indicate the seat height you need in a rollator.
Fortunately, some rollators feature an adjustable seat height so you can adjust it whenever you want.
Proper posture is essential when using a rollator. You don’t want to end up slouching as you walk just because the handle height is too low.
To find the proper handle height, ask someone to help you out. Stand up and keep your arms at your side while your elbows are slightly bent. Maintain this position as someone measure the distance between the floor and the center of your wrist.
Most rollators have a handle height that can support the average person. Of course, you can find ones that are made specifically for taller or shorter persons. In addition, the best rollators, like this one, have adjustable handle height with a wide adjustment range.
Besides ensuring a proper fit, you need to consider if the rollator can support your weight. In general, standard rollators can support anywhere from 250 to 350 pounds. If you’re on the heavy side, durable, heavy-duty rollators can accommodate up to 400 to 500 pounds.
However, take note that models with a higher weight capacity also tend to be heavier in order to provide reliable support.
Consider Weight And Portability
Speaking of weight, if you need to transport your mobility aid every now and then, the overall weight of a rollator can be a substantial consideration.
A lightweight rollator is suitable for traveling. The frame is usually made of aluminum, ensuring the portability of the device. There are also foldable rollators that can easily be collapsed so they can fit in small spaces for hassle-free storage when not in use or in vehicles for transport purposes.
Other rollators can weigh over 25 pounds, which won’t be suitable if you live or travel alone.
- Check If It Comes With Accessories
Rollators aren’t cheap. Therefore, you might want to make the most of your investment and choose one that offers any accessories you might need or benefit from in addition to the usual specifications.
Most rollators have a storage pouch or basket for personal belonging or a few grocery items. Other accessories may come as freebies or be purchased separately. Some examples are cup or cane holders, portable flashlights, and seat covers.
Independence is significantly tied to your ability to get around without assistance. Whether you’re struggling with balance, suffering from leg strength problems, or recovering from a surgery that has impaired your mobility, a rollator can greatly reduce the risk of a fall. It’ll also allow you to maintain your mobility and accomplish daily activities on your own.