As people get older, it can become harder for them to get around on their own. Doing something as simple as walking across a room can present a huge challenge.
According to one U.S. Census Bureau report, mobility is the most common disability that older Americans face. About 15 million people over the age of 65 admit to having a tough time getting around.
The good news is that there are ways for older Americans to make themselves more mobile. They can rely on rollators or walkers to increase their mobility.
But first, they need to decide where they stand when it comes to the rollator vs walker debate. People need to figure out which of these two things is the better option for them.
Continue reading to learn more about rollators and walkers so that you can choose which one would work best for you.
What Are Walkers?
Before we begin to compare walkers and rollators in an effort to settle the rollator vs walker debate, it’s important for you to have a firm understanding of what the two things are. Let’s start by discussing walkers.
Walkers are lightweight devices made out of aluminum that have three sides. They allow for a person to step inside and use two of the sides for support while they’re walking from point A to point B.
Walkers also have four feet on them with rubber tips on the bottom. These tips are designed to keep a walker in place when a person is standing still.
In some cases, people choose to place tennis balls onto the bottom of the feet on walkers so that they can push their walkers along the floor easily. There are also some walkers that have two wheels on them.
Walkers have been around for more than 60 years at this point. The first one was created back in the late 1940s by a man named William Cribbes Robb. And while walkers have evolved a lot since then, they still serve the same basic purpose.
If a person struggles to walk on their own and needs support while they’re walking, a walker will do the trick for them.
What Are Rollators?
About 30 years after the first walker was invented, a woman named Aina Wifalk decided to put her own twist on walkers. Wifalk suffered from polio, and she wanted something that would help her combat the weakness that often comes along with the disease.
Her solution? The rollator, which she designed in the late 1970s.
At first glance, rollators look a little bit like walkers on steroids since they include a bunch of bells and whistles that you won’t find with walkers. Rollators are rolling devices that include three or four wheels in addition to a braking system.
Rollators also have handlebars that are more well-defined than the handles on walkers as well as padded seats and even baskets. There is no mistaking a rollator for a walker when you see one.
The Pros and Cons of Using Walkers
There are many benefits that come along with using a walker.
For starters, there is almost no learning curve when it comes to using a walker. People can pick up on how to use one right away.
It’ll also be easy for people to see how much more manageable it is to get around when using a walker. They provide the perfect blend of support and stability to people who can’t get around like they used to.
Additionally, walkers are very affordable, especially when compared to some of the more advanced mobility devices that are out there.
There are downsides to using a walker, though. One of the biggest ones is that those who use walkers need to have a lot of hand, arm, and shoulder strength. If they don’t, they won’t be able to control their walkers.
This is something that people need to think about before investing in a walker and using it on a regular basis.
The Pros and Cons of Using Rollators
There are also many benefits that come along with using a rollator.
Rollators look more visually appealing than walkers do. People don’t mind using them as much as they sometimes mind using walkers thanks to their sleek design.
People also don’t mind using rollators once they sit down on their padded seats and see how comfortable they are. They enjoy having the ability to sit down at a moment’s notice without having to worry about looking around for an available seat.
The wheels on rollators obviously make a huge difference for many people, too. Unlike with walkers, people don’t have to expend a ton of energy to move their rollators around. The wheels do almost all the work for them.
It’s worth noting that most rollators cost a little more than walkers do, which is a downside to some people. But others would argue that rollators are well worth the extra cost.
So, Which of These Two Options Should You Choose?
Now that you know everything there is to know about walkers and rollators, you should be able to pick one over the other.
But before you do, you should try to test the two of them out, if possible. You’ll be able to see which one you can maneuver around easier when you take them for a test drive.
Only You Can Settle the Rollator Vs Walker Debate for Yourself
The rollator vs walker debate is a debate that people have been having for years now.
Some people swear by walkers and think that they’re all they need to get around. Others are convinced that everyone who suffers from mobility issues should invest in rollators.
You have to weigh the pros and cons associated with using a rollator vs walker to determine which would be the better fit for you. At the end of the day, you want to select the one that makes life easier on you and keeps you the safest.
Browse through our blog to learn about some of the other things you can use to keep yourself healthy and active.