The rollator (seated walker w/ hand brakes) is a wonderful product which has become increasingly popular as an ambulatory device for many people with MS. However, a rollator is NOT a wheelchair so please keep reading.
Safety and fall risk management is always critical. Therefore, before using a rollator one should consult their primary physician and physical or occupational therapist.
Rollators are great…for appropriate clients. Rollators allow people with MS to walk greater distances and when they fatigue, it's a rolling seat and even has a basket to carry items from room to room or store to store.
Many rollators are now lightweight and quite portable. There are also heavier ones for our bariatric clients or clients that require a more stable base. However in recent years since their increase in popularity I have seen one glaring misuse. A rollator is not a wheelchair.
At my son's football games, swap meets, and graduations I have seen people pushing their loves ones in a rollator as if it was a wheelchair or transport wheelchair. There is great danger in this, as a rollator's frame does not lock and a rollator folds differently than a wheelchair. If you use a rollator in this fashion any transition in terrain is a fall risk.
What is the solution? There are rollators that are especially designed for this usage. It is a "hybrid" rollator/transport wheelchair. Contact your local medical supply provider or therapist for details.
Keep Fighting On, Big Love!
Tom Mellor, ATP
A Bit About Tom: Tom Mellor is an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) with over 20 years of experience analyzing the needs of people with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the person's needs, and providing training in the use of the selected devices.
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