Portable walkers, often called Rollators come in either Heavy Duty or Light Duty models and include a foldable or collapsible feature.
Not all walker/rollators are meant for seniors. There are plenty of children and young adults in need of mobility assistance and security. Check the details section when searching for an appropriate child or young adult sized walker/rollator.
What is the cost for a portable walker/rollator?
The cost of a good quality portable wheeled walker/rollator can range anywhere from $64 USD – $199 USD. I recommend staying in the $100 USD – $150 USD range. You can get a great and reliable high quality walker/rollator with all the best features for that price.
Keep in mind these are not the electric motorized versions. Those will be featured in a future article.
Check with your medical insurance provider to see if the cost of a walker/rollator is covered in full or in part.
What is the difference between a walker and a rollator?
Typically, a walker is known as a three-sided aluminum frame that the user needs to lift and set down with each forward step.
A rollator allows the user to safely walk along or sit on a cushioned seat if they become tired. This makes walking a much smoother process.
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We are huge fans of portable and foldable wheeled rollators. In fact, we own three: one upstairs on the main living level, one downstairs for the office area, and one that stays in the car for shopping and doctor appointments. Each of our rollators cost right around $150 USD. They come with either a basket or a pouch under the cushioned seat, strong 8″ rubber wheels and are lightweight and foldable.
What are the important features that make a great rollator?
I have listed several features that are the most important when buying a rollator for yourself or a senior loved one.
- HEAVY DUTY FRAME – A steel frame is better for heavier people but an aluminum frame is lighter in weight. Check the weight capacity listed in the detailed description when shopping for a rollator.
- LARGE 8″ RUBBER WHEELS – Just like with automobile tires, the larger the tire the smoother the ride. Rollators typically feature either 6″ or 8″ wheels. Go for the non-marring 8″ rubber wheels. You will be glad you did.
- FOUR WHEELS – Four wheels are an absolute must. I have seen and tested a three-wheel model and feel that they are unstable and subject to tipping. Turning is more difficult with a three wheeled rollator. Avoid them.
- ADJUSTABLE HANDLES – Take time to measure the best positioning for your height and arm length. Have someone measure the comfortable position of where your hands will be from the floor when using the rollator. You want to be standing up as straight as possible and not hunched over.
- CUSHIONED SEAT – A cushioned or padded seat is a MUST HAVE. Rollators help you keep you balance and stability when walking, but on occasion you will need to sit down, and sometimes for extended periods. Take for instance you are in a long, slow moving line and need to rest your legs or knees by sitting. Perhaps you are in the doctors waiting area and you would naturally use the seat that is built into your rollator. You will be glad it is padded.
- WIDE WIDTH SEAT – This a great feature if you are wearing a jacket or winter coat while using the seat. It also comes in handy to use the seat for your shopping bags or a shopping basket. Check the widths of doorways in your house to see that a wider stanced rollator will still allow full access to all parts of your home.
- FOLDABLE – I have not discovered any that do not fold. Make sure they fold from front to back, not side to side.
- LIGHTWEIGHT – The overall weight of the rollator needs to be at a level you or your senior can handle by themselves. For instance, when loading it into or taking it out of the car.
- BASKET OR UNDER SEAT STOWAGE POUCH – This feature is perfect for stowing your purse or other personal valuables for your daily needs. Medicine, reading glasses, flashlight.
- CANE HOLDER – A handy new feature that lets you transport your cane along with you. I can see this coming in handy in the bathroom or while getting dressed or taking short ventures away from your rollator.
- EASY ASSEMBLY – Most rollators will come folded and fully assembled in the box when delivered to your home. The most you should have to do is push the wheels on, adjust the handlebar height and attach the backrest and basket. None of this should require any tools.
- LOCKABLE BRAKES – This is pretty much standard on all models. Just make sure your selection has them.
Here are a few I will keep in mind if I need to replace one of my current rollators.
Follow this Accessories link to find a variety of very useful attachments for either your walker or rollator.
Did you find this article helpful? Did you end up purchasing a walker or rollator?
Leave me a message in the comment section below. And keep coming back to this site for updates and product reviews for your Retirement Life – remember: You ain’t done yet!
Peace, love and vanilla candles,