The DME Guru compares walkers and rollators, weighing the pluses and minuses of both types of ambulatory aid.
As with many medical equipment items, ambulatory aids such as walkers and rollators have important differences. A rollator features four wheels, a seat, and hand brakes. Its handle height is adjustable and a basket or pouch is generally included. Wheel size, seat heights, and padding can vary depending on the model.
In order to use a rollator safely, an individual must have good hand strength so as to apply the brakes when necessary. The brakes are usually lockable as well, however, having four wheels can be dangerous in situations where the device could potentially roll away from the user at a relatively quick speed. One of the primary benefits of having a rollator is that a seat is always available to the user, particularly for those who need frequent rests. In contrast, a standard folding walker has either two front wheels or none at all. The height is adjustable by raising or lowering the walker's legs. The rear legs often have rubber tips, glides, or tennis balls for gliding across the walking surface.
Standard walkers provide a less mobile frame, ideal for use when accompanying stationary exercises, such as during post-surgery rehabilitation. Additional options for standard walkers allow for modifications which further benefit those with limited arm movement or grip and are generally not available for use with a rollator.
This information is not medical advice, please consult a medical professional for medical advice related to the use of medical equipment and supplies.