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My mother has finally admitted that she needs a walker, and I've started to research both walkers and what they call rollators, also known as walkers with wheels. I want the VERY BEST product for her, and it must have a basket or tray on the front so that she can transport her dinner tray from the kitchen to her master bedroom on the same floor. She is 92 and still lives in her own home, and I'm very anxious to be sure that she has exactly what she needs. Can anyone advise me on this? I'd appreciate hearing from someone who has experience in purchasing a high-end walker or rollator for their elderly parent. Thanks so much in advance1

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I used to feel the same way as you luvmymom, with all the wonderful rollators out there I couldn't understand why anyone would want an old fashioned walker! But my mom found the basic two wheel walker to suit her much better as well, it it is simple, manoeuvrable, lightweight, folds easily and there are lots of accessories like cup holders, trays, bags and baskets if you choose.
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I'm not sure that my THANK YOU went through, so I'm sending it again! I appreciate your help:

MY SINCERE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO RESPONDED TO MY QUESTION. My mother and I visited a nearby Medical Supply store last week, after I had done all my research on-line. I VERY MUCH wanted her to get one of the high-end rollators (the Nitro model by Drive), but she settled on a walker with wheels in the front and small "skis" on the back. It has a tray which fits snugly in front (contains a place for a glass or cup), and seems quite easy to use. She LOVES IT, and since I LOVE her, it seems we're all set now! Still, your answers and experiences with the units you described were quite helpful and I appreciate your time!!
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And good for you Veronica for haunting the garage sales. Never would have occurred to me.
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I have a rollator that I think is very good, not that I use it (I will one day -- boo). It has a basket that detaches at the front, so you don't have to use it if you don't want to. I think I'd try balancing the tray on the seat, but you may not want to do that.

Ah, the mystery of the disappearing edit button.

Oh I found it. The thing appears after you post.
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I had to use a walker several years ago when i had my hip replaced and found a cheap one at a garage sale that worked just fine for the short time I needed it. I was still strong and could move it easily and get round obstacles in the house.A few years later I brought a new rollator for $35 at a garage sale in anticipation of needing to use it some day. Well that day came sooner than I expected so I use it outside when going for my mandatory exercise. Very easy to use as it has four wheels and the brakes are handy when I want to sit and rest. I don't use it when I go out as i can walk short distances with a cane and use last summer i fell badly at my daughters house and couldn't weight bear for a few days so she went out and brought me a very nice walker that has wheels on the front. She would not let me pay for it so i have no idea of the cost but it is a pretty red color. Folds easily and is light weight and easy to fold and lift into the car. There are all kinds of trays and baskets and bags you can buy to put on any of these types.
I can still carry a cup in one hand but would use a travel mug and put it in the bag, some have holders for drinks. i probably would not transport a plate of food on the tray and don't need to worry about that as I can use a cane still and hold something in the other hand. If it was necessary would use a plastic plate with a snap on lid and carry it on the walker tray. All types of walkers can be adjusted for the height of the user. It might be worth asking the Dr for a PT assessment and have them help with the choice and height adjustment. Either that or an occupational therapist. these people will show you and your loved one how to use whatever is chosen properly and adjust the height.
As a side note I find the rubber tips on a cane slip on a wet floor or especially on ice. I am on the lookout for a spiked tip to put on the cane for the ice. In my case I can still drive and go shopping alone and find that there are frequently no handicapped slots available in parking lots especially at hospitals!!!!!!!!! It takes trial and error and of course co-operation from your loved one and know many are resistant to be seen outside with any kind of assistance aide. Personally I would rather do that and end up with a broken hip on the floor and have everyone see me being carted away by the EMTs. I do know how difficult it is to transition from being an active fairly healthy senior to having multiple health problems and accepting the fact that life has changed drastically and downsizing the tasks I can perform and transition to smaller hobby projects.
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Whether you go with a regular walker or a rollater, I would let her try them each out first to see what she feels more comfortable with. You might be able to borrow a couple for her to sample.

I'd also discourage her using it to transport food. I'd be concerned with safety issues, especially burns.
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It's much the best thing for her to try a few out, and see which suits her. Beyond basic manufacturing and safety standards (in the States I'm sure there will be laws about putting products on the market) this isn't really the usual case of getting what you pay for, because it's more to do with what she personally finds the easiest and most comfortable model to use.

Also be prepared for the frustration of going through a few trial runs. At the final count I think we had three in the house, not forgetting the one that I bent round my SIL's neck but let's not go into that... I never did find one that had all the right features, and you've reminded me that I still want to nag a manufacturer in trialling one with the kind of brake you get on airport baggage carriers - the ones for which you have to squeeze the handle to go, rather than to stop.

