Rollator or walker. Which is best for me?
Staying mobile is an important part of living a happy, healthy life as you age. It allows you to keep your independence, carry on doing the things you love, and maintain a full social life.
If you’re one of the 2.7 million Canadians living with a mobility issue, you may need a little extra help getting around. That’s where a mobility aid can help. Walkers and rollators can be a good option, but what’s the difference between them? And which is right for you?
What’s the difference between a rollator and a walker?
Rollators and walkers are both frames that offer support while you walk. A rollator has either three or four wheels and is pushed along in front of you, while a walker doesn’t have wheels and must be lifted in order to move forward.
Is a rollator right for you?
Rollators have either three or four wheels and often feature a seat. This means that they’re good if you can balance fairly well – and therefore don’t need to place all your weight on the device – but need a place to sit frequently while out and about. They’re also good if you don’t have a lot of upper body strength and find it difficult to lift a regular walker. If you’re considering a rollator, you’ll need to make sure you feel comfortable steering it and operating the hand brakes.
Rollators tend to be easier to maneuver than walkers because they have wheels that swivel. The most easily maneuverable ones tend to be the three wheelers, however, bear in mind that these often don’t come with a seat. Four-wheeled rollators often have a seat that features a basket underneath so you can carry your personal items.
Wellwise by Shoppers™ offers a wide range of rollators that you can browse here.
Is a walker right for you?
Unlike rollators, walkers don’t roll, so they’re more stable and better suited if you struggle with balance and need firm, immobile support while walking. Keep in mind that you will need the upper body strength to lift and move it along, though glides can be attached to the bottom to make it easier to slide the walker.
Since walkers don’t feature wheels, they can be more difficult to maneuver than rollators. However, they do tend to be smaller, making them better for narrow hallways and small apartments. They can also be accessorized with items such as trays, bags, and baskets, which can help with shopping as well as carrying items around your home.
Walkers that feature two wheels at the front are also available, these are called hybrids. They offer the stability of a walker when all feet are on the floor, while allowing the user to roll the walker forward instead of having to lift it up. Better balance is required for hybrid walkers, since the wheels can move forward quickly and can possibly lead to falls.
You can discover the wide range of walkers available at Wellwise by Shoppers™ here.
If you have good balance but need a place to rest while walking, a rollator could be for you. However, if you need sturdier support, a walker may be a better fit. If you need more help deciding which to choose, come visit a Wellwise by Shoppers™ location. Our friendly staff can help you try out our selection of rollators and walkers, and provide information to help you make the right choice.
The information presented in this article is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information in this post as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional counseling care. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.