Mobility devices help the elderly and others with difficulty walking maintain their independence. Walking assistive devices fall into two categories, Walkers and Rollator Walker.
Choosing to purchase a walker or rollator walker is a personal decision. You should think about where you will use it, how often you will use it, and your upper body strength among other considerations. Purchasing the best walker or rollator for your lifestyle will enable its use for a longer period of time. It is essential that your new mobility device is functional, reliable and fit for your daily life.
A rollator walker is essentially a walker with additional features. People who need significant assistance getting around should consider a traditional walker. Those with few stability challenges, but who would like to use something to aid resting and/or shopping, for example, might benefit more from a Rollator Walker.
Manufacturers of walkers and rollator walkers perform a good deal of research in order to design mobility equipment that will meet as many users needs as possible. Consideration is given to characteristics such as weight, adjustable grips and handles, wheel size and location – if they are fitted – and stability. In addition, there can also be questions about storage, especially if the device has been designed for more than one use. Bulky devices can create storage challenges when they are not being used. Items such as grip, wheel attachment as well as the size and location and materials, all need careful consideration in an effort to balance weight and sturdiness.
Rollator Vs Walker
Before making your choice, it is important that you answer a number of questions about what you want from your chosen device. Although it may seem like a good idea to have extra features, all additional features come at a cost. Spending money on something that you don’t need is simply a waste.
Question 1: How mobile are you?
It may seem like an obvious question, but the answer will guide the rest of your purchase. If you have a very limited range of movement or are unable to walk even short distances before needing to rest, a Rollator Walker might be your best choice. If you need to sit frequently while walking, a rollator walker that includes a seat is ideal for you.
Question 2: How much stability support do you need?
If your primary issue is with balance and you can otherwise manage to stand and walk, a traditional walker may be all that is required, with or without wheels attached. Additionally, walkers that offer some flexibility can be invaluable on uneven surfaces.
How robust is the Walker or Rollator Walker? Your assistive device will be put through a great deal of stress and strain, you will get the best value from high-quality equipment. The last thing you need is to have your mobility device fail at a crucial moment. How sturdy is it in different weather conditions, on different surfaces, and in different environments?
For those requiring a seat, what is the maximum weight limit that can safely be placed on the Rollator Walker?
Does the Walker or Rollator Walker have a storage area? This is very important if you are likely to go shopping or carry bags.
How heavy is the walker or rollator? If your walker is too heavy for you to lift independently, you are unlikely to use it.
Types of Walkers
There are numerous designs for both walkers and rollators. The most common type of walker is the wrap-around version. The user stands in the middle of a frame that covers the front and both sides. This type has proven itself to be reliable and many are now designed with easy to use levers that can help fold the walker for storage.
The Rollator Walker, with its four wheels and easy-grip breaks, is super easy to use. Rather than lifting it with each step, the user only needs to push it forward. Many rollator walkers are made of steel, rather than the aluminum used for most traditional walkers.
The extra weight of the Rollator Walker is necessary because the design incorporates a seat that must withstand the weight of the user when sitting down. As such, another important consideration before making a purchase is the weight of the user. A heavier user may require a more premium device so that it can adequately support his or her weight safely.
People looking to purchase a Rollator Walker should also consider the wheel attachments that often have loops or other devices to make sure that the device doesn’t slip.
Best Walkers for Seniors
This is not an easy question to answer as it asks for recommendations that are best left to the individual who knows best what requirements they have.
With that being said, a walker requires some degree of dexterity by the user as the grips are seldom adjustable. This is even more important when purchasing a device with brakes, if you can’t employ the brakes, the device will not be safe for you.
Many users who experience dizziness find the Rollator Walker more helpful.
Once you have made a decision about the type of Walker that suits you best, road test a few. I recommend seniors try a variety of walkers and/or rollators before actually making their purchase. Go for the type and style that suits you best. Above all, choose the most comfortable.
Once you have made your choice, it is then time to consider customizing it!
There are a wide variety of extras that can be purchased for those who find they need to use either a Walker or a Rollator Walker. Consider the added benefits that can be gained and the convenience experienced by the addition of even a few small attachments.
For those who have chosen a Walker, there are ski-slide attachments that can be fitted to the rear feet. These items mean that the Walker need not be lifted, even on minor uneven surfaces. They are an absolute must for anyone who has an issue with their hands or arms.
Cup holders may seem to be a little bizarre on a Walker, regardless of its design. However, this item could prove to be invaluable for those who need to have ease of access to a drink. The cup holder is easy to attach and can be adjusted so that it remains level.
As mentioned earlier, a basket or a bag attachment is invaluable for those who need some form of storage. Most Walkers and Roller Walkers have either fitted as standard but it is worth making sure at the time of purchase.
Another very useful attachment is the whirly hook. This can be attached by the velcro strap that prevents it from slipping. Having no catches, the hook makes it easy to store bags, even those with wide handles. It is also possible to remove the bags from the hook using just one hand. Anyone who has ever tried to remove bags from hooks knows how frustrating this can sometimes be.
Used properly and within the manufacturer’s guidelines, the Walkers and Rollator Walkers mentioned here can have a long and useful life. They will more than simply assist the user to get around. With the additional attachments, they can become an indispensable aid to those who seek to maintain the independence of movement and quality of life.
There are going to be many people willing to give advice and make suggestions. However, always keep in mind your needs, and try to find the best model for you. To do that, follow the guidelines below:
- Take some time to review the items on offer. Check out the characteristics and statistics of the various models. Match them against the requirements of the user, whether that be yourself or someone for whom you are purchasing. Time spent examining what is on offer will produce dividends in the long term, no matter who is going to use the device.
- Road test them, put the apparatus through its paces and see how it holds up. Remember this ought to be able to last for some time.
- Talk to other users. There is no better recommendation than one that comes from a satisfied client or customer. Comparing notes and needs will help tremendously in the final decision on which one to purchase. Given that some Rollator Walkers run into hundreds of pounds (or dollars), getting the decision right from the beginning is a goal worth pursuing.
Finally, there is always the question of value for money. Anyone who is going to part with a significant sum always wants to get the best possible deal for the money they are willing to spend.
If the prospective purchaser has considered all of their needs and requirements, asked all the relevant questions, tried and tested what is available and found a Walker or Rollator Walker that meets their criteria, it becomes a simple task to compare the prices of all similar designs from a variety of manufacturers. This way obtaining the best product available for the potential outlay will ensure that value for money is duly obtained.
Choosing a Walker or Rollator Walker ought to be a one-off purchase. It needs to bring peace of mind, ease of body and financial satisfaction. Time and effort will make that a reality.