Rollators and walkers are both mobility aids that stabilize and assist individuals travelling from one location to another. Although they look similar, they have different purposes which are specific to an individuals needs and requirements causing many people to become confused between the two.
What are the differences between walkers and rollators?
Walkers are a very standard frame that are mostly seen with 4 flat rubber stopper feet which enhances stability. To move a walker you are required to lift and reposition after each step. Walkers are great for individuals that lack stability and balance however, they can become tiring very quickly, since they do not have inbuilt seats, you are unable to use the device to rest and sit down. they are extremely light as they are just a frame but are mostly suitable indoors.
Rollators eliminate the need to manually lift through their helpful wheels. With Rollators having a seat and wheels that swivel, they are best suited for individuals that have a bit more control over their balance but would like a place to rest frequently during their travel. They also come with plenty more additional features that we will get into below!
Now that we understand the differences between the two, lets discuss some Rollator features you just can't go without!
Having a compactable rollator is a gods send, it not only saves your home from feeling and looking cluttered seeing as it can be easily stored but it also makes the process simple and stress free when you need to pack the rollator into the car for those longer journeys or if you in a restaurant you are able to fold your rollator and keep it near you without blocking the walkway.
Compartments and storage
With just two hands, there's only so much one can carry. Having a rollator that provides compartments and storage allows you to store your items and take them with you without them dragging you down or getting in your way. Some rollators even provide storage that is a little more discrete such as under the seat or even offer the ability to attach more storage sections including cane holders.
As mentioned when discussing the differences between rollators and walkers, a major difference is that rollators provide seats which are there to assist users that develop fatigue during their travel and need a place to rest and rebuild strength. This allows you to feel in control on your travels, it provides stability and increases safety, helping to prevent falls.
Even though you are not lifting a rollator every step as you would a walker, it is still extremely beneficial to have a rollator that is light for the times that do require you to lift, whether that is packing the item up or popping it in the car. This ensures you are not putting any unnecessary strain on yourself or risking a fall.
We all come in different shapes and sizes, for this reason it is important to make sure that your rollator provides adjustable handle heights specific to your requirements and needs to avoid bad posture, pain and misuse.
In order to find your correct handle height without being able to go in store:
- Stand upright with your back as straight as possible, with your shoes on and your arms hanging relaxed by your sides (elbow slightly bent)
- Have a friend or family member measure from the crease in your wrist to the ground.
This will be your recommended grip height.
Rollators were obviously made to roll, with that being said without handbrakes to stabilize yourself, you would not be able to place much if any of your weight on them without having them fly from underneath you. This is why it is majorly important to ensure you are buying a rollator that provides brakes.
Some rollators, like such, even provide ultra soft handbrakes that assist those with arthritis in their hands, allowing the user to brake with minimal effort and maximum control.
A huge factor to take into consideration upon purchasing a rollator is wheel sizes.
If you plan to travel flat surfaces and flat surfaces only, then small wheels would do you just fine. However, if you do not want to be limited to flat surfaces and want to have the ability to travel effortlessly over uneven terrains, up curbs, grass and other small pavement obstacles, you are better off purchasing a rollator with big wheels as they are able to seamlessly roll over such things with minimal effort.
A majority of rollators have wheel sizes between 6" - 10", anything above 8" is considered a large wheel, anything below is obviously considered small.
Additionally, it pays to know that soft wheels make for an incredibly smooth ride and offer high durability.
There are major differences between rollators and walkers. Walkers are a simple frame with no wheels or seat that are recommended for indoor use and individuals with stability troubles that need a device to rely their weight upon. Rollators are a fully functioning travel companion that offer a seat, wheels, storage space and brakes, great for individuals that don't need to rely their entire weight on a device however, need some support and a place to rest frequently on their travels.
The performance of a rollator relies heavily on the size of the wheels. The bigger the wheel, the easier it is to pass obstacles and uneven ground making travels smooth and effortless for the user.
Additional features that make for an excellent rollator are most importantly brakes as well as adjustable height, light weight, compartments and storage as well as the ability to compact.
If you are still unsure whether a rollator is right for you or have any other questions please feel free to reach out to our friendly staff via our live chat button! We are always here to help!