4 Signs You Need to Upgrade to a Four-Wheel Rollator Walker

by Medical XPress

Walkers are an essential mobility aid for many individuals, especially those in their Golden Years. However, standard walkers don’t completely remove mobility limitations; in fact, they come with quite a few limitations of their own. If you feel like your standard walker—or even your wheeled walker—isn’t meeting your needs, it may be time to upgrade to a four-wheel rollator walker. Here are four signs that this mobility aid is right for you.

You Have Trouble Lifting the Walker

One of the main drawbacks of a walker is that they require the patient to lift the walker slightly off the ground and set it ahead of them before stepping back between the handle bars. This means that you must have enough upper body strength to repeatedly lift the walker and set it in front of you. And while most walkers are very lightweight, this can become tiring over time.

Even wheeled walkers—which have two wheels on the front legs, as opposed to having wheels on all legs—require the user to lift the back end of the walker, roll it forward, then set it back down. If you have trouble with repeatedly lifting and lowering your walker, a rollator may be a better choice for you.

The four wheels allow you to simply push the rollator forward as you walk, without worrying about picking up the walker for any amount of time. This is a much better option for individuals without much upper body strength, or for those who have joint issues in the wrists, elbows, or shoulders, which may inhibit their ability to repeatedly lift and move a walker.

You Need to Rest Often

Many elderly individuals have medical conditions that make it difficult for them to continue walking for extended periods of time. Heart troubles, difficulty breathing, chest pains, and simple fatigue are common for those in their senior years. If you frequently find yourself searching for a park bench or other place you can comfortably sit while out with your walker, you may be better served by a four-wheeled rollator.

Most rollators come equipped with a built-in seat, so that you can have a rest wherever you are—no park bench required. All you have to do is abut the front of your walker against something sturdy, set the brake, and have a seat.

You Want to Cross More Uneven Terrain

Walkers may be great for getting around the house, but if you’re walking outdoors, even a well-maintained sidewalk can sometimes give your walker trouble. A simple crack in the concrete can easily snag the leg of a walker if it’s not picked up high enough, and lead to a painful fall. And if you’re using a standard or two-wheeled walker, you simply don’t have the option of crossing more uneven terrain, like a dirt walking path at the park.

If you want to stroll outdoors with your friends or family, a rollator will serve you better, they can easily roll over bumpy or uneven ground while still offering you the balance you need. There are even rollators that are specifically designed for indoor/outdoor use, if you like to walk in the park fairly frequently. But even your average rollator will work well for most outdoor strolls, and will make the walk much easier than another type of walker.

You Only Need It for Balance

Because rollators glide along more easily, they’re not designed for a lot of weight-bearing, since this could cause them to roll forward more quickly than you desire. So, if you don’t rely on your walker to bear a lot of your weight as you walk, then a rollator is probably a better option for you. It will allow you to maintain your balance while keeping most of your weight on your own two feet; this can help you to walk along more quickly than you could manage with a walker, and helps maintain muscular strength in your legs.

This isn’t to say that you can’t lean on a rollator at all. Rollators have hand brakes that you can squeeze as you walk to keep the wheels from rolling forward unexpectedly. So, as long as you can operate these brakes effectively, you can easily lean on your rollator when necessary.

Rollators provide exceptional mobility and versatility for individuals who rely on mobility aids. So, if any of the above signs are true for you, stop by Medical Xpress to speak to one of our experienced staff members, and give a four-wheeled rollator a try for yourself!