A rolling walker isn’t for everyone. They include a wheel on all the legs and are designed to support the user’s weight while standing or walking partially. So one can’t lean heavily on it. Otherwise, it could roll out from underneath the user.
A rollator walker is unsuitable for people with balance issues or who feel weak while standing. They should use walkers without wheels as a support aid.
If you’re looking for finer details and want to know whether a rollator suits you or your loved one, continue reading the article below.
Why Should One Use a Rollator Over Other Mobility Aids
Senior citizens or people with mobility issues often rely on walking aid to maintain an active lifestyle. These aids help such individuals to move freely without requiring assistance from others. Some popular support aids include walkers, rollators, knee scooters, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.
Out of all, the walkers and rollators appeal greatly to the users, and many people prefer these aids over others. The rollator is an advanced version of the standard walker, which comes with a wheel on each of its legs. So many users find it a more suitable option considering its different aspects. Some of its advantages over others include:
- A rollator offers a faster walking speed than most other mobility devices like walkers, crutches, canes, or walking sticks.
- It also provides better support than crutches or canes. This device doesn’t require to be lifted while moving.
- The rollator has swiveling wheels that help one take turns and corners smoothly.
- The rollator makes a better choice than a wheelchair in terms of promoting muscle movement. A rollator promotes exercise and low-level activity better than wheelchairs.
- Apart from that, a rollator helps one stay upright and breath easily while walking. It causes less fatigue and keeps the energy levels high.
The rollators have a lot of advantages, but there’s a huge segment of people for whom it’s not very suitable. It provides partial support for weight-bearing, so people with major balancing issues can’t rely on it. They need to use crutches or canes instead of a rollator. On the other hand, a wheelchair is a more stable option than a rollator for people with serious disabilities.
Why Should One Not Use a Rollator
As we’ve seen the user group for a rollator, we can put them out of the equation to find out who and why one should not use a rollator. Here are some drawbacks of a rollator:
Not for Major Mobility Issues
A rollator makes the best choice for people with minor mobility issues. If someone struggles to stand on their feet, they shouldn’t use the rollator. Because the rollators have wheels on all their legs, one can slip or even roll out of the device, leading to a major accident. So the rollator has limited applications and isn’t suitable for all types of immobilities.
Not for Complete Weight Bearing
Unlike traditional walkers, a rollator doesn’t allow one to lean on it completely to take some weight off the legs. It’s designed for people who struggle to keep the balance on their own. A rollator partially bears weight to provide a little support to balance while moving.
Heavier than Regular Walkers
Since traditional walkers require to be lifted while moving forward, they’re made of lightweight materials such as hollow aluminum tubes. On the other hand, the rollators are heavy-duty aluminum and quite heavy.
It isn’t a problem since it glides smoothly with the wheels and doesn’t require lifting either. However, it could be inconvenient to carry it while traveling. It folds small to fit vehicles, although the one carrying won’t be a very happy person.
Require Steering and Braking
Walking with a rollator requires steering for maneuverability and using a brake handle to stop the device, and doing these tasks need a fair bit of mindfulness. So it can’t be suitable for all types of users.
Who are Supposed to Use a Rollator
After seeing the advantages and disadvantages of a rollator, we can clearly define the user group for a rollator. Now we can say who shouldn’t use a rollator walker.
So people who meet the following criteria shouldn’t use a rollator — the ones with poor balance, the ones who need to carry the device on their own, and those who need some mindfulness while using. It’d be somewhat as follows if we’re to categorize the user groups who shouldn’t use a rollator.
- Senior citizens with balancing issues: Older adults who can’t stand on their own shouldn’t use a rollator as it can lead to a major accident and injury. There’s a study that talks about rollators and how they can cause injuries to older adults.
- People with serious lower limb injuries: Someone with injuries like a broken ankle, knee injury, arthritis, and so on shouldn’t use the rollator unless they find the right balance.
- Kids or teens who’re not mature enough to handle the device: If a kid is suffering from mobility issues, rollator isn’t the kind of aid that’s prescribed to them. It requires enough maturity and mindfulness to tackle obstacles, especially outside use.
- Frequent Travelers: People who travel or fly frequently would find it inconvenient to carry along. However, foldable and lightweight designs for traveling rollators are available, so that one could take it with them wherever they go.
A rollator has wheels on its legs and is a popular walking aid for its faster ambulatory speed. But it’s only suitable for people who have minor balance issues or get tired while walking for a long distance. So people who have issues with balance, especially while standing, shouldn’t use this device.
People with different lower limb injuries don’t use a rollator initially, but as they start finding their balance, they progress to rollators from other full-weight-bearing mobility devices. Some seniors also want to use it while walking, but you’ve to ensure the individual can balance well to push it forward with wheels. If someone leans on it heavily, they can lose control of it, leading to a major hazard.
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