The ultimate guide on how to choose a rollator

There may come a time when you or family member may have trouble moving around independently , or having balance issues or suffering from an illness that causes weakness in the lower limbs, decrease endurance or it could simply be old age. Would it not be comforting to have a little bit more mobility in you or your loved one’s daily lives? A rollator can definitely be the answer to your problems. Rollators are simply walkers that has wheels. These may come with three or fours wheels. There are wide variety of types and brands on the market that can easily make you think twice in choosing a rollator all by yourself. This post is basically to guide you on how to choose a rollator; one that is well suited to you or your family members needs.

Benefits of a rollator

  • Increased mobility and independence for persons with disability and trouble ambulating in the their environment whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Enhances your social interaction secondary to increase access to different places.
  • Added support and stability when compared to a cane or standard walker.

Who will benefit from the use of a rollator?

  • Persons with disabilities that results in weakness of the lower limbs such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy,
  • Post Stroke
  • Persons with decrease endurance
  • Person with Parkinsons disease

Things to consider when choosing a rollator

When choosing a rollator there are certain features that you will want to consider such as:

  • Type of rollator
  • How much support you need from your rollator
  • Weight
  • Seat
  • Height Adjustability
  • Comfort
  • Foldabilty
  • Type and Size of Wheels
  • Where it will be used
  • Storage
  • Accesories
  • Brake
  • Price

Type of Rollator

Rollators are available in 3 main types; three – wheel, 4 wheel and heavy weight /bariatric:

Three- Wheel Rollator-Three wheels rollators a basically comprise of a frame with one wheel at the front and two wheels at the back.

Pros

  • Light-weight
  • Easy to manuerve
  • Easier to make tight turns
  • Greater portability when compared to a 4 wheel rollator

Cons

  • Most does not have a seat

Four wheel rollator


Four wheel rollators usually comes with a frame that has 2 wheels at the front and 2 at the back. The front wheels usually swivel.

Pros

  • Greater stability when compared to a three wheel walker
  • Added range of adjustments when compared to three wheel walker
  • More accesories such as cup holder, basket, seat, back rest etc

Cons

  • Requires that you will be able at least bear your own weight whilst standing as it has less support for your body weight when compared to a standard walker. Remember these has wheels and they move!
  • Does not allow for great range of movement as would a three wheel walker
  • Less easier to manuerve in tight spaces
  • Does not allow for quick turns

Bariatric Walker

Brariatric / Heavy weight walker as it suggest is designed for persons who are overweight or obese. These walkers are made with reinforced materials , with wider seats and larger wheels. These usually accomodate individuals weighing between 300 – 500 lbs.

Pros

  • Can accomodate persons on the heavier side
  • Sturdier when compared to other types of rollators

Cons

  • Can be heavy for some persons to lift
  • Due to its bigger frame can be difficult to store and put away

How much support do you need from your rollator?

If you are looking for a lot of support from your rollator when walking , or standing or when going longer distances you will want to consider the four wheel walker. The four wheel walker is generally sturdier and has more support than a three wheel walker.

Weight

The weight of your rollator is another factor to consider when looking to purchase a rollator. If you are on the weaker side in terms of upper body strength , you would want to look at a choosing a light weight rollator or a heavy weight one.

Seat

Rollators comes with options of seat or no seat. You would want to consider purchasing a rollator with seat if you know that you fatigue easily while walking and would like to break. And also bear in mind that not every location that you will travel to such as the park or grocery store will have sitting area Your rollator with seat would be an added convenience if this need arises in these places.

Height Adjust-ability

Apart from the weight of your rollator and the seat, of utmost importance is the height of the rollator. The height of your rollator plays a very pivotal role in the fit and comfort. If the height of your rollator is not adequately adjusted then it can make using rollator a hassle.

Your rollator should be correctly adjusted. You should not be hunched over while using your rollator and likewise you should not have too much bend at your elbows. If you are hunched over that means the walker is simply too short for you and if you have too much bend at your elbow then the rollator may be too tall for you.

To get the correct fit of your ensure that you check the adjustability of the rollator. Your rollator should fit comfortably with no more than a 15 degree bend at the elbow and your wrist angled comfortably when holding the handles.

Comfort

As discussed above, the height of the rollator , will determine how comfortable the walker fits. So ensure that when you are a choosing your rollator that you get the height correct. Rollators also comes with seat and back rest for added comfort.

Foldability

The benefit of a folding rollator is that it makes way less cumbersome for storage and increases its portability. A folding rollator saves way less space, you can tuck it away in a corner or fold it up and store it in trunk of your car when on the go.

Look for a rollator that is easy for one person to fold down as well as one that will fit well into your storage area when folded.

Type and Size of Wheels

The type of wheels on your rollator is important depending on where you will primarily use your rollator.

Rollators features different wheel sizes ranging from about six – 10 inches in diameter. If you will be using your rollator mostly indoors, then it would be better to get a rollator with smaller wheels. However if you will be a heavy outside user then larger wheels are best, as they glide easily over most surfaces , but smaller wheels tend to get stuck in a rut or uneven surfaces.

Where it will be used

Will you be mainly using your rollator indoors or outdoors? When selecting your rollator ensure that you consider where you will be mainly using it. For indoor usage, you would want to consider lightweight one with smaller wheels. And for outdoor usage you can look into heavy weight one with larger wheels that will be able to glide easily over the many different surfaces you may encounter outside.

Storage

You have the option of selecting storage for your rollator, whether it be storage basket , tote bag or tray. This makes the rollator a little bit more convenient. The storage unit can be used to store daily necessities, or can hold your items from grocery shopping. The storage unit is also removable on most rollator.

For some the storage baskets/ trays may the rollator cumbersome to store or fold down. So you may opt for a rollator that has a tote/ pouch bag.

Accesories

Who wouldn’t want a rollator that is accessorized? The accessories available for rollators includes cup holders, cane holders, side bags or baskets, cushioned seat. Having these options, you can customize your rollator to your preference.

Brake

Your safety is of high priority. A good braking system is essential on your rollator and this ensures your safety. Ensure that when choosing your rollator your rollator brake is not too stiff, and that it has the right amount of sensitivity.

Price

The cost for a rollator varies, based on their features. The more features and sturdiness of the rollator the more expensive. However there are several good brands of rollators available on the market that you be able to choose a good rollator to suit your needs without breaking the bank.

A rollator can very much be your step or the step to your family members indepedence. I hope you find this guide helpful in choosing your rollator.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this post or leave a comment below. This will be very much appreciated.

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