Follow
Share

This is my first post, so hi everyone. Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
My 84 y/o mother finally decided -- after a few falls inside -- that she needs more than a cane for support. This is a giant step for her! We've looked online at 4 wheel walker/rollators -- and there's a million choices. My mom has had a few major spine surgeries plus has osteoporosis, so she is very stooped over & about 4 ft tall at most. Yet her mind is great, and aside from posture limitations, she is physically very strong.
We talked to her doctor, who thought a local hospital could help with a suitable rollator, but according to PT Dep't staffers, no -- you buy one and then they can adjust it properly. I called rehab centers and was told the same.
Is this the way it works? I'm extra concerned because my mom is not petite, but she's very short. Also, can a rollator be used outside and inside? We're going to find a medical supply store and hope we can try a few there. My mother loves the Amazon and catalog offerings, esp. the prices, but I think we should try before buying.
If anyone can share what they know, I'd be really appreciative. Thanks - Caroline

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
I need to get my Dad a rollator so I have been checking out websites, OMG there are so many to choose from.... but I rather Dad go to a store to try one out, Dad has shrunk a lot over the years and is now under 5' [he use to be 5'6"]. At least when I told Dad what the prices might be, he didn't say that was too expensive, like he always does [he could easily afford these items] :P
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Just an update and applause for the effect the rollator had on my father's rehab from his second hip surgery. It's enhanced his mobility, he's walking more, visiting more people in the neighborhood, increasing his social contacts, meeting new dogs and is a lot happier and more independent (not that that's always so good) than he was with the walker.

The difference in his outlook as well as his flexibility is clearly noticeable. I wish in retrospect that I'd gotten a rollator for him last year.

He's wanted to visit a specific museum but didn't want to take his scooter. Museums require a lot of walking, something I wasn't sure he could handle. Now with the rollator that's possible - for him. I'm still worried about me!

I also recall that the very good therapist he had after both fractures never even mentioned one but rather encouraged him to use a cane. He could never have advanced as far as he has with a cane.

This has been probably the best assistive device we've acquired.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Most PT places I now, if they are attached to a hospital with anything resembling a rehab service, will help you pick a good walker. Certified DME people can help too, Tell them about the terrain you want to use it on, treat low bone density appropriately, and you should be good both indoors and out, if the terrain is not too, too rough! There are also reverse or "posture" walkers that go around behind you and facilitate more hip extension and prevent getting the walker way out in front. There are right and wrong ways to use a walker, when you see someone doing it wrong you just want to go show them but I have never had the nerve.

Just a couple years ago a centenarian or near centenarian here in Little Rock decided to celebrate her birthday by crossing the Big Dam Bridge here. Very scenic, probably at least half a mile...and she did it using a pretty standard little old lady walker if I remember right from the pictures.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I forgot to add that mom got hers via a PT evaluation that made the recommendation. The doctor approved it and the bill went through Medicare first. She had a $50 copay for it. And it's flamingo pink. It was delivered by a medical supply company to her apartment at the senior complex. The PTs fitted it to her.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Lordy, my mother insists on pushing her rollator like a shopping cart - way out in front of her, looking down at her feet. She is physically able to stand up straight and do this correctly, she has just built herself a very bad habit, and we have not met the PT who could retrain her yet - many have tried!
Mom uses her rollator inside and out.

Whe mom first got her rollator, she wanted to carry her purse handles in one hand, a giant keyring in the other hand with probably 20 old keys on it that fit nothing anymore, and hold onto the rollator too. Add in a coat thrown over her other arm, and handfuls of kleenex in there somehow. It was something to behold. I beheld it through my fingers over my eyes, waiting for the trainwreck. Thank goodness it never happened.

When she transitioned into the nursing home, I was able to eliminate everything but the rollator!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I found a new rollator at a garage sale for $30 and purchased it "just in case' because I have severe O/A and increasing weakness. For now i can get to the store from the car and rely on a cart in the store but I am sure the time will come when i need that little seat to rest.. I also like the idea of the bags on a rollator too. I did try the electic cart in the store when i had my hip replaced but it was more trouble than it was worth. having hubby push me around in a W/c was also a night mare because he could not hear what i was telling him we needed. Now if he is going into town I give him a list and he is really getting quite good. He cant manage stuff like meat but I shop when necessary and I do have him trained to unload the car. That was part of the deal when he insisted on a duel fuel car and needed to plug it in which meant i could not be nice and warm in the garage. far from the rollator but my fingers do the talking once i get going.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Boy that "walking within the envelope of the rollator" is so important. My 94-year old frail mom has a walker. She was having shoulder pain and I was concerned that she was standing too far behind her walker, so got a physical therapy prescription to have someone watch her walk. Sure enough, the PT said she was pushing too hard on the walker arms and standing too far back, that she needed to hold it much closer to her.

