Walkers are commonplace in today’s society and serve as valuable, often indispensable, tools to participate in the joys of physical activity. Often times an individual may require additional walking aide(s) for balance and support. Many people maintain the ability to walk in the house as well as outdoors and may require regular seated rest breaks for recovery.
This presentation differs, in variable scale, from the use of a wheelchair, in that the ability to ambulate prevents requirements for prolonged sitting periods. Over the years, walking aid technology has advanced according to popular demand. Most notably, additional consideration has been made for amending the number of wheels and applying a portable seat. You can read this article we written up here for a more in-depth look on how to choose and purchase a rolling walker.
Common medical conditions associated with use a portable seat are wide ranging, though may generally include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Congestive Heart Failure, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Obesity, and Diabetes. More often than not, these conditions make it a necessity for people to sit down and recover before resuming activities of daily living.
From these developments, the four-wheel walker, also known as a rollator, has emerged. A rollator is a walker with four wheels and a seat. While not typically designed specifically as a wheelchair, a rollator serves as a simultaneous Walker and seat. Standard rollators are composed of a steel frame, with four wheels and wheel casters that swivel, allowing for easy turning and directional changes.
The frame also includes a fold-down seat, and loop lock brakes, designed for individuals to secure the walking aid and take seated rest breaks as needed. To convert from standing to sitting positions, one need only push down to secure the loop lock brakes, turn around, and sit down safely.
1. Rollators are built to allow individuals to take seated rest breaks, while simultaneously providing the opportunity to move as swiftly or slowly as they please. The downside to having four wheels on a walker is the associated increase in fall risk. This risk is of most concern for people with leg weakness, as there is potential for the device to get out ahead of the individual, leading to a forward fall. This specific feature requires the individual using the walking aid to respect the potential speed of the device and practice using the rollator for sitting and walking.
More often than not, a signed prescription from a primary care doctor must be obtained in order to utilize insurance benefits to purchase a four-wheel walker. In addition, a home health assessment for use of the device may be warranted prior to dispensation. Training for use of the device may be provided by home health nurses, as well as home health physical therapists.
2. A folding seat
3. Fold up backrests
4. Locking cable brakes
5. Frame-based baskets for personal storage. The basket offers the opportunity to bring along valuable personal items and/or medical items such as portable oxygen tanks.
Four wheel walkers allow individuals with varying physical abilities to get up and move, maintain independence, and enjoy community participation. Following appropriate education and training, a rollator serves as a valuable tool to continue moving and exercising, while maintaining control of when and where to rest and catch your breath.
If you need to purchase a rolling walker and not sure which one is the best for your elderly parent or loved one. You can go over to the article we wrote on how to shop for a rolling walker.
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