This guide touches on some major points to consider; with over 17 years of experience the Rehab and Mobility team like to ask some specific questions to ensure we are recommending the correct rollator to clients.
What Is A Rollator and Why Should You Consider One?
A Rollator is great for those who are reasonably mobile but need a little bit of assistance, aiding their safety and helping gain independence. The wheeled frame is fitted with brakes allowing the person to balance and gain support while walking. Majority of rollators are fitted with a seat, ideal for those who might need to stop and rest or sit for a short period. A rollator is perfect for enhancing the users safety, lifestyle and overall well-being.
What Features Should Be Considered?
As a mobility aid, a rollator must suit the specific user or it risks having reduced or even adverse effect. Using a rollator which is the correct size, weight and adjusted correctly for the user will increase comfort and support, and reduce the risks of accidents.
Number of Wheels and Wheel Type
3 Wheeled/Tri Rollators are often narrow, lightweight and easy to manoeuvre. This style rollator does not come with a seat, so may not suit those who experience fatigue often. Tri Rollators are not recommended for those who struggle with balance issues as they are not as stable as a 4 wheel. Ideal for indoor use.
4 Wheeled Rollators are designed with better stability and help with balance when walking. Most feature a seat to rest when tired. 4 Wheeled walkers can be used both indoors and outdoors .
6" Castors are designed and recommended for indoor use as the surface is smooth and less undulating.
8" Castors or larger are ideal for outdoor use to navigate footpaths, uneven surfaces and curbs.
Seat Height is one major consideration if the seat will be used often. On some rollators, this can be adjusted in height. It is recommended to seat yourself on a chair you know is comfortable and supportive, in which you can sit for an extended period of time without discomfort, and measure the distance from floor to seat. Your feet should sit flat on the floor when seated to assist you in standing back up safely.
This will give you a good starting point for an ideal seat height; if a supportive chair for you is 50cm, you may find a seat height of 46cm to be slightly too low.
Seat Width is also an important factor. Ensuring the body of the user fits comfortably within the width of the handles will ensure it is comfortable and easy to get up and down. This can be confirmed with a simple body width measurement taken while sitting on a seat.
Handle Height is usually adjustable on all rollator styles. Your hands should rest with your arm at a 15 degree angle when holding the hand grips. The other important factor when setting the handle height is that the front foot placement when walking is directly between the wheels.
Weight Capacity is a very important factor to consider. Rollators are rated for use up to a certain kilogram (kg) limit; exceeding or being too close to this limit is not recommended under any circumstances, and can put the user at severe safety risk. For users over 120kg, it is recommended to select a Bariatric Rollator, which has been confirmed for capacity up to and over this limit with additional durability testing.
Three Rollators to Consider:
Flexi 6" Castor Rollator
A light, nimble style rollator. Offering 20 height combinations with unique seat height adjustment feature. Also available with 8" castors.
Seat Height: 49-57cm
Seat Width: 38cm
Weight Capacity: 120kg
Capero X Fold Rollator
An affordable lightweight rollator weighing only 6kg, making this a cheaper option to carbon fibre.
Seat Height: 54cm
Seat Width: 45cm
Weight Capacity: 136kg
Product code: CAPERO*
Deluxe Bariatric Rollator
Bariatric option with higher and wider seat, made of a heavy duty frame providing an increased weight capacity.
Seat Height: 50-58cm
Seat Width: 47cm
Weight Capacity: 181kg
Product code: VP187D
If you have further questions please call 1300 368 085 to speak with a friendly member of the Rehab and Mobility team, they will be happy to discuss your specific requirements regarding rollators and assist with ensuring you are making the right decison for your new rollator.