The right rollator can keep you active and independent.
But only if it’s the right one for you.
There’s a lot of options out there, each designed to meet different needs. Some have 3 wheels and some have 4, some have seats, some have bags, some have baskets, some fold, some are lightweight, some are 2-in-1 wheelchairs, the list goes on.
So, making the right choice starts with asking yourself exactly what you need from your rollator.
And here are the questions to ask.
Is a rollator right for me?
A rollator is worth considering if you can walk, but need a little extra support with stability and balance.
Perhaps you’d lose balance when trying to lift a walking frame or find it too heavy. If that’s the case, a rollator may be a better option.
The wheels mean it’s more for supporting balance than weight, as bearing too much weight on a rollator risks it rolling out from beneath you.
If you’d find it useful to have a place to rest when out and about or somewhere to store your belongings, a rollator can provide both with optional features including a bag and a seat.
Some people are worried about the way rollators look. However, there are plenty of looks to choose from. So you can find the one that suits you.
How many wheels do I need?
A rollator can have 3 or 4 wheels. Each has unique benefits, so it comes down to your specific needs.
A 3 wheeled rollator offers superior manoeuvrability as the third front wheel allows you to turn more easily. They can be lighter than a 4 wheeled rollator, therefore may be a better choice if you have limited upper body strength. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that superior maneuverability comes at the expense of stability.
A 4 wheeled rollator is the more stable option and it can have the added option of a seat. This can take the worry out of walking longer distances as you’ll always have somewhere to take a break if needs be. 4 wheeled rollators are known to be sturdier, meaning more support and stability can be provided.
How do I choose the right size rollator?
The right size rollator depends on handle height and weight.
To know whether the handles are the right height, stand with your arms hanging down at your sides. The handles should line up with the crease of your wrists. When holding the handles, your elbows should be at a slight bend.
The handle height can be adjusted on almost all rollators to make sure they fit the owner perfectly. Some rollators also come in two different frame heights to accommodate shorter or taller people.
Different rollators support different maximum weights, so be sure to choose the rollator that’s in line with what you need.
The weight of the rollator itself is also important to consider. A heavier rollator could be more difficult for you to push around.
What handle grip do I need?
The right grip on your rollator will give you a better grasp, making you feel more secure and stable. The grip can also help with weight distribution, relieving pressure on joints.
Grips are typically plastic, rubber or foam. Each can be patterned or textured, benefiting those with a weaker grip. Hands that are prone to sweat tend to be more suited to foam grips as there’s less risk of sliding. Luxury cork handlebars are yet another option when it comes to grip if you decide to go with the Saljol Carbon Rollator.
However, gripping handlebars isn’t the only option and might not meet your needs. Perhaps you prefer to rest your arms on something when walking. If so, there’s rollator options out there with forearm support that can be adjusted to different heights and lengths.
What about using the rollator indoors and outdoors?
If you’ll be using your rollator indoors, it’s worth measuring your door frames to make sure the model you choose will fit through with ease. Smaller wheels tend to be more suited to indoor use, with swivel wheels beneficial for turning tight corners.
Larger heavy-duty wheels are better for navigating uneven terrain outdoors, offsetting shock and reducing vibrations.
What if I need to transport my rollator?
Two things need to be considered here: the weight and size of your rollator.
If you’ll be using your rollator regularly outdoors, needing to lift it in and out of vehicles, lightweight models can make all the difference to your trips out.
Foldable rollators are beneficial both in and outdoors, folding to fit into car boots or to save on storage space.
Do I need handbrakes on my rollator?
Handbrakes help control speed and can be locked into place to stop any movement.
Handbrakes should feature on all 3 and 4 wheeled rollators for both your safety and others.
Do I need a rollator with a seat?
With no need to rely on the availability of chairs or benches when out and about, a rollator with a seat can be hugely beneficial, giving you the option to sit anytime, anywhere.
If you’re set on a seated rollator, consider the level of padding, the maximum weight and the height of the seat when choosing.
If you want the option to walk, as well as the option to be pushed, it may be that you’d prefer a 2-in-1 rollator and wheelchair. Change between both in seconds to get the right amount of independence and support at any given time.
What if I need to carry shopping or personal belongings?
A rollator can come with a tray, basket or bag. Choosing between the three very much depends on what items you’ll be carrying. A tray is useful indoors, taking food from kitchen to dining room for example. A bag is the ideal accompaniment for a trip out as you won’t need to worry about having free hands for any shopping.
Knowing the right questions to ask is one thing, but arriving at the right answers is another.
Our product specialists provide impartial advice and offer full assessments to match you with the right rollator. This can be in-store or at home, whatever suits you best.
You’ll be able to get the answers you need, discuss options and try out the rollators to take the guesswork out of choosing.