Is a standard walker or a rollator the right choice for my dad?

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He recently had a stroke, 3 weeks of acute rehab and 6 weeks of in-home therapy and care. He lives with my mother (both early 80s). The stroke effected his right (dominant) side, and he has a pretty week left knee due to multiple replacements. He manages OK with a walker, but was wandering if a rollator would give him more freedom (he could sit and maneuver more easily) or if it would be problematic ('running away from him' if he wasn't really paying attention. Any thoughts? Also any idea how to keep him moving? I'm worried now that since people aren't coming by, he won't be motivated to get up and walk.

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We got a 3-wheel walker for my Mom - she loves it and people in her AL are always admiring it. It isn't as wide as a regular rollater, and is quite maneuverable. The downside is that it doesn't have a place for her to sit down, but she doesn't seem to miss that. I got it on Amazon (search for 3-wheel walker).
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Reply to chdottir
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I had my mom go for a PT assessment with a rollater. Unfortunately she could not follow directions to get around safely as it would roll away from her body and she was unaware. It is heavier and bulky to get in and out of a car.
The problem may be that he needs both hands to pull the brakes and lock them when he needs to sit.
IF you just want to try one out, call your local social services to see if they have a closet of donated items
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Reply to MACinCT
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Thanks for the input!
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Reply to MCM1934
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MCM, my Dad had a rollator and he loved it, you'd think I had bought him a Mustang. And the seat was so comfortable, I use to sit on that seat while visiting him.

Dad liked the basket, as back when he lived at his house, he would walk down the driveway to the mailbox and toss the mail into the basket.
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Reply to freqflyer
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It is really going to depend on his ability to work the brakes and on whether the rollator can fit through doorways and around furniture as easily as the walker. I used to wonder why anybody still used "old fashioned" walkers until my mom needed one, she found the 2 wheel walker much easier to use in the house. We also had a rollator to use outside but she never did master using the brakes so someone always had to be with her.
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Reply to cwillie
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Contact the physical therapist(s) that did your Dad's acute rehab or his in-home therapy and ask them to assist you in getting a standard walker or a rollator for your Dad. Since they were recently doing therapy with him, they have a very good idea of what type of walker would be best for your Dad and they can also assist in getting Medicare to pay for it.

Added: My Mom used a regular 4-wheel walker in the house and a rollator when she went to church or the store or anyplace outside of the house. Her rollator has a cloth bag that she could put her purse in (among other things) and she could sit on the rollator seat whenever she got tired. We also have a rollator that can change between a rollator or wheel chair. It is heavier and bulkier and takes up the entire trunk of the car. Her regular rollator folds up tightly and it fits nicely in the back seat or half of the car's trunk. If your Dad uses a regular 4-wheel walker, get a tray that fits the brand of his walker as not every "Universal Walker Tray" fits every walker. Sometimes the crossbar on the 4-wheel walker gets in the way of the tray.


Here are two suggestions of rollators that I like:

Drive Medical Adjustable Height Rollator with 6" Wheels, Blue; Item # RTL10261BL by Drive Medical (Mfg. Part # rtl10261bl, UPC # 822383262765)

Medline Ultralight Rollator- Smoky Blue; Item # MED MDS86825SLB by Medline (Mfg. Part # MDS86825SLB, UPC # 80196326504)
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Reply to DeeAnna
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My FIL has a rollator, and he loves it. I plan to get one for mom when she "agrees" she needs it.. LOL His brakes work well, and it has a compartment for his O2 tank
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Reply to pamzimmrrt
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I got my mom a rollator, because she had the regular kind. and she just kept complaining how noisy/squeaky it was and she said it pulled to the 'right'.

so to encourage her to 'use' one. I got the rollator just from walmart. "medline"

she does use it. and because she has dementia. she was always folding the old one and putting it away in the closet. she cant fold up the rollator.

at first I did notice the wheels were fast. and she was walking too fast. but she has adapted better.

she makes me laugh tho. once shes back in her little AL apartment. she puts the rollator aside and sets the brakes.

I have to add. I got the rollator, because she looses her balance. had a bad fall. and the dr put that in the AL orders.
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Reply to wally003
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