Unfortunately my mom has no short-term memory, so getting her to remember that has been an impossible task. I tried and tried to remind her every time I was around her, which made me feel like a drill sergeant. But her shoulder pain went away and now I just let her do her thing. Knock on wood, she's still plugging along in her apartment.

If your mom has a good memory, get her properly trained now when she gets her rollator, while she can still remember how to do things.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Caroline, Dad's rollator cost either $145 or $150; don't remember for sure. If Medicare won't pay for it, the DME will contact us. You might put your name as contact on the DME paperwork so that if Medicare doesn't pay for it, they'll contact you and not your mother. Assuming you have access to her funds and she relies on you for bill payments, you could pay the bill and your mother would not have to worry about the cost.

EaseLiving, good points on measuring to ensure to ensure rollator fits the person well - sometimes I see these poor people leaving over their walkers, shoving them along and I wonder how much discomfort they feel after that effort.

Veronica, my father's walker was a braked, 4 wheeled one, which is why he liked it so much. The brakes were on the rear wheels, so that was especially helpful to him. He used the brakes going down steps.

I think that's one of the reasons why he found the rollator preferable - the alternative walkers weren't 4 wheeled braked ones.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you both so much. I've measured all doorways. Just need to measure my mother. I never thought about walking within the rollator. I need to stress that. My mother is very anti-walker. She needed them after surgeries years ago, but calls them too slow and cumbersome. Yet a basic walker probably is safest at home. We can get a prescription. Maybe then she won't worry as much about paying the higher store prices. Thanks!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

One big advantage of a rollator over a walker is that they have brakes.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You mention your Mom is on the shorter side. There are a few things to consider when picking a walker or rollator.
To make sure it is the right height, start by standing up straight with your shoes on. Measure from the crease in her wrist to the ground. This measurement should be the approximate height of the handle bars. Any description you read should tell you what their adjustable range is.
Also measure the height of a chair you like and from which you can rise easily. If you have difficult with a chair that is too high or too low, keep that in mind when selecting a rollator.
The one that people often forget is to measure the width of the smallest place you will need to fit through. Most often, that is a doorway or hallway. You need to be sure you can get in and out.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Caroline, you'll need to get a prescription from one of your mother's doctors. Take it to a DME (durable medical equipment supplier) store and ask to see rollators. Your mother can try one out in the store before you actually decide to acquire it.

We were advised that Medicare would pay for my father's, given that he hasn't had any other walker or rollator purchases in several years. I don't recall the exact period specified by Medicare. That's something about which you should inquire.

One thing you'll have to encourage her to do if she has advanced osteoporosis is to make sure she walks inside the envelope of the rollator. Some folks use walkers and rollators by walking outside the envelope, pushing them ahead rather than using the device to surround and support them.

There was one adjustment for height that was made for my father. You could tell the individual who assists you about your mother's height needs to ensure that you find one that fits.

If you don't, try another store, but check the models first before you go as there may be a limited line and you might find just the same model as at another store.

My father can use his inside and outside, but he gets more leverage from outdoor use because he walks in the neighborhood and uses the rollator to sit down when he needs a rest. That's one of the advantages of a rollator vs. a walker.

Something else to check is collapsing the rollator. The seat is tipped up and the basket removed. On my father's rollator, a thin double ribbon is used to pull up the frame and collapse it. After a few tries, I decided I would get a bungee cord or something stronger as the cord is thin and isn't that easy to use.

We don't yet have the bungee cord, so I can't speak to how that would work. But do try to have your mother collapse it to see how she can handle that.

I would never consider acquiring an assistive device such as a walker or rollator online. These need to be tried and fitted, especially walkers, as they come in various widths and one that's too narrow or too wide isn't going to be the best fit.

My father had an old 4 wheel walker but the replacement tips wore out and we were unable to find new ones due to the old age of the walker. We already had 4 walkers and didn't need another one. He tried the rollator; the difference in his gait and comfort was very noticeable.

One of the benefits of a rollator vs. a walker is that the wheels turn 360 degrees, whereas walker wheels are limited to forward and reverse motions. The 360 degree range of motion allows for more smooth turns, and less "jerking" or picking up the walker as some folks do.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter