Simply put, a rollator is a walker with a wheel at the bottom of each leg. There are 3 wheel rollators and 4 wheel rollators, and most have some kind of a pouch or basket to carry your things. Rollators are perfect for long trips or for those who don't want to be slowed down by their mobility equipment. Rollators are easier to use than walkers because they are simply pushed like a cart rather than having to be lifted. Rollators are perfect for use outdoors where the surfaces may be uneven. They can also be used indoors, and some are even narrow enough to navigate through tricky halls and doorways.
Who Needs a Rollator?
People get a rollator for all kinds of reasons, but the most common is that they are looking for a mobility aid that will give them more support than a cane, and they don't want to be slowed down by a walker. Especially for active people who are out and about, a walker can be a huge burden. People should consider a rollator when they:
- Want to remain active. This may include walks outdoors, traveling, etc.
- Need more assistance than a cane can provide
- Need to sit often
- Can't lift a walker
- Need something more durable than a walker
- Want to move quickly
How to Choose a Rollator
When choosing a rollator, it is important to consider many factors. While price and style are significant, there are other refinements which are also important.
- 3 wheels or 4 – It is important to consider both 3- and 4-wheel rollator options. Three wheel rollators feature a tighter turning radius while four wheel models have seats and are more stable.
- Seat – Is it important you have a seat? If so, that eliminates the option of a three wheel rollator. Seat height may also be something to consider. Some rollators have an adjustable seat height while other do not. Also think about the shape and material of the seat. Padded and contoured seats are far more comfortable than hard plastic.
- Width – The width of a rollator is important if you live in a house with standard size bathroom or closet doors as most rollators will not fit through. A three wheel rollator can be partially collapsed to fit through tight spaces. Most four wheel rollators are larger than 22", the standard width of a bathroom door.
- Weight – Look both for the weight capacity and the overall product weight. Be sure you are comfortably under the weight capacity of any mobility product to ensure it will support you correctly. The overall product weight is important if you must lift it into a car trunk or up stairs.