A Guide on How to Correctly Use a Rollator in the Home and Outside

Staying mobile is crucial for maintaining independence for numerous individuals. It not only enables freedom to participate in activities but also helps delay the onset of or improve certain health conditions by keeping movement consistent.

Moreover, maintaining mobility significantly enhances psychological well-being. When mobility starts to decline despite using a walking aid, experiencing a fall, or struggling with distances, the impact can be substantial. This is precisely when a walking frame can truly provide control!

Maintaining Mobility

Engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and making healthy lifestyle choices can enhance your strength and reduce discomfort over time.

Activities such as walking or even standing can be effective in preventing and sometimes reversing conditions like chest infections, joint pains, and pressure sores, among others.

Whether it’s a short distance from a wheelchair to a commode or a leisurely 20-minute walk along the seafront, the health advantages are evident.

However, it’s crucial to manage the risk of injury, especially from falls, and this is where walking frames play a vital role, provided you know how to use them safely.


Now, let’s explore ways to enhance your safety, confidence and freedom while using a walking frame.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the variety and terminology of mobility aids. Terms like “Zimmers”, “rollators”, “trolley rollers”, and “wheeled frames” are commonly used, but they don’t always refer to the same type of device.

From a professional perspective, a “Zimmer” typically describes a four-wheeled frame, while a “rollator” is a two-wheel, two-ferrule frame. A “trolley” usually refers to an indoor four-wheeled walker with shelves, and a “roller” or “wheeled walker” generally denotes a four-wheeled outdoor frame.

However, users, manufacturers, and suppliers often use their own terminology, so we would advise you to check images or visit a showroom before purchasing a frame is advisable. You can explore our selection of rollers in our “Walking Aids” section.

Secondly, it’s essential to choose a frame that suits your specific needs. Traditional NHS-provided frames like “Zimmers” and two-wheeled walkers are known for their reliability but may appear cumbersome and dull. They typically lack manoeuvrability and can’t effectively assist with outdoor mobility.

Indoors, these frames are limited in scope because they require the use of both hands simultaneously, restricting your ability to perform daily tasks independently. It’s important to select a mobility aid that enhances your independence and supports your lifestyle effectively and our team are on hand to help.

Taking it Step by Step: Prioritