How to Use a Rollator Walker

by Tom Bills on October 14, 2010

Rollator walkers help people regain some mobility and independence, without being as cumbersome as traditional walkers. Much like a regular walker, a Rollator has handles and four legs, however, it is a walker with wheels. Additionally, the device will usually come with a plastic or padded seat and will mostly likely have a basket attached to the frame at some point.

In order to use a Rollator Walker, the first step is to make sure that it is the proper fit. Items to consider when buying the rolling walker is the height, weight, and needs of the person who will use the equipment. Also, it is important to note what type of environment in which the apparatus is most likely to be used. It may make a difference in the type of equipment chosen as to whether the user walks outside or resides in a home with hardwood floors or carpets. Additionally, individual style can be taken into account by choosing a color such as red, black, or blue. After the equipment is purchased, the user can add more personal touches.

A trip to the local medical supply store can result in a “test-drive” of the Rollator, which will help determine which of the rolling walkers fit best. When trying out the apparatus, the user should not only try to walk, but should also sit on the seat. Seats will come with various levels of padding and will come in different sizes. While the seats are intended to be used for short rest periods and not extended sitting, the seat should be comfortable for the user. If a visit to a store is not possible then by visiting a trusted online rollator store you can usually find all the information you need and get a lower price.

Rolling walkers that are designed to fold up and fit inside of a car will be a tremendous advantage. This is a benefit that makes traveling with it much easier. As such, before buying the equipment, try folding it up. This should be an easy process. Additionally, lift the device and check its weight. It should not be too heavy for a person to easily place into a vehicle.

A walker with wheels may cost upwards of $250, depending on which one is chosen. It is possible that the user’s doctor will write a prescription for a mobility aid. This would enable the user to get insurance coverage to help pay for the equipment. Further, Medicare will pay for certain devices, if the user has a prescription. It should be noted that Medicare will not pay for a padded seat, so one may have to inquire as to where to buy additional padding.

Using Your Rollator Walker

Once the apparatus has been purchased and is ready to be used, it should be placed into an upright position with the seat flat and the wheels on the ground. Every walker with wheels will have brakes on it which are located on the handles. Before beginning to use the equipment, the brakes should be locked. When the brakes are properly locked, there will be a clicking or snapping noise. When the brakes are in the locked position, it is safe to sit on the seat or to stay in a stationary position.

When the user is ready to walk, he or she should place both feet in the middle of the frame. The user’s feet should be side by side and his or her hands should be holding onto the handles. The brakes can be unlocked by squeezing the handles until you hear the same clicking or snapping noise heard when the brakes were locked. The user should take moderate steps and push the walker at the same time. The motion is similar to pushing a shopping cart.

If the user is ready to sit, the apparatus should be placed in a locked position. If the device will not move when pushed, then it is locked and therefore, it is safe to sit down. The device will not be able to be unlocked from a sitting position. This means that once the user is ready to walk, he or she will need to stand up and repeat the aforementioned steps.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kaye Swain SandwichINK November 6, 2010 at 7:03 am

Great article! When my dad’s Parkinson’s Disease became very advanced, he had to get a rollator walker. I never thought to ask the doctor if Medicare might cover it so I just went out and bought it for him. Later I found out it would have been covered by Medicare. I learned then to ask first about any type of “durable medical equipment” – DME – before buying it.

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RA Belisle March 3, 2012 at 12:15 am

I’m looking around for a folding Medical Walker: 4-wheels. 350 lb capacity and 20″ seat width (min)

I didn’t have the time to look through all of your products.

Do you have any?

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SSS April 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hi RA, This rollator is heavy duty and is rated up to 400lbs ; Nova Mack Rollator – Heavy-Duty, click the link to view the pictures and learn more about the product:

http://seniorsafetystore.com/nova-mack-rollator-heavy-duty.html

Let us know if we can be of any more help :)

Thanks!

Tom

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Homecare.com May 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm

It’s terrific that you have this how to for your Rollator Walker. Walking with a walker is seven times more likely to cause a fall than a cane. Researchers claim patients should be better trained on how to use a walker and have it fitted to their body frame. The Mayo Clinic has some additional tips here: http://www.homecare.com/walkers-and-risk-falling

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Tom Bills December 10, 2013 at 1:58 am

Well thank you for the information. That makes great sense.

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Annie July 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I have been using rollator walkers for about four years–I’m past normal retirement age with severe arthritis, but still teaching full time at a community college. I *really* like the fact that I can get around campus easily, and push around all the stuff I need for my classes–laptop, LCD projector, speakers, extension cords, books, papers, etc.

I use a Medline because it is lightweight, so I can easily fold it up and carry it in the back of my car.

My only problem is that I don’t think the highest extensions give enough height for me. I kind of bend over a bit as I push, and I think I actually may be getting lower back pain and strain in the back of my thighs from spending too much time in this slightly bent-over position. Do you know of any lightweight rollator for tall people?

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