How I Learned to Love My RollatorPosted by Dagmar on July 23, 2019 at 11:56 am
In 2010, a few short months after my ALS diagnosis, I found myself having to rely full time on a rollator. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t happy at all. But now, nine years later, it’s become my ever-present silent buddy, and I can’t imagine my life without it!
Are you struggling to accept using a rollator? Or wonder which one to buy? Following are my top tips and suggestions:
Do you have any tips of your own that you can share with us?
MemberDecember 7, 2020 at 6:02 pm
I was recently diagnosed with ALS and am using a cane, but will need a rollator soon. Would like to hear some suggestions and lessons learned with rollators. Thank you.
MemberDecember 7, 2020 at 7:12 pm
I have a bunch of tips in these articles:
MemberDecember 7, 2020 at 8:04 pm
MemberDecember 8, 2020 at 4:24 pm
This is timely. I just got my Rx for a rollator. I read your articles and wonder about the seat. My legs need a rest break and I get up and down OK from a seat. I too, am not happy with using one, but my Therapist took notice when I told him I look forward to a shopping cart! I cannot walk very not far on my own and feel trapped when I cannot go where I want. My doctor keeps telling me I am going to fall as I hobble around. I guess it is time…
I also got an adult tricycle – electric and pedal-so I can bike with friends and grandkids and spend time outdoors. It is the BEST!
MemberDecember 8, 2020 at 5:12 pm
Hi Marianne – – I recommend the Drive “Nitro” rollator. It is lightweight, has wide width wheels and, very maneuverable. Also folds up well.
In the beginning, I used to use the seat. Whenever using the seat, you have to swing it around behind you, lock the wheels down and sit. Getting up (not recommended on smooth, shiny floors – – as the wheels slide) means pushing up, swinging it back around. You can also take tiny pivot steps to turn, but someone needs to be nearby. I’m telling you this because I found it tedious and unsafe after a while. Better to look for something solid to sit on rather than depend on the rollator.
Also, if you get tired in stores… why not use the store’s electronic shopping carts? Much easier and safer.
No matter what, get one now. Don’t wait until you fall. 🙂
MemberDecember 9, 2020 at 12:08 pm
I took Dagmar’s recommendation and got from Amazon a Drive Nitro Euro-Style Aluminum rollator Standard Height. I like it a lot. I use it around the house and it helps me walk better and gives me stability. The height is adjustable from 33.5 inches to 38.25 inches. I second Dagmar’s caution to be careful if you are sitting in it and try to get up while the rollator is in a locked position on a tile floor. If your pushing away from the rollator while attempting to stand, the rollator can slip backwards on the tile even if locked.
MemberDecember 9, 2020 at 8:18 pm
I ordered the Drive Nitro Euro Hemi (for short people.) I am only 5 ft tall. I’ll let you know!
MemberDecember 10, 2020 at 8:26 am
Thanks for all of the tips! Quick insurance question…does insurance typically cover the cost of a rollator or is this usually an out-of-pocket expense?
MemberDecember 10, 2020 at 11:44 am
Usually out of pocket expense. You could try the route of having your doctor prescribe one for you – – and then check with your health insurance. Plans vary a lot in what they cover.
MemberDecember 10, 2020 at 3:31 pm
My doctor wrote me a prescription, but Medicare told me they only cover 1 piece of DME (durable medical equipment) per 5 years. I have straight Medicare Plan G.
I figure if I eventually need a power chair I would use the coverage for that. Seems ridiculous for ALS only 1 equipment per 5 years. So I ordered my rollator from Walmart.com.
MemberDecember 10, 2020 at 5:56 pm
Thank you Dagmar for your posts about having a rollator. I was diagnosed in October, though my symptoms began last February. In April I bought a rollator and find it most helpful upstairs, where my bedroom and bathroom is. It’s a great help especially in the bathroom, when I am at the sink and need to sit down at times. I have a traditional metal walker for the main level where our kitchen and living area is and that’s worked fine. After reading what you said about your rollator and how much it helps you, I decided to order a second one, off of Amazon. What you wrote really made me think about the benefit of having one to keep in the car, for using outside of the house. It made sense what you described about how much easier it was to have it for the outdoors, as well as indoors, away from home. I had been taking my metal walker, and have found it increasingly more difficult to deal with uneven pavement, cracks in the sidewalk, or really any surface that isn’t smooth. It’s getting delivered tomorrow and I’m excited! My husband does all the lifting and packing things when we leave the house, as I can no longer drive, much less lift things, so having it always in the car will be a major help! And I only have you to thank!!
MemberDecember 12, 2020 at 6:48 pm
You are certainly welcome Carolyn 🙂 And…I’m happy the idea of having a “pony express of rollators” strategically placed around your home is working for you 🙂
MemberDecember 10, 2020 at 6:13 pm
Thanks again for information. So grateful for this group.
MemberDecember 11, 2020 at 8:24 am
Oh, I hope my wife doesn’t see this! She’s been bugging me to get either an off-road electric quad bike, an off-road wheelchair (grrrr… I CAN still walk), or some way of enabling me to join her on walks. We used to walk and run miles together up mountains, over tough terrain.
I wonder if a rollator might just be the right thing to give me a bit more confidence.
MemberDecember 12, 2020 at 11:24 am
David – – make your wife happy 🙂 and check out all the great suggestions for rugged, outdoor rollators found on this Topic thread: https://alsnewstoday.com/forums/forums/topic/look-whats-new-in-mobility/
And, here is a link to a rollator created for outdoor hikes: https://www.easycomforts.com/buy-trust-care-let-go-out-outdoor-rollator-370776?sourcecode=30509000130&gclid=Cj0KCQiA8dH-BRD_ARIsAC24umbmkd-ppWkfROvhPZIWvdiRMyPY74PowpKZOHGnydUK9ywZgNM5lfYaAnGjEALw_wcB
MemberDecember 12, 2020 at 2:34 pm
Hi Dagmar, my wife is right behind me as I type. She’s still trying to persuade me to get one of these: https://www.eco-rider.co.uk/electric-quad-bikes-for-mobility/ We live on the edge of expansive moor land, close to the English Lake District, where my Dad lives and I was brought up. I have many friends with quads, so I’ll see if I can still ride one.
In the meantime, I’m still keen to get a Trionic rollator. I’ll keep you informed.
MemberDecember 12, 2020 at 2:42 pm
David – – that is a mighty-looking “ride.” 🙂 The Trionic looks good too.
If you end up getting one (or both!) let us know your rating/review of it.
MemberDecember 13, 2020 at 7:14 pm
This recent column I wrote isn’t filled with specific tips for using a rollator – – but has some valuable motivation if you are a “beginner rollator-user.” ….building self-confidence, breaking down the challenges, and always… a sense of humor.
Of course, you can use the same strategies for the other challenges ALS throws at us. Hope this helps you too.
MemberDecember 16, 2020 at 9:29 am
GET THE QUAD BIKE!! You will experience the freedom of being outside and independent. I feel SO great when I can ride my TRI-bike. It is a moment of pure pleasure!
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