Rollators – 4 Wheeled Walkers
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Rollators are an excellent option for anyone who would like a little more stability when moving around. Rollators pack a bunch of features that are not usually found on normal walkers and are ideal for people who don’t require the solid, weight bearing stability provided by a walker and want to travel a little further afield, either around the house and garden or out around town.
Features of a typical Rollator are:
- One wheel at the end of each leg of the rollator for easy movement.
- Easy grip handles with incorporated bicycle-like brakes.
- A built in seat for when you need to take a rest, or take in the view.
- A basket or carry compartment for storing anything you may need, or any shopping you may have picked up.
- Does not need to be picked up and placed back down again to move forward.
The Difference Between A Rollator And A Walker
It is important to note that rollators are not a next generation replacement for walkers. Walking frames are a very important mobility aid and will continue to be an excellent choice for many living with reduced mobility.
Whilst both walkers and rollators may look somewhat similar and both are used as walking aids, there are differences that are worth knowing before deciding whether to buy a walker or a rollator.
A walker (or walking frame) does not have wheels, as its primary purpose is to provide a solid frame for anyone who may be struggling with balance. Because a walking frame needs to be securely placed on the ground to provide maximum support, it must be lifted up and placed back down again in order to allow the user to move forward. As the walker must be picked up to move forward, they are made of lightweight material and usually have very few, if any, extra features.
A rollator usually has 4 wheels (there are some 3 wheel variants) and does not need to be lifted up to be moved forward. As the user does not need to lift the rollator, the user’s strength does not need to be considered when thinking about buying, and because the frame and the wheels take all the weight, extra features such as integrated seats and baskets can be added to the rollator without hampering it’s easy to use and maneuver feature.
Rollators are height adjustable so that you change your rollator so that it exactly suits you and your walking style. Most Rollators are foldable for easy storage, either in the home or in the back of a car.
Rollators have a bicycle type, handle bar braking system that can be applied to when moving down a ramp or a hill to regulate speed. These braking handles can also be pushed down to lock the rollator’s wheels in place for when you are not moving or wanting to sit down on it’s integrated seat.
People Best Suited To Rollators
The people who will get the most out of using a rollator are those that have a fairly good balance, but would like a little help when moving further afield. People who like to be out and about, who like to be active, but know their limits and may just need a quick sit down to gather themselves will love the freedom a rollator provides. Rollators are also a good option for those who may not have the upper body strength to lift a walking frame, but need a little help with balance.
Rollators are made with both indoor and outdoor use in mind. If you like being outdoors and enjoy walking then a rollator may be for you. From boulevarding around town in the evening to walking around your local park, a rollator can really help to add stability and distance to your excursions.
Do you like to shop? Rollators are excellent for those shopping trips into town or to your local supermarket or retail centre. Small enough to fit down any aisle, nimble enough to navigate around other shoppers and light enough to be lifted into the back of your car when you have finished.
Traveling With Your Rollator
Most rollators have a folding feature that allows them to be stored away easily. Whilst this is certainly a boon for storing your rollator away at home, or in the back of your car, it becomes particularly important when traveling by public or international transport.
Taking Your Rollator On Public Transport
Rollators can be folded and carried onto both busses and trains. Busses usually have a designated area for storing mobility equipment like wheelchairs and rollators and walking frames, but be warned these areas are usually quite limited and are on ‘first come, first served’ basis. Planning your trip can be extra important when using a bus or a tram, try to avoid peak rush hour times where possible to avoid the crush; less busy times may see space in the storage area for you to use.
Rollators can also be taken onto trains. Most train companies will allow you to book assistance from one of their staff to help you onto the train, help you store your rollator and then show you to your seat. Ask your train company in advance when booking your ticket about assistance and also ask about priority seating; train companies these days are well used to helping mobility customers and have well thought out procedures to make your journey as stress free and pleasant as possible.
Taking Your Rollator On To A Plane.
Time to get away! Time for sun, sand and sangria! But can you take your rollator onto a plane? The answer in nearly all cases is ‘yes, you can take your rollator on to a plane’.
Airlines are well practiced and helping people with rollators, wheelchairs and other mobility aids. When booking your flight (or holiday) let the company know you have a rollator that you would like to bring onto the flight. It is always best to plan this part of your journey as early as possible so you can work with the airline to ascertain if you need special assistance, if your rollator needs to be on the flight with you or if it can be stored in the cargo hold.
If you are a jet set type person who likes to fly a lot, make sure you get a good foldable rollator, this will make your life so much easier. Having a good foldable rollator means that it will not need to go into the cargo hold of the plane, which means that you can use it for moving through the airport to your departure lounge.
You will find that most airlines are very helpful and will let you know ahead of time exactly what the procedure will be once you arrive at the airport so you will know exactly what to expect as you start your journey.