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​What is the Difference Between a Rollator and a Walker?

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 14 Aug 2020

​What is the Difference Between a Rollator and a Walker?


Both rollators and walkers help support the elderly and individuals who have difficulties with stability and balance. They also help to provide an increased sense of independence and safety when walking. While both are used as ways of allowing ease of mobility, they differ in certain aspects, as outlined below.

What is a Rollator?

A rollator has four wheels and a brake system, allowing for easy mobility when walking. They can be easily pushed around and do not need to be lifted, but they are unable to support body weight. Rollator features include a seat to sit on and many also have a basket to hold belongings. A rollator is usually much bigger and wider than a walker and requires steering and hand brake operation.

What are the benefits of a Rollator?

A rollator allows you to walk at a quicker pace with easy manoeuvrability as the wheels pivot in place. They also don’t require upper arm strength as they can be easily pushed around. A rollator doubles as a seat and is great for when you need a rest and cannot find a seat to sit down on. They are also suitable for both the indoors and outdoors, as they can be useful when used over uneven surfaces.

When should you use a Rollator?

Rollators can be used if you have weaknesses in your arms and are not able to lift things, but you still have a good sense of balance. They also can be useful if you require a rest more often after you’ve walked for a while as they are equipped with a seat. If you also require oxygen tanks, rollators would be the better choice as they also contain a storage department.

What is a Walker?

A walker is a metal frame with handles that needs to be lifted with each step, as it doesn’t contain wheels. A walker can be used if you have issues with balancing, experiencing weakness or are recovering from a surgery or illness. They are lightweight and are partially able to support body weight. There is also the option of a wheeled walker or a hybrid rolling walker, as they are often called, which offers extra support and more manoeuvrability, with two wheels at the front of the walker. They require less arm strength and are typically smaller than rollators.

Benefits of a Walker?

The benefits of a walker include the ability to have safer and longer walks as walkers are more stable and reduce weightbearing for the individual. They are also lightweight and allow you to walk at a slower pace. They are usually available in both folding and non-folding options as well as being height adjustable. There is also the ability of attaching various accessories to the frame such as baskets, trays and bags for greater convenience.

When should you use a Walker?

You should consider using a walker if you’re having trouble with your balance, as a walker provides more stability than rollators. If you are still able to grip onto objects and lift things up, then a walker might be the best option for you.

For more information on these products and to see which one may be right for you, visit your local Blooms The Chemist Pharmacy team or speak to your healthcare professional. Our Blooms The Chemist Independent Living range can be found in-store or online here.