Walkers and rollators come in a large variety of frame shapes, folding or non-folding, adjustable heights, without wheels, with wheels (2, 3, or 4), brakes, seats, molded handles… and the list goes on.
The term "walker" usually refers to the simple frames that are geared mainly to indoor use and provide basic stability. "Rollator" often describes the 4-wheeled frames that include large casters, brakes, seats, and baskets. The goal is to choose the walker that provides you with the best mobility in the most situations without sacrificing your safety.
All walkers can be placed along a continuum that has "Most Stable" at one end and "Most Manoeuvrable" at the other.
In the most general terms, you should consider purchasing the walker that provides the greatest manoeuverability as long as it it stable enough to ensure your safety. If you need a walker due to fatigue and decreased endurance you can probably handle the most maneuverable walker (4-wheeled rollators).
If you cannot place your weight through your legs, then you need to look at walkers that offer more stability (i.e. – no wheels).
Balance problems cannot be easily categorized and the best walker for you may lie anywhere on the continuum. Your choice will be influenced by your balance difficulties coinciding with other physical symptoms such as pain, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, and speed of walking.
You’ll need to consider much more than physical ability.
What about the environment and social supports?
And if so, how do you find a therapist?
We have a number of associations you may contact.
You have options and we have recommendations.
There is also financial assistance available to you.
From basic activities to common mistakes, here’s a guide to help you use your non-wheeled walker or wheeled walker safely and effectively.
Commonly given answers. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to contribute and help others.
Professionally prepared resources that offer guidance to a successful thought process based on past experiences.
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