Remember, a rolling walker or rollator isn’t easy to walk with unless you know how to use it properly. It can be intensive if you’re using it for the first time, which means you could be unmindful about where you’re even walking. Although it seems straightforward to walk with a rollator, it’s not!
Before you plan to buy a travel rollator for enjoying outdoor activities, there are a few things to take care of. Since rollator users are thought to be suffering from mobility issues, they need expert advice to walk with a rollator. This article here includes some of these guidelines to help people know how to use this walking aid more effectively.
Difference Between Walking with a Walker Vs. a Rollator Walker
Although some people get confused between a walker and a rollator, they’re two different types of mobility equipment. The basic difference is the regular walker has four legs without wheels, while a rollator has three or four legs with a wheel on each of its legs. The rollators are widely used for outdoor uses and walk a long distance.
So you can easily guess walking with these two devices is different. One major difference between walking with a walker and a three or four-wheeled walker is that one needs to lift the traditional walker to move. On the other hand, the traditional rollators can be smoothly moved using wheels. The users don’t have to lift the heavy walking frames with every step with a rollator. They only have to grasp and gently push their handlebar while moving.
Walking with a standard rollator is trickier than walking with a traditional walker. It requires one to be more skillful and mindful while using. Because if someone’s weak to stand on their feet, they could slip or even roll out of the rollator while using it. The reports say there are thousands of people who fall from different mobility aids and injure themselves. So even though the rollator is an effective device, one needs to follow the guidelines while using it.
Generally, rollators come disassembled with an easy-to-assemble instruction manual. If you want to walk with the rollator properly, you must know about its components first. It’ll help you to get familiar with it more. The components we see in a rollator include:
- A rollator frame with seat and carry bag
- Three or four legs with wheels on each of them where the front wheel(s) act as swivel wheels
- Two brakes and brake handles integrated with each back wheels
How to Walk with a Rollator
You’ve gathered some knowledge about a rollator and how it works. Now it’s time for some practical actions. You need to follow the instructions below to walk with it safely.
- Take proper preparation first. Set the walker at the correct height, which should be easy since most models come with a height adjustability feature.
- Stand close to the device. Have your hands on handles and the feet between the back wheels. But keep the arms relaxed without putting a load on the device.
- Make sure all the rollator legs are securely placed on the ground and there are no obstacles underneath the legs.
- Now maintain a good posture and be aware of the surrounding environment.
- Make sure to look straight ahead and not at the feet once you start moving.
- Once you feel strong and steady, you can disengage the brakes to start walking.
- Firmly hold the handles and gently push the device forward. Start taking smaller steps first. Don’t try to lift it; use your upper body and the device to carry most of your body weight.
- Use the weaker or injured leg to lead if you’ve got one. But if both legs feel the same, use the side that feels more comfortable.
Tips Regarding Steering and Brake
You’ve to place your hand in the correct position to achieve the right steering and engage the brakes timely. Consider the tips below to walk with a rollator comfortably.
- Taking a turn with the rollator is almost similar to how one would turn while walking, except for the fact that you’ll require more room to turn with the rollator. If there’s enough space for you and your rollator, you can turn with smaller steps, and the front swivel wheels will automatically make your rollator turn towards your desired direction.
- Loosely hold the fingers around its hand brakes and keep the thumb on the inside part of the handle. It’ll allow you to automatically initiate a grabbing movement if you misstep or lose balance. The fingers around the handbrake will help you engage it momentarily to avoid any hazard.
Here are some more tips to help you walk with a rollator.
- Sitting on a Rollator
To sit on the rollator, you must lock the brake by pushing the brake levers down. It’s better to push the rollator up against a heavy object. Gently put your arms on the handle to balance.
- Standing Up from the Seated Position
First, make sure the brakes are locked for standing up from the seated position. Then shuffle forward and place the feet properly. Finally, use your legs to stand and your arms to grab the handle for balance and support.
- Using Rollator on Stairs
Rollators are not meant to help you go up or down stairs. So don’t use it on stairs.
- Handling it in Idle Period
What to do with the rollator when you’re not using it? Here are a couple of things that you should be doing.
- Close: If you’re done walking, you can close it by pulling up on the strap that indicates closing. Before closing, you might have to remove anything that’s detachable, like the storage box.
- Lock & Park: If you want to sit and take a break while walking, lock the rollator by engaging the park brakes. You’ve activated these brakes by pushing the brake levers down. Some rollators include a locking mechanism in the folding position, saving space if you’re in a public place.
Walking with a rollator is pretty straightforward. It’s more like walking with a trolley in the airport or at the supermalls. But since people with slight mobility issues use it, one must abide by the guidelines stated in the article.
The key points here are to stay mindful of the obstacles and surface slope while also using the brakes well enough to control the walking speed. The more one practices, the better they can walk with the rollator.
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