Rollators vs. Walkers
As you try to find the assistive device that is best suited for your particular mobility issue, you may find yourself wondering about the differences between a traditional walker and a rollator. Sometimes known as "wheeled walkers," rollators are equipped with either three or four wheels that allow them to glide easily across the ground.
Traditional walkers, on the other hand, have either two wheels or no wheels at all, meaning you need to lift the device up with every few steps that you take. Rollators allow you to walk more quickly and are usually less taxing on your body. Most models are also equipped with a padded seat that you can use when you become tired and feel the need to sit.
Rollators do tend to be a little heavier than traditional walkers because of the extra weight of their wheels and seats, so you need to consider how important portability is when deciding which option is best for you.
Types of Rollators
You will find several different types of rollators available at drugstore.com, so you should check with your doctor or physical therapist to find out which style is recommended for you. The first major decision you will face is whether you want an anterior or posterior rollator. The anterior option, which you roll in front of you while you walk, tends to be the most popular, but research has indicated that posterior rollators (which roll behind you) may be the better device for individuals with certain conditions like cerebral palsy.
Another feature that varies between rollators is the type of brakes the device is equipped with. While almost all these products have handbrakes, some involve separate levers that you need to squeeze to stop the rollator, and others have touch-sensitive brakes built into their handgrips. Brake levers are usually preferred by individuals with good control over their hands and arms, but the handgrip brakes allow those with weak muscles or cognitive impairments to be able to stop when necessary.
How to Walk with a Rollator
At first, walking with a rollator will feel very foreign as you adjust to transferring some of your weight to the device. Before long, though, you will learn how to use the rollator to support you when necessary. It's very important to always engage the brakes on your device when standing up or sitting down. Next, simply place the rollator a little in front of you (or behind you if it's a posterior model), and then gently roll it as you walk. Remember to keep the device close enough to your body so that you can lean on it when necessary. You may also want to adjust your gait so that you take slightly shorter steps than you are used to. This may help you stay in control.
back to top »