When somebody’s mobility decreases, whether by debilitating injury or simply old age, there are a number of aids somebody can purchase to assist in various areas of life. The legs- due to the sheer amount of work they perform over a lifetime- usually require some assistance during the twilight years. People generally progress from a Walking stick to a quad stick, then to a walking frame. The most popular walking frame used nowadays is known as a rollator.
A rollator Walking frame, also sometimes called a wheelie walker or ‘A-Frame’, has four wheels and a braking system of some description. The brakes can themselves come in a variety of styles, though the most common two designs are ‘cable brake rollators’ and ‘pushdown’ or ‘compression walkers’. This braking system is what differentiates rollators from standard walking frames (or zimmer frames). Cable brake wheeled walkers use bike-like handles to allow the user to slow down by applying pressure to the handle when required. The handles can also be pressed down to lock the walker- like using a handbrake on a car. Push down rollators work by applying pressure to a rubber stopper which comes into contact with the floor when the user leans on the frame.
Rollator wheely walkers also usually come with a number of other handy features to increase safety and convenience. These machines usually feature a seat affixed between the armrests which allow the user to perch when they are tired. Rollators are also usually equipped with a storage facility of some sort- such as a metal basket or vinyl bag- which is often located underneath the seat or on the front of the frame. Although steel baskets are stronger and have been the standard for many years, vinyl pouches are becoming more popular for a number of reasons. For example, a vinyl bag doesn’t need to be removed when the frame is folded, hides your valuables and catches loose objects such as keys and coins.
It is important to note that the seats on rollators are not to be used to push people on. These frames are light- often far lighter than a Wheelchair or transport chair. The reason for this is because they aren’t as robust and strong as these other machines. A rollator seat is designed for static weight- it can often take 100kg (sometimes more), but as soon as you try to push someone it places great stress on the welding points of the frame. It is not uncommon to have a front caster wheel snap entirely off the frame under these conditions. Although it might be tempting to save a few dollars by buying a wheeled walker to use as a wheelchair, it will probably cause more problems than it solves in the long run.
Roller walkers can come in a variety of brands- all of which boast various extra features and qualities. For example, rollator\transit chair hybrids are beginning to show up that offer consumers two products for the price of one. This relatively new product is a great relief for those people who need access to both products but only have room the car for one. As is often the case with retail items consumers must be wary of cheap imitations and direct importers from overseas. It can often be tempting to save $50 upfront, but when various parts of the Rollator start to deteriorate (such as brake cables snapping, wheels wearing out etc.) the repair bill can far exceed the savings- sometimes these machines cannot even be repaired due to the type of cheap parts used in production. For good quality rollators that don’t break the budget, visit www.mobilityshop.com.au and visit out ‘Rollator Walkers with Brakes’ section. For more information on this article please contact Mobility Shop on 1300 133 505.