So if I were you I'd note the makes, models and serial numbers of some likely looking candidates, then head with your mother for the best store you can get to; and be tyrannical about making sure she gets to try them out properly, not just stand and admire. Best of luck, hope she finds one she loves :)
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Get the doctor to write a script for one then head to a medical supply store. No charge. I think Medicare allows one every 5 years or so. The staff can assist in getting the proper one. My mom has a rollator. When she is tired, she can sit on it. The rollator has a basket under the seat which helps during grocery trips. I purchased a black velcro catch-all that is typically sold for baby strollers (Amazon) and attached on upper bar. Works great! Keeps small items and bottle or water secure when she is on the go.
P.S. It took a few lessons to learn braking technique.
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My mother has two rollators -- a bariatric model and a smaller one. When we go out to eat at our local cafeteria, we put her tray on the seat of the rollator. It is very stable, so no problem. The main thing you want to look for is good durability. The cheaper models have brakes that give out quickly and sub-seat baskets that come apart at the seams. Good brakes, a good seat, and handle bars that feel right to your mother are things to look for. Heavier models with a wider wheel base are the most stable. I don't know if any one company is better than the others. My mother has two Drive rollators -- one very good and the other not so much.
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Tried the roll stor with my mom but by then the dementia was too far progressed and the brake was too hard for her to figure out. I had a neighbor make a material (canvas type) bag that hooked on with velco. It has 2 large sections then smaller pockets on the outside. Loved it so much had her make 2 more. One for walker that goes outside and the 2 others dad uses inside the house. Doesn't hurt furniture and folds flat.
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My mother fell using her rollator.
She never went back to it. Preferred the light weight walker instead. The accident she had could have easily happened with the walker but she blamed the rollator. The walker was so light in comparison and easier for her to use. Only needed a change of new tennis balls for the front legs from time to time.
She didn't like her basket on the rollator because it kept her from getting close to her cabinets or microwave or lavatory. Maybe it was a problem with the one she had and wouldn't be the same for others. Just a consideration.
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My dad has a walker, decidedly low end, and a rollator, which is much nicer. He doesn't have a basket, but it has a seat with a foldable storage area under it, and he uses the seat to push around all kinds of things including a plate of food. We got a prescription from his doctor for the rollator and got it from a medical supply store. They fitted it for his size and height, put it together, and gave him "lessons" on its use. It didn't cost him anything between his insurance and Medicare. He likes the brake feature and I like that it's easy to fold and put in the car.
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A word of advice about transporting food on a tray: a walker is not ideal for this; there's not enough stability on the handlebars and the tray must be perfectly balanced as it would generally attach to the walker only from the front, at the handlebars. Think in terms of a bicycle, without a basket.

Possibly you could find one that has an angled brace attached to the handlebars - like a cantilevered brace. That would provide more stability.

Walkers don't roll though, they're pushed, with a little bit more effort than is required to push a rollator.

Rollators are more sturdy, a meal could theoretically be transported in the basket beneath the seat, but they are unwieldly when being put into a car because the 4 wheels don't remain stable even when the rollator is braked.

We got one for my father through Medicare; I asked his ortho doctor for a script; he provided one and Medicare paid for it, entirely.

It wasn't a high end; I'm not sure if there are such things in the world of durable medical equipment rollators and walkers.

Just as important though is to get a walker and rollator specifically adjusted to your mother's height; otherwise, she could end up bending over.

I would suggest you make a checklist of features by searching online to find ones that have the most appropriate and needed features, then contact local DME suppliers to find out what they have.
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Good points about the weight and ease to get into the car, I know that the one my mother used was a huge pain to fold up as we had to remove the basket first.

I did a double take when I read that you considered your dad's walker to be expensive at $150, here that would be the starting price for a basic model ;0
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I bought my Dad an Essential Rollator, which had the hand brakes, a basket, and a seat. Oh my gosh, Dad was like a teenager, you'd think I had bought him a Shelby Mustang he was so happy with that rollator. He had it with him at all times. He learned to use it pretty quickly as he had to learn the hand brakes on his old bicycle.

This rollator came in different bright colors. I got Dad a shiny blue color. I've also seen tone in bright red, the seats all remain black. It was expensive, about $150.00 as I was in a rush and took what the private store front pharmacy had on the floor. It probably can be bought cheaper elsewhere.

Dad wasn't very tall [shrunk over the years] so I was able to put the rollator right into the cargo bay of my Jeep without folding up the rollator... but it was heavy to lift up [I am a senior myself, can't lift things like I use to].

If you get a doctor's note, I think [not 100% positive] that Medicare will pay for it.
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Just like buying cars you need to shop for the features you need and the style that appeals. It would be best to buy from a store where she can be properly fitted and able to try out a few different models, even seek advice from an occupational therapist. If you choose a rollator you need to consider things like her ability to use the brakes and remember to lock them before trying to sit down, the width and how well it will fit through doors and hallways (especially the bathroom). There are so many makes and models out there, and the "luxury" ones aren't necessarily any better than the more basic ones because they all have to meet the same safety standards.
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