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MIL is currently using an older fold up aluminum walker someone gave to her. We would like to get her one with a basket and seat. Is there a recommended brand we should watch for? We would have no difficulty getting an RX and submitting it to her Medicare and supplemental, but we also are happy to get a used one from CraigsList. Are they different heights? Brakes or no brakes? Any advice would be helpful.

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If using it in and out of the car, check on how the walker folds. We found the rollator walker took up more space than the transport wheelchair.! We found a nice 3-wheeled walker that had handbrakes and folded easily (drive is the manufacturer and we got it on amazon - I think it was less than $100). it folds like a book and is easy to get in the car. The one we got had no seat but I think that was available.

Always something to think about!
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You might want to check with her orthopedist or PCP and see if she can get an order for a PT evaluation. AT that evaluation, ask the PT person to help you pick out the size and kind. (In fact tell them that is what you are hoping they will do.) Also have them work with your mom for a few sessions on transfers and standing and using the brakes to evaluate her safety. Do not let her have it alone until she is safe using it.

My mom loved her rollator walker. But her mobility got so bad that she leans too hard on the walker and that makes the rollator unsafe. The seat was nice but it does not take the place of a transport wheelchair.

There is a more expensive version of the rollator walker that is made for folks with real complex mobility issues. Instead of squeezing the handbrakes to stop you must squeeze to go. It also has the ability to cue the person to take a step as folks with Parkinsons and some other issues might need that. I forget the brand but I saw it advertised in Neurology Now magazine.

I have purchased several walkers on amazon and wayfair.com. The important feature is height. Mom says she is 5 ft tall but it has been a while since she stood that tall. She needs a walker that is less than 30 inches high and that is difficult to find. We had to return a few. (both Amazon and Wayfair were good about that).

Last one we got was a bright pink one (amazon) and wheels that we put on front only. We have skis in the back. This works great and look better than the "ugly" aluminum.

In our community, there is a non-profit that serves the elderly and disabled and they have a loaner closet of walker, wheelchairs, shower chairs, and other equipment and supplies that they make available at NO COST. Check your local senior center or town/city government and find out if one is in your area. They sometimes have wait lists for popular items (like rollators and transport chairs) but they are a GREAT resource.
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Thank you all for the responses - very helpful information.
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Just be SURE she can use the brakes and understands them. Many elders pull them selves up from sitting-diningtable etc... with their walkers and if she doesn't use the breaks it will fly out from under her and she will fall .My mom did this and fractured her hip.I made my dad get rid of it. She loved the look of the rollator and was mad she couldn't have the "fancy" one but she couldn't remember the brakes. As freqfler said take her to the medical supply first and try them out and make sure. I had to do this several times because mom swore she could use one and didn't remember we tried many times before-dementia-so I had to keep taking her back to the store to show her she couldn't use it safely! Hopefully yours can! Good luck!
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My mother uses a regular aluminum walker with skis on the back legs instead of tennis balls like many of them have. This works best for her - the tennis balls created too much drag. She's unable to use a rollator though because her balance is too poor and she tends to lean forward. She rolled the rollator right out from under her and fell on her front, more than once.
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My Dad has a rollator and he loves it.... best thing since sliced bread... he can beat Mom and I to the doctor's front door every time we go, he just places the seat down so he can wait for us :)

Mom, on the other hand, tried Dad's rollator and she couldn't figure out the brakes... probably one reason she never could master bike riding when younger.

The private drug stores usually have one already assembled to try out. I recommend an elder do a test-drive with one of these rollators to see if they are comfortable with it. Then you can either buy it at the drug store, or buy it on-line. We took the drug store one as it was already assembled, and that in itself was worth the price :)
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Rollators are not very expensive but the key componants are the brakes. Mine has grip brakes like a bicycle so hand function is essental to set them and co ordination.
if you buy used make sure you take your loved one so she can try it. They are all very adjustible as far as height is concerned except for the very tall. The handles need to be up high enough for the loved one to walk comfortably. I found a new one at a garage sale for $35. I did not need it at the time but now I use it when walking the country road around my home. It is nice to be able to sit and just listen to the birds while I rest awile. Not good for uneven ground like gravel roads as most wheels are too small to roll comfortably
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The semi transitional chair is not that expensive... These have brakes that you press down to lock in.... and a "back rest" sort of, to postition if she wants to stop and rest....These are adjustable, like the aluminum walkers with the "peg press"....Just go to a local pharmacy or drug store see what they have,,,,shop around, and then go to goodwill and look to see what they have, and as you suggested, craigslist........
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It depends on how she will use it. If it has 4 wheels it needs brakes. Can she use her hands okay to work brakes? Will she remember to set the brakes if she is using the seat?
My sister is in memory care, has vascular dementia, and is a fall risk due to some brain damage. She is using a walker now, with wheels and brakes and a seat, and it is working out perfectly for her. It helps keep her from falling and she is freer to take walks around the facility for some exercise. You can find rollators like it online, and Walgreens shipped for free.
My hubby, moderate parkinsons, uses a walker most of the time. We found one that folds easily to go in the car, 'Nitro Drive 4 Wheel Rollator,' for $200. It has larger wheels than most, I like that it folds easily and has a little strap to hold it so it will stand upright in the folded position, taking up less space if you go into a restaurant or somewhere. The heights are adjustable on most models.
My hubby also uses a walker to help support his weight when knee pain gets too much. The kind without wheels look so awkward to me, they have to be picked up and set down with each step, but they do help prevent falls.
These are just my experience with my two dear ones, someone else will know more about walkers in general.
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