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Walkers and Rollators have been around for a couple decades providing many seniors and others a stable and safe form of mobility. Mobility aids such as walkers and rollators are ideal for people who have trouble getting around, want to continue living at home, or have walking difficulties resulting from injuries or illness. Walkers tend to be a term generalized by doctors and caregivers. There are a variety of types of walkers, as well as different rollators (rolling walkers) that are designed to each serve a different purpose depending on each persons specific need or ailment.
A walker is a type of mobility aid that helps people who are still able to walk get around, but needs some assistance for stability. Most standard walkers features a four legged aluminum frame that provides balance and support. They are typically very light and often fold up. Most standard walkers have height adjustable legs, with 2 wheels in the front, and rubber tips on two back legs. The height adjustable legs allow the hand rests to be adjusted properly for each users height to prevent slouching and poor posture. A benefit of the folding walkers is that they fold flat with the press of a button, making it easy to transport and store. There are also hemi walkers that allow people to lean to just one side for support, designed for those with little or no dexterity in one arm or hand. Hemi walkers are half the weight of regular walkers and are often considered more sturdy then canes. You can even find the standard walkers in different colors like blue, pink, black and champagne.
A rollator, often referred to as a rolling walker, separates itself from standard walkers as it features four full rotational wheels, a seat, a storage bag/basket, and hand breaks, and height adjustable handlebars. Rollators are the perfect solution for people who are capable of walking but need something that is stable, and provides a seat to take a short rest while walking long distances. Many of the rollators these days feature 6″ or 8″ wheels, proving a smoother and safer ride preventing tips and getting stuck in the cracks. Unlike the standard walkers, the rollator has four wheels that spin a full 360 degrees, making it easy to use and control. The handle break feature on the rollators allow for immediate breaking, as well as locking the rollator for safety when getting up and down. Many people enjoy the use of the storage departments that are provided on most rollators, either underneath the seat as a storage bag or on the front as a basket.
There are three main indicators that will allow you to realize it may be time to look into mobility aids, whether it be a walker or rollator.
-Decreased Weight Bearing
When you are unable to rely on one or both of your legs to stand on, a walker or rollator can provide stability and assistance. Examples of decreased weight bearing include: Fractures that are healing or not healing; wounds on the feet and lower legs that heal slowly; arthritis related pain; pain related to poor circulation; and hip precautions pre and post surgery.
-Fatigue or Decreased Endurance
If while walking around you begin to get tired easier then before, or notice yourself stopping to catch your breath and rest, that is often a sign that a rollator could be of benefit. The seat on rollators allow for you to stop and rest while you are out, while also allowing you to walk at a quicker and smoother pace with the four fully rotational wheels and hand breaks. Other signs of fatigue include: shortness of breath; deconditioned physical fitness after extended illness; systemic conditions such as diabetes, MS, and Parkinson’s, frailness from normal aging, and Arthritis.
Walkers in particular help those with poor balance by providing a secure and stable item to hold onto and lean on while walking. With only two wheels in front, and skis in the back it allows the person to remain in control and move at a slower and steadier pace. Symptoms of poor balance may include: neurological conditions such as stroke, MS, cerebral palsy, or diabetic neuropathy; low blood pressure; dizziness, inner ear disturbances and slow relfexes to changes in position or body sway.
Yes they do. Rollators are available in different seat heights, depending on the users height and position level of comfort. The seat height will also determine where the back rest hits the user. The adjustable handlebars allow each person to maintain proper posture while walking and sitting. What really makes the rollators unique is that they are available in a variety of unique and stylish colors and designs.