What is the difference between a walker and a rollator?
Both walkers and rollators are assistive medical devices designed to assist those needing mobility support. Traditionally, a walker is a lightweight frame with 4 legs or is equipped with 2 wheels but is designed for a lifting movement. Walkers allow for a slow pace, allow users to pick the walker and place it a short distance in front of the user, and then step forward to the walker.
Rollators are similar in structure to a walker; however, have wheels on the base that eliminates the need for lifting prior to stepping forward. Rollators may be designed with three or four wheels, which allows for a faster walking pace while offering the traditional stability of a walker. Additionally, without requiring a lifting motion, rollators conserve the energy of the user and improve overall maneuverability. Those choosing to use a rollator are typically able to walk but do need assistance with stability and balance from time to time, allowing for faster walking speed while helping with a normal gait.
The decision of utilizing a walker or a rollator should be directed by a medical professional or discharge planned based upon the patient’s comfort level with their mobility ability. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:
- Strength – consider upper body strength related to general mobility in your environment as well as the types of terrains.
- Stability – consider the walking distance desired and the ability to maintain balance with or without a wheeled product.
- Distance – traveling outside the home and the types of activities enjoyed may determine the type of mobility aid desired.
- Health – consider the height, weight, and underlying medical conditions to assure the proper alignment with a mobility aid.
- Budget – while always a consideration, it is important to select a device that works best for your condition. Lower price mobility aids may come at the sacrifice of durability, quality, and support. Understand the product warranty and make certain there is support available when needed.
While some feel that mobility devices may infringe upon their independence, walkers and rollators allow for greater independence as the user’s mobility is support for fulfilling desired tasks. The ultimate goal of these devices is trying to allow for continue with everyday routines while reducing the risk of fall or injury.
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With an industry leading 7-year warranty, modern stylish design, and durability you can rely upon, TOPRO rollators accommodates your desired mobility needs. Whether it is primarily for indoor use, mixed use or outdoor terrain, our rollators are designed with you in mind and strive to keep you living an active, independent lifestyle.