The right walker can do wonders for an aging adult who needs that extra support for mobility. With all of the available options, how do you know if you are getting the right one for yourself? For the sake of confusion, let’s talk specifically about rolling walkers or rollators.
The typical components include four wheels, a braking system, handlebars, and a seat attachment. Accessory items may include clip-on baskets and stowaway compartments underneath the seat.
Here are a few tips about whether or not a rollator is the best mobility option for you as compared to other items like a wheelchair, a standard walker, or a cane:
- Note your history of falls: How often are you falling at home or in the community? Do you fall while using mobility equipment? Can you catch yourself when you stumble? If you are falling without equipment but can manage a safe lifestyle with some external support then a rollator might just work for you.
- Assess your standing balance and transfer capabilities: Can you stand or walk for a lengthy period of time without help or do you start to fatigue and become unsteady? In order to use a rollator safely, you need to have the capacity to walk and stand on your own for a short time.
- Analyze your gait pattern and speed: If the walker gets away from you, do you have the walking speed to keep up with it? If you find yourself leaning on a mobility device for support or due to poor posture, then a rollator might get away from you too often.
- Examine your day-to-day routine: Where are you going during the day? Do you need to walk indoors AND outdoors? What day-time errands or requirements would be easier and safer for you to do if you had a rollator?
- If you are buying a rollator for a loved one, assess their cognition: If you are a caregiver trying to find a rollator for a loved one, make sure that they have the safety awareness and judgment to use one. For individuals with cognitive decline (i.e. Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease), it would be wise to seek out a professional assessment before spending money on a rollator.
What To Look For In A Rollator Walker
Below is a list of what to look for in a rollator walker for seniors:
- The seat has to fit the user properly.
- It as to be load bearing enough to carry the supported weight of the individual.
- Must have adjustable features to be able to move around from various places.
- The height of the rollator walker must be proportionate to the one using it.
- Must be able to support the individual user while in motion.
- It must offer comfort.
- Must have the durability to ensure long use.
- Preferably it has to be portable and lightweight.
- Must have an ergonomic design that conforms to the senior’s weight and body posture.
Listed below are 5 lightweight rolling walkers or rollators that we have researched for you. Accompanying each product is a list of pros and cons so that you can view an in-depth comparison. Please consult with an equipment specialist and/or physical therapist before making a costly purchase.
1. Drive Medical Aluminum Rollator Walker
- Comes with a seamless padded seat and a zippered pouch underneath the seat for added privacy and...
- Removable, hinged, padded backrest can be folded up or down
- 6" Black non marring casters with soft grip tires are ideal for indoor and outdoor use
- Easy to use deluxe loop locks and Brakes with serrated edges provide a firm hold
- Handle height: 32 37"; Seat dimensions: 12"(D) x 14"(W) x 20"(H); Weight capacity: 300 pounds
PROS: This lightweight walker has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. The frame is foldable for easy storage and it comes with a removable back support. The tires are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The seat comes with a zipper pouch to store small items and the handlebars are height adjustable.
CONS: Although the frame is foldable, it does not come with a latch to hold it in place so users need to be very careful about stowing it away. The frame might be a little large for trunks of small cars so it is important to measure your storage space prior to purchase.
2. Medline Premium Empower Rollator Walker
- PREMIUM ROLLING WALKER WITH COMFORTABLE MEMORY FOAM SEAT - When you need a break from walking or...
- FEATURES ALL OF THE ACCESSORIES YOU NEED - The Empower rollator walker is equipped with a convenient...
- LIFT UP SEAT AND WALK INTO THE WALKER TO ACCESS COUNTERS OR SINKS - A simple seat latch allows users...
- LARGE 8-INCH WHEELS - Wheeled, rolling walker with 8-inch wheels/casters glide smoothly over most...
- EASILY IDENTIFIABLE ADJUSTMENT POINTS - Adjustment points are bright yellow for easy identification...
PROS: The height adjustment can suit individuals from 4 foot 6 to 6 foot 4 and the seat can support up to 300 lbs. The large wheels are suitable for booth indoor and outdoor use. The frame is foldable, the seat can be latched up for more walking space, and the seat comes with a memory foam cushion.
CONS: The walker is not exactly lightweight, weighing in at approximately 28 pounds which can be a problem for elderly persons trying to load the folded frame into the trunk of a car.
3. Drive Medical Nitro Euro Style White Rollator Walker
- Easily collapse rollator to ultra compact size with one hand by pulling seat grip up and bringing...
- Sophisticated design features lightweight aluminum frame with built in brake cable for extra safety...
- A comfortable nylon seat and handle height adjustability provide universal relief that feels...
- Features large front wheels crafted to increase turning radius and a sleek removable zippered...
- Overall Dimensions: 27.75"(L) x 23"(W) x 33.5"(H); Seat Dimensions: 10"(D) x 18"(W) x 20.5"(H);...
PROS: This model is praised for its ultra lightweight frame while still having a 300-lb weight capacity. The brake cables are built in so as to not get caught or tangled on anything. The frame comes with a removable back support and storage space.
CONS: This model is expensive and customers run the risk of not having this product covered by Medicare. Although it is convenient to have an internal braking system, replacement parts can cost a lot.
4. Super Light Rollator Lightweight Aluminum Loop Brake Folding Walker
- ADJUSTABLE walker with seat and basket. The super lightweight rollator seat height can be adjusted...
- LIGHTWEIGHT rollator walker with seat. This lightweight rollator with seat and basket has 6-inch...
- COMFORTABLE aluminum walker with seat and brakes. Four wheel walker with padded seat, brakes, and...
- COMPLETE WITH A CARRY POUCH. This lightweight rollator walker with seat comes with a carry pouch...
- COMPACT LIGHTWEIGHT FOLDING WALKER. This lightweight walker with seat folds easily into a compact...
PROS: This walker only weighs 15 pounds. The seat and handlebars are height-adjustable and the tires are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The frame is foldable for easy stowaway purposes and the seat comes with a storage compartment.
CONS: There is no latch for the seat and storage compartment when folding the walker, so it can be slightly inconvenient when putting it away.
5. Drive Medical Foldable Rollator Lightweight Dynamic Walker
- Comes with new seamless padded seat and a zippered pouch underneath seat for added privacy and...
- Removable, hinged, padded backrest can be folded up or down
- Ergonomic handles are easy to grip and are adjustable. Large 7.5 Inch casters are ideal for indoor...
- Easy-to-use deluxe loop locks and Brakes with serrated edges provide a firm hold
- Handle Height: 33-38"; Seat Dimensions: 12"(D) x 14"(W) x 23"(H); Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
PROS: The lightweight frame totals out at 5.41 lbs and can be folded using one hand. Large front wheels make it easy to navigate the walker for outdoor use. The handlebars and back support are adjustable and there’s attached storage space available. Similarly to its competing products, this walker can support up to 300 lbs.
CONS: There’s actually not a lot of negative things to say about this walker. The one piece of information it lacks is just how capable it is in handling outdoor terrain.
Tips For First-Time Buyers of Rollator Walkers
- Research your product before buying.
- Consider age, medical conditions, and preferences of the one who’s supposed to use the rollator walker.
- Pick quality over affordability.
Safety Precautions When Buying A Rollator Walker For Seniors
- Learn the safety features of the product.
- Check the brakes, locks, and seats.
- Note if the wheel drives on smooth and rough surfaces.
Hopefully by choosing one of these rollator walkers. It will allow you or your loved one to continue with their activities of daily living freely without any limitations at home or when enjoying the outdoors.
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