What is the Difference Between a Walker and a Rollator?
The difference between a walker and a rollator is, wheels. A walker has four legs and all four legs stay in contact with the ground when you are moving. The walker must be lifted in order to move forward. A rollator is often called a "rolling walker with a seat". A rollator has four wheels and brakes and does not need to be lifted to move forward. Rollators are easy to maneuver because the wheels swivel. Rollators tend to be large so they can be difficult to maneuver inside small apartments or narrow hallways. Walkers aren't as easy to move and navigate but they are more stable since all four legs stay on the floor, this makes a walker the better choice if you have issues with balance. Walkers can also partially support your weight while you are walking or standing.
If you have issues with balance, weakness while standing, or need a firm immobile support to help you walk, you should not use a rollator and you should use a walker instead. A rollator is a great choice if you can balance yourself but need a place to sit frequently or you need help carrying oxygen tanks, or other necessities. A rollator is helpful if you have weakness in your arms and you have a hard time lifting up a regular walker. When using a walker you should lift the walker and move it forward without moving your feet, so you are only moving the walker forward as far as your arms will allow. Once the walker is back on the ground, then you can step forward. This is repeated until you arrive to your destination. It is not safe to walk and move the walker at the same time.
What is a Walker?
- Legs of walker do not have wheels
- Accessories are available to enable the walker to slide forward
- Walker must be lifted up and put back down before stepping forward
- Can be used to support partial body weight
- Does not have a seat
- Walkers can be used to help maintain balance while walking
- Some walkers have two wheels in front and these are hybrids, not quite a walker and not quite a rollator
What is a Rollator?
- Rollators are also called rolling walkers, wheeled walkers, and medical rolling walkers
- All legs of the rollator have wheels
- Wheels slide the rollator forward so unit does not need to be lifted in order to move forward
- Should not be used to support body weight because this can result in falls
- Rollators have a seat and some have removable backs for balance while sitting
- Rollators can not be used for balance while walking
- Medline Guardian Rollators are specifically designed for tall people over 5' 11" and up to 6' 3"
What is a Hybrid Rolling Walker?
- Hybrid rolling walkers have two legs in back and two wheels in front
- Hybrid rolling walkers can be lifted and then with the weight of the walker resting on the wheels, the walker can then be slid forward
- Rolling walkers can be used to slightly support weight and maintain balance however care must be given because there are two wheels that can move forward quickly
- Hybrid rolling walkers generally don't have seats
- Rolling walkers can be used in smaller floor plans where a full size rollator would be less useful because of their size
Rolling Walker and Medical Walker Accessories
Expandable Door Hinges: Adds 2" to most doorway openings. Easy to install and helps provide barrier free access to most wheelchairs and medical rolling walkers. This is an ideal way to combat narrow doorways inside many homes.
Walker Trays: Available in either a fold down style tray as well as a standard style that does not fold down. Walker trays are easy to install and they are used to carry small items. They are easy to clean and they are made of durable plastic. Beverage holders can help carry drinks and they also keep your hands free so you can balance and maneuver the walker.
Tennis Ball Walker Glides: Allows unit to slide forward without being lifted. Enables you to use the walker at a great speed but should not be used if you have issues balancing while mobile. Tennis ball glides can help reduce scuffing to floors. Easy to install. Available with pre-cut hole for standard 1" walker or as an attachment that holds the entire uncut tennis ball in place.