Rollator for seniors: Safer on the go on foot

Rollator for seniors: Safer on the go on foot

Rollator for seniors: Safer on the go on foot

For years, more and more seniors have been seen moving around with the help of a walker. For many, this initially looks very simple, but those who rely on such walking aids often have problems with it, for example when getting on the bus. Special training courses can help.

Handling of walkers not so easy More and more often you can see older people in particular who use a walker to get around. Many seniors need such a helper, for example after a stroke. However, neurological diseases that are accompanied by progressive insecurities and restrictions in movement or complicated fractures of the joints and bones can also be reasons for using a walker. Some seniors use the walking aid because of the general decline in physical strength in old age. For outsiders, the use looks very simple, but the handling of rollators is not that easy. Even when used correctly, complaints such as wrist pain can quickly arise.

Special rollator training Such a walking aid offers more mobility for many people. For Ursula Maslowski, her rollator means a bit more quality of life. "Before that, I was in a wheelchair," said the 84-year-old, who has been living in the St. Mauritius Abbey in Bochum for five years, according to a news agency dpa. With her rollator she can now walk short distances. The 84-year-old recently took part in a special rollator training course and has since become safer, especially when braking and overcoming curbs.

Attracting attention at the traffic lights Usually, a training course is set up in the training courses, which the seniors walk with the walker. The pitfalls that cause problems are almost always the same. First of all, the pedestrian lights should be mentioned here. In a large number of people you hardly have a chance to come over safely with a rollator. "It is important to stand at the very front and draw attention to yourself," explained Cornelia Brodeßer, who works with Verkehrswacht Bonn and offers rollator training. The easiest way to do this is to use a bell like the one you get in a bike shop.

Soft tires and big wheels Another problem that often arises is getting around on cobblestones. Since the walking aid has no shock absorbers, the hard paving stones shake the driver properly. It is best to choose softer tires. Larger bikes are also more comfortable: "Not every hubbel is passed on one to one," said Brodeßer. In addition, she stated: "Other tires can also be useful in the park, for example if the paths are strewn with gravel gravel".

Problems in the bus and at home Brodeßer calls getting on the bus or train “the supreme discipline”. Since many buses are not lowered, seniors should know how to tip the rollator properly when boarding and stabilize it with the brakes. During the special training sessions, they also learn that there are often pushbuttons with a wheelchair symbol on buses that signal to the driver that he should stop longer because someone cannot get in or out so quickly. People often have problems at home too. "Less than ten percent of the apartments are barrier-free," explained Prof. Clemens Becker, chief physician of the clinic for geriatric rehabilitation at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart. As a result, most rooms are difficult to get through the doors or around corners. In addition, walking backwards, for example to sit on a chair, is often difficult.

Particular dangers in mud and snow It is particularly difficult to maneuver with a rollator in mud, rain or ice. If a layer of ice has formed on the streets, the only thing left to do is to put on solid shoes with spikes. In winter and at dusk it is also advisable to attach reflectors to the rollator. Dirty, glued tires should be cleaned after every walk in bad weather, especially where the brakes rest on the tires. Caution is also advised when going downhill, because then the rollator develops an undesirable dynamic and becomes faster and faster. This can only be avoided if the speed is reduced all the time with a lightly braking brake. “You can also steer with the brakes,” says Brodeßer. (ad)

Image: Karl-Heinz Laube /

Author and source information

Video: Rolling Walker. Rollator with seat and brakes for Seniors