When looking for a walking assistance device, there are many options to choose from. People who also lack arm strength will opt for a wheeled option. Within wheeled walking devices there are several options: wheeled walkers (also known as two-wheeled rollators), four-wheeled rollators, and tri-walkers (three-wheeled rollators.) Deciding which is best for you is based on a variety of factors including physical health and lifestyle. Be sure to consult with your medical professional before making any purchases.
The wheels on a two-wheeled rollator are on the front two legs of a walker-style device. The user must have enough arm strength to lift the rear legs while walking and put them down again to stop. These tend to be somewhat less maneuverable than other wheeled walking devices, but are appropriate for use in many indoor and outdoor locations that do not involve lots of curves or angles.
Just like two-wheeled rollators, four-wheeled rollators have four legs. In this case, however, all four legs also have wheels. This makes them easier to use for people with minimal arm strength as no lifting is needed. Hand brakes are applied when stopped and may require a reasonable amount of hand strength. Wheels on a four-wheeled rollator typically swivel making them easier to use in many locations compared to a two-wheeled walker. In addition, four-wheeled rollators often provide the option for sitting and propelling yourself with your feet.
Unlike the previous two options, tri-walkers have only three wheels. Much like a tricycle, the front wheel is centered between the two back wheels. The user stands in the middle of the triangle this creates. Tri-walkers have a distinct advantage over two- and four-wheeled rollators. They’re far more maneuverable, making them ideal for tight spaces such as apartments or narrow hallways.
Other Options for Your Rollator or Tri-Walker
All rollators and can be fitted with bags, pouches, baskets, and clips to make them even more helpful in retaining independence. Oxygen tanks, groceries, even your current novel can be easily transported in one of many after-market accessories. Clips also help free up your hands and can be ideal for holding umbrellas, paperwork or the handle of a lunch bag. Many baskets also come with a tray that fits across it which can be perfect for moving food from the kitchen to the dining area.
Whether you opt for two, three, or four wheels, rollators and tri-walkers provide necessary mobility support to help users retain independence and enjoy life. The addition of accessories such as trays, clips, bags, and baskets adds to the convenience and support. As with any mobility assistance equipment, it’s important to speak with your doctor or other health professional to ensure you’re investing in the proper equipment for your needs and lifestyle.