Mobility – the ability to move whenever and wherever we want – is fundamental to everyday life.
As we grow older, the risk of mobility decline also increases. Factors that contribute to this decline include genetics, aging processes, physiological impairments and environmental causes.
The proportion of people living over 65 years old is growing fast. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that since January 1, 2011, and each and every day for the next 20 years, nearly 10,000 Americans will reach their 65th birthdays.
The notable sign of mobility decline is through walking difficulty.
A growing number of health care professionals are prescribing the rollator to those experiencing difficulties in walking.
Here are the top reasons why rollators assist elderly persons with mobility problems:
- Substitute for personal mobility-related activities
A study by Lutz et al. showed that “rollators may be feasible substitutes for personal mobility-related activities and confidence enhancement during geriatric rehabilitation for a relatively moderate healthcare cost.”
- Positive psychological impact
Patients using this assistive device have reported feelings of safety, improved confidence, increase activity levels and independence.
- Positive physiological impact
Patients using this walking aid have also reported of improved cardiorespiratory function and enhanced peripheral circulation.
- Easy to use
This walking tool is easy to propel and highly maneuverable, with small turning arc.
Who can use
Not everyone with walking difficulties is suited to use this assistive technology. The following are the suitable users:
- Those who can walk by themselves but need additional support for balance on both sides of the body;
- Those with good hand and arm to move the equipment forward;
- Those who do not need the walking aid to bear weight;
- Those with mild balance impairment –
people with significant impairment cannot use this device as it can easily roll forward and increases the risk of falls; and
- Those who often need to stop walking and sit down to rest (patients with respiratory disease or congestive heart failure).
How to use
- When using a rollator, both feet should be in between the posterior wheels or legs.
- Posture should be upright without forward leaning.
- This tool is a popular option because it comes with a seat. This must be used with caution though. Before sitting down, make sure to turn on the brake and place the device against a wall or some other solid object.
- Adjust the equipment to its proper height.
To achieve this, follow these simple steps:
- Use your comfortable shoes.
- Allow your hands to hang loosely on your sides.
- Ask someone to measure the distance between the floor and your wrist. From this measurement, adjust the height accordingly.
- Test the height by holding the handle. When there is a 20 to 30-degree elbow bend, that is the correct length.