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Walkers Or Rollators: What Is The Best To Use For Different Kinds Of Physical Activities

old man using a rollator

Last Updated: June 15, 2021

The decision to get a mobility aid comes after weighing all the other options available.

And...

Since you've taken this bold step, it's time to look at the devices available to match the offer to your mobility needs.

Even if it's your loved one who needs it, you'll still have to go through this crucial research stage.

So, where do we start on the rollator vs walker debate?

Of course, one of the inevitable discussions is:

Main Differences Between Rollator Vs Walker

The main differences between walker vs rollator are:

  • A rollator has four wheels, whereas a walker has four leg glides or two rear glides and two front wheels.
  • You lift a walker to move it forward, whereas a rollator moves on wheels.
  • A walker has a slower pace, whereas a rollator is faster because it has four wheels.
  • Rollators have a seat, whereas walkers don't.
  • A walker comes in wheeled or non-wheeled versions, whereas all rollators have wheels.

Let's delve deeper into the features of each aid to find out:

Should You Pick Walkers Or Rollators?

First:

What Is A Rollator?

rollators outside a house

A rollator has wheels, handle brakes, and a padded seat. It might have three or four wheels depending on its model. Some rollators have baskets to carry personal belongings and height-adjustable handles for you to customize the grip to your height.

Due to its rapid movements, a rollator suits you if you can walk, and you only need a mobility aid to strengthen your gait. For that reason, some rollators support about 250 pounds only.

Unique Features

  • A backrest
  • White cane holder
  • All-terrain wheels
  • Heavier
  • Rear wheels locking system

What Is A Standard Walker?

A standard walker has no wheels. It offers stability and balance support when you have difficulty using both legs, but there's no need for a wheelchair.

Most walkers have plastic grips. But, if you sweat or suffer from a condition like arthritis, choose grips made of foam.

It takes much of the weight off your feet as you balance your arms on the grips.

For instance, if you're recovering from hip replacement surgery, a walker can help you walk from your bedroom to the bathroom.

That's why most walkers support over 300 pounds. However, it's not a point to note in the walker vs rollator discussion as some heavy-duty rollators can hold 500 pounds.

gray standard walker

Unique Features

  • Lightweight
  • Simple assembly and folding
  • Adjustable legs
  • Sturdy frame

Questions In The Rolling Walker Vs Standard Walker Debate

How To Correctly Adjust The Height Of Walkers Or Rollators?

First, check if it's already at the right height using this simple process that'll take you a few minutes.

Stand erect and place the walker in front as close as comfortable. Your elbows should bend at a 15-degree angle when your hands touch the grip or handle.

Additionally, your back should be erect, not bent when your hands grip the handles. If it's not, your walker needs a few height adjustments. Therefore, place your hands to your sides to see if the handles are the height of your wrists.

Adjust all four legs; aim for a grip height that is parallel to your hip joint. For a rollator, use the same steps to measure its grip height. Next, unscrew and tighten the handles at your wrist's height.

How Do I Choose Between A Standard Walker Or Rollator?

To choose the best mobility aid between the two, here's what should guide you.

Your Health

Your body strength matters, more so the arms and chest, because these devices require lifting. You lift a standard walker as you take each step. It'll engage your arm and chest muscles rigorously.

Though a rollator has less lifting when using it, folding it for transport requires body strength. That being so, get one if there's someone to assist you if you can't handle the process alone.

Watch this video to know the proper use of a walker rollator:

Location

Some rollators are all-terrain mobility aids, and these suit you if you're outdoors often. In contrast, a standard walker may not give you the stability you need on uneven surfaces. Further, a rollator suits outdoor and indoor use as it has a seat for you to rest in between chores.

Your Luggage

A rollator has additional features like a basket below the seat to carry essentials like water and medication.

Your Budget

Standard walkers are cheaper than rollators. They have fewer features; thus, a better maintenance process.

The Transportation Means

A standard walker is lighter, and it stays folded even in transit. In contrast, a rollator takes more space.

The Assembly Process

Choose a walker for its easy assembly process or the rollator if you have someone to assist you.

As we conclude...

Final Thoughts

Standard walkers are sturdier, and they have a low chance of sliding off as you walk. But, they don't have a seat, a backrest, or an elaborate handle brake system.

In contrast, rollators suit a person who needs a little assistance to walk firmly. They aren't for people without balance.

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