Rollators

- Oct 15, 2019-

A different approach to the walker is the rollator, also called wheeled walker, invented by the Swede Aina Wifalk in 1978, herself a polio sufferer. Although originally a brand name, "rollator" has become a genericized trademark for wheeled walkers in many countries, and is also the most common type of walker in several European countries.


The rollator consists of a frame with three or four large wheels, handlebars and a built-in seat, which allows the user to stop and rest when needed. Rollators are also often equipped with a shopping basket. Rollators are typically more sophisticated than conventional walkers with wheels. They are adjustable in height and are light-weight, yet sturdier than conventional walkers. The handlebars are equipped with hand brakes that can be lifted or pushed downward to instantly stop the rollator. The brakes can also be used in maneuvering the rollator; by braking one side while turning the rollator towards that side a much tighter turning radius can be achieved.


A recent study has found an increase in the use of rollators by young people "usually in their thirties who are setting a new standard for walking among young people". The researchers conclude that this might be helpful in alleviating the stigma that using a rollator currently carries.


A recent Norwegian-made version of Wifalk's rollator won the Red Dot Design Award 2011 in the "Life science and medicine" class. The European norm for walking aids EN ISO 11199-2:2005 applies to rollators and walking frames.


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