A frail senior presented with residual weakness and loss of balance following a myocardial infarction. Prior medical history includes rheumatoid arthritis and congestive heart failure related to a grade IV ventricle.
Rollator with 8” wheels, anatomical handles, and slow down brakes with removable storage basket. This is a durable walking device, designed for use in the home and community.
The client was discharged from the local acute care hospital with a basic rollator rented through a community agency. The rollator proved to function well within the client’s one level home. It fit through each doorway used in the home.
Since discharge, the client reported he had used the rollator on a daily basis. He used the seat to conserve energy while sponge bathing at the bathroom sink and for rest breaks when walking in the community to meet with friends.
When the client was ready to purchase the rollator, anatomical handles and slow down brakes were added to the prescription. The client required anatomical handles to reduce bilateral joint pain in his wrists. The anatomical grip allowed his weight to be distributed through the palm of his hand, sparing the wrist joints. The patient required “slow down” brakes to eliminate the need to maintain a constant squeeze. “Slow down” brakes maintain a constant resistance on the wheels, which can be adjusted to the capabilities of the patient. This patient was able to walk more confidently, could lessen his grip, and remove his hands from the handles to interact with his environment.
The client opted to purchase the removable basket. He removes the basket when at home allowing for a tighter turning radius and uses the “seat” to carry items from one room to another. The basket is more often used in the community to carry purchased or other needed items.
The client is able to independently lift his walker into the cut-out trunk of his vehicle but he often car-pools with friends when going grocery shopping in order to have someone else lift his rollator into the car. While his friends push the cart and carry his groceries, he is able to use the rollator throughout the store, often using the seat on the rollator for rest breaks.
You’ll need to consider much more than physical ability.
What about the environment and social supports?
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