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Rollator Buying Guide
Rollator walkers are easy to use because they require no lifting and can roll smoothly over all types of indoor and outdoor surfaces. Rollators and walkers are designed for individuals who need more support than a cane but who do not need a wheelchair for their normal activities. A rollator walker is the perfect way to increase your mobility, independence, and confidence while performing daily tasks. It also offers convenient transport and storage.
The following buying guide will help you choose the best rollator for your needs.
Number of Wheels
The two main types of rollators available come with three wheels or four wheels. Three-wheeled walkers are lightweight and easier to maneuver, while four-wheeled walkers offer more stability and come with the added bonus of a built-in seat for when the user needs a short rest.
Another difference between types of rollators is wheel size. Most rollators come with 6-inch or 8-inch wheels. Smaller wheels are best for use on mostly indoor surfaces. Larger wheels are more versatile for indoor and outdoor use and are easier to roll over raised thresholds. They also offer a smoother ride over any surface.
How to Measure for Rollator Height
The rollator handle height is adjustable to fit the needs of the average user. Individuals shorter than 5'2" or taller than 6' may need a rollator designed to accommodate users that are shorter or taller than average. To measure for rollator height, stand in front of the walker with arms relaxed at your sides. The handle height should be at the crease of your wrists for the comfort of the user.
Most standard rollators can support up to 250 or 300 pounds. For users heavier than this, heavy duty rollators are available that can support up to 500 or 600 pounds. A heavy duty rollator has a wide seat to accommodate larger individuals.
The width of the walker should be narrow enough to fit through the doorways in your home. If the individual needs to use a walking aid in the bathroom and bedroom, make sure these doorways are wide enough for the rollator to easily pass through. Bariatric rollators are wider than average, which means they will require wider doorways.
Most rollators come with a lightweight aluminum frame, loop lock brakes, and an optional storage pouch for personal items. Four-wheeled walkers include a built-in seat with a padded seat that flips up for access to a storage pouch or basket underneath. When the brakes are in the locked position, the user can sit down and rest on the padded seat. A removable backrest provides added support.
One of the most popular rollator walker accessories is a storage pouch or basket. This storage pouch for personal items allows the user to carry magazines, newspapers, tissues, pens, and other items while leaving both hands free to push the walker.
Rollator brakes allow the user to slow down, stop, or lock the walker in place. To slow down or stop, pull up on the loop lock hand brakes. To lock the wheels in place, push down on the brake handles until they snap into the fully locked position. When the wheels are locked, it is safe to sit down on the padded seat. To resume walking, simply pull up on the loop locks to release the brakes.
Rollators offer convenient transport and storage. If you will be using a rollator for travel, look for one that folds into a compact size. A portable rollator should be small enough to fit into the trunk or back seat of a vehicle. It should also be lightweight enough for you to lift without straining your back.