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Buying a Rollator Walker - Tips From a Licensed Physical Therapist

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-11-20 (Rev. 2017-02-08) - Important considerations of selecting your four wheeled walker with a seat. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Walkers and Wheelchairs at Walkersandwheelchairs.com.

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"People with difficulties walking from the bedroom to the bathroom are not great candidates for rollators and should consider a conventional walker for extra safety and support."

As a physical therapist, of the most common requests I get from my patients is "How can I get one of those rollator walkers

My business entails assessing people with physical disabilities on a daily basis. Below are the five most important considerations of selecting your four wheeled walker with a seat.

  • Safety vs. Mobility

    Rollator walkers differ from standard ones in that they contain 4 or 3 wheels vs. 2 with a standard wheeled walker. The extra wheels give you more mobility at the expense of potential decreased overall safety. Walkers with a Seat contain hand brakes to allow the user the ability to stop the device when needed, so make sure you or your loved one is fully capable of controlling them for safety's sake. When considering buying a rollator walker, this should be a major focus point.

  • Purpose of Usage

    While some may think they would benefit from a rollator model, its best to think about its purpose first. Rollators are designed for those who have some mobility issues however can still get out and might require some extra rest for their endurance by using the seat. People with difficulties walking from the bedroom to the bathroom are not great candidates for rollators and should consider a conventional walker for extra safety and support.

  • Comfort Level

    Some rollator models have seats with padding for comfort. Some offer back supports with comfortable padding as well. For persons with need for this extra support, make sure to purchase the proper model.

  • 3 vs 4 Wheels

    Beyond the obvious variance between 3 and 4 wheel models, be aware that 3 wheel types do not have a seat for resting. Thus, 3 wheeled models should only be purchased by those with confidence in their mobility and just need that little bit of extra support. 4 Wheeled Rollators are much more standard and used by most due to their extra safety and comfort features.

  • Wheels

    Some models have inflatable tires however the majority have standard rubber wheels which provide great support. Unless you plan to do a lot of walking on uneven surfaces, go with the standard wheels.

Best of luck in your purchase.

Jeff Roth MPT is a licensed physical therapist and owner of Roth Therapy Services LLC, a home health care specialty group in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to his practice, Mr. Roth offers advice on aspects of home health such as buying stair lifts, power wheelchairs, wheelchair lifts & mobility scooters at his site WalkersandWheelchairs.com



Related Information:

  1. Proper Fit of Walkers and Canes Can Prevent Fall Injuries in Elderly - Elderly adults who use canes and walkers as walking aids should be assessed and fitted by a physical therapist to avoid fall related injuries - American Physical Therapy Association
  2. Flex Stick Walking Cane - Free standing tripod based walking cane that enhances stability throughout the normal gait cycle - www.ranjam.net
  3. Step & See Walker Device Will Help Avoid Injuries or Worse - The Step & See helps those who use a walker allowing them to move around in the dark without getting hurt or sustaining a fatal injury - EC Adell, LLC

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