When a physically challenged individual still has the capacity to stand upright, mobility products such as walkers and rollators can be very useful. However, choosing between the two would depend on the needs of the user. In order to make the right decision, it is necessary to have some knowledge on each product.
Walkers are among the most commonly used mobility products. They are often made of aluminium making them sturdy and durable. Walkers provide support to the user who needs assistance to stand and walk upright. Most standard walkers have to be lifted and moved towards the direction the user wants to go to. However, wheeled walkers have now been developed in order to make moving easier for its users. These feature caster-type wheels that make for easier gliding.
Apart from the standard walkers, other types have also been developed to address the needs of different users. These include the Bariatric types and the Specialty types.
Bariatric walkers are specifically made for users who weigh more than the average individual. While standard walkers can support individuals up to 350 pounds, Bariatric walkers can support a users weight up to 600 pounds. Furthermore, Bariatric walkers also have wider frames to accommodate individuals with a larger build.
Specialty walkers address other kinds of needs. Most often, they are used by those who have problems with their posteriors. Specialty walkers help in such a way that they feature safety and anterior rollers to ensure that its users can balance and walk straight.
Those who have greater need sometimes prefer rollators. Many also say that they are easier to use than standard walkers. Rollators are very similar to walkers but, apart from having wheels as a standard feature, they also have additional features. These features, depending on the type, may include seats, baskets, trays and brakes. The design can also be customised according to the preferences of its users.
Rollators come either with three or four wheels. Three wheeled rollators are preferred because they are smaller, easier to maneuver and can easily go through narrow spaces, four wheeled rollators are larger and provide more stability which can be very useful for those who like going outdoors or have to walk through uneven terrain. Furthermore, since four wheeled rollators are larger, they also feature bigger baskets or trays allowing its users to move around with more items. Lastly, four wheeled rollators also often come with seats which can provide for better comfort.
Like the walker, rollators also come in Bariatric versions so anyone over 300 pounds can also enjoy using this type of mobility product. Other types include light weight models which are most useful for those who walk significant distances on a regular basis. Because they are designed to be light, they can be up to sixty percent lighter than the standard rollator. This not only makes them easier to use but also easier to transport.
When choosing between the two, other factors come into play. Earlier, many would prefer rollators because they allow individuals to glide. However, now that there are wheeled walkers, choosing has become more complicated. Often, buyers who prefer to have wheels on their disability products but have a limited budget choose the wheeled walkers because those are often cheaper. On the other hand, some prefer rollators because of special features that allow them to move around with their personal belongings and they also have the option to sit wherever they may be.
In contrast to this, those who need better support prefer to use non wheeled walkers so assuring sturdiness and stability. Having no wheels and having rubber caps on the legs of walkers will ensure that they will move only when they are lifted by the user.
After becoming more familiar with the differences between walkers and rollators and also finding out the types from which to choose from, it is now necessary to determine the needs and preferences of the user and compare that with the benefits of each type.