Walker vs. Rollator. Which Walking Aid is Best for You?

Eelderly using rollator

Walkers and rollators are the most widely used mobility aids today. They deliver very similar health benefits to maintain a proactive way of living. 

The main motives you may wish to use them for can be assistance in walking independently, reduction of pain and discomfort, prevention of falling, increase of safety and help to overcome the injuries.

As a result of the increased mobility and independence, most people say they are happier and more self-confident after using a walker or rollator.

There are many options when it comes down to selecting between a walker or rollator. They are different in a way they serve different purposes. Additionally, they have a variety of features and it can be difficult to choose the right one and make the final decision. 

By learning about the basics of rollators and walkers, their important features and consulting with professionals, you are more capable of making a good decision on which mobility aid you should choose.

Let’s take a look at a few of the important details that will help you select the perfect mobility device.

 

What Kinds of Walkers (Walking Frames) are Available?

Standard Walker

A standard walker is regarded as the most basic type of walker on the market. It is a four-legged device with the capability of adapting its height and width to suit your unique needs. Also, it has metal rubber tips that enhance stability and prevent floor damage,

A standard walker is primarily designed for individuals that have an unstable gait that can be handled independently. It helps them to control their body and learn to maintain an upright posture. But, you must pick up and move the device before every step.

A walker has soft foam or hard rubber handles. The difference between these two suggestions is that soft foams are easy to grip and use but they wear out quicker than the hard rubber handles.

The majority of standard walkers fold so transporting and storage of them is easy. But you should expect these models to be more expensive than their non-folding counterparts. 

There are also available attachable trays for carrying light items for your standard walker.

 

Small Ultra Narrow Lightweight Walking Frame

Ultra Narrow Lightweight Walking Frame

Ultra Narrow Lightweight Walking Frame

 

Two-Wheel Walker

A two-wheel walker is defined as a walking aid with two front wheels and no rear wheels. Аlthough it looks like a standard walker it operates quite differently. 

You apply your weight on the walker and instead of you lifting it in every step, it slides forward as you walk. 

To facilitate this movement, there are two front wheels that move along and back glides that regulate the speed.

This assistive device is most recommended for individuals with limited strength and mobility. But it can also be very useful and helpful for people who walk slowly as the casters can help enhance their pace.

Compared to standard, two-wheel walkers facilitate a more natural gait. Because of their wheels, rolling walkers really move well on carpet and they come assembled, requiring little to no modification.  

However, the downside of this device stands out significantly when it comes to outdoor use due to the heightened chances of getting stuck in rougher terrains.

 

Ultra Narrow Lightweight Walking Frame with Wheels

Ultra Narrow Lightweight Walking Frame with Wheels

Days Wheeled Forearm Walker

Days Wheeled Forearm Walker

 

Both types of walkers are made in both non-folding and folding options and could be adjusted to fit various user heights.

See the full line of our Walking Frames

 

What Kinds of Rollators are Available?

A rollator is a type of walking frame that has wheels at the bottom and a braking system. A rollator is a more mobile stability aid. Because of its wheels, it can be manoeuvred easily. 

This device is ideal for those who can walk but require help to maintain stability and balance.

Unlike a traditional walking frame, a rollator does not need to be lifted to move forward. This can help to conserve a lot of energy. 

Rollators are available in three-wheel or four-wheel versions. To avoid confusion, three-wheel walkers are often called “tri walkers”, while four-wheel walkers are referred to as “rollators.

 

Three-wheel Rollators (Tri-Walker)

Tri-Walkers have one wheel in the front and two on the rear side

They are often preferred for indoor use since they have less mass in the frame and the front wheel allows easier manoeuvring in tight spaces.

However, three-wheel models are not as popular as four-wheel models since they have less stability and do not have seats even though they could come with a storage bag.

Premium-Lightweight-Aluminium-Tri-Walker

Premium Lightweight Aluminium Tri-Walker

Lightweight-Tri-Walker-with-Bag-and-Basket

Lightweight Tri Walker with Bag and Basket

See our full line of Tri Walkers

 

Four-wheel Rollators

This type of rollators have four wheels (two swivel in the front and two wheels in the back.

Because of its wide area, this aid device can provide support for individuals who need more stability. In addition, it is equipped with seats and an extra storage basket or pouch.

 

Small-Lightweight-Rollator-7 Aidapt-Duo-Deluxe-Rollator-and-Transit-Chair-8
Days 100 Series 103 / Small Lightweight Rollator Aidapt Duo Deluxe Rollator and Transit Chair in One - Blue

 

Rollators typically include seats for customers to place their feet on, and that’s the moment when the weight comes into play. 

So, the basic thing we need to consider when buying a rollator is its weight capacity.  There are various weight categories of rollators designed for people of different weights.

 

Choosing Between a Walker or Rollator

When should you use a walker?

Whether an individual is going to use or not a walker, depends on its mobility. If a person needs stable support and feels difficulty walking from a bedroom to a bathroom, a walker might be the right solution. 

Also, the walker is a good choice for people recovering from hip or knee surgery who can’t bear weight on one leg.

 

When should you use a rollator?

The best choice for an individual who can walk but need a little help is a rollator. It gives balance, stability, allows to walk at a quicker pace and helps with a normal gait. 

A rollator gives an opportunity to be controlled by the user like steering or operating the hand brakes. Also, it has a seat that allows taking a rest as needed.

 

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These two various mobility devices help and give support to different conditions and situations of people with mobility difficulties. 

It is very important to take into consideration all of these aspects we’ve covered above.  The stability, support, comfort and safety of an individual are essential. That’s why make sure to consult your healthcare professional to help you in this decision.

 

For more information about choosing the right walking frame for your needs please contact Aids 4 Mobility. We are the mobility experts and will be happy to help you with any and all enquiries that you may have.

 

 

 

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Please note: VAT is removed in the checkout process

In the UK, disabled people do not have to pay VAT when buying certain disability aids and services (This can be claimed by friend or family member purchasing on their behalf). Not everything supplied to disabled people is necessarily zero-rated for VAT. Goods and services on which you do not have to pay VAT are usually known as 'zero-rated' or 'eligible for VAT relief.

Who is eligible for VAT relief?

You must be 'chronically sick or disabled' to qualify for VAT relief. The HMRC comment on this is as follows. A person is 'chronically sick or disabled' if they either:

VAT Relief on our Disability Aids

All products on the Aids for Mobility website are flagged with an option to claim VAT relief during Checkout if it applies to that item. When you add a zero-rated product or service to your Basket, you will be asked to tick a checkbox to confirm that you, or the person for whom you are buying the item, are eligible for VAT Relief.

How VAT relief works

If you are claiming VAT Relief you will be asked to complete an extra few questions during Checkout, where we will ask you to provide brief details of your disability and confirmation that the product is for 'personal or domestic use'. We will keep a record of this declaration along with your order details. You can then buy the product(s) in your Basket at a price that excludes VAT. You will be asked to make this declaration each time you place an order that includes zero-rated products. It is a legal requirement that we record this information for every order, and we apologise for the inconvenience.

More information from HMRC

You can find out more about VAT Relief for disabled people on the HM Revenue and Customs website. If you cannot find the answer to your questions there or would prefer to speak to an adviser, you can call their Helpline on 0845 302 02 03.

The helpline is open from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday. (Closed weekends and bank holidays).