The Difference Between a Walker and a Rollator

The Difference Between a Walker and a Rollator

People often are confused about the difference between a walker and a rollator.  Both walkers and rollators are designed to help people with mobility or balance issues to get around safely, but there are differences between the two.

Walkers have four legs. All four should be in contact with the ground when walking.  This allows for stability and partial weight bearing while walking. The walker is lifted and moved forward and then set down again with each step. Walkers do not have wheels.
A rollator has four wheels and brakes.  It doesn’t require the user to lift it up and move it forward, so it works better if the user lacks arm strength. Four-wheeled rollators can be used when only minimal walking support is required.   Rollators are faster and easier to maneuver because of the swivel wheels. Rollators also can be outfitted with accessories such as padded seats, shopping baskets, and a variety of hooks and clips for carrying canes and umbrellas.

There are a number of different hybrid styles of rollators available on the market. This adds to the confusion shoppers often have. Three-wheeled rollators have only one front wheel making them much easier to maneuver in tight spaces; like an apartment.  Two-wheeled rollators are a cross between a walker and a rollator with two front wheels.  Technically, they are rollators, but some people call them two-wheeled walkers. Two-wheeled rollators are suitable for people who have difficulties lifting or who walk too fast for a standard walker. It allows a more normal walking pattern, but with less stability.

The best way to decide what is best for you is to try them out and see what works best for your needs.  Stop by our showroom in Kelowna and you can try some of the wide variety of walkers and rollators we have in stock.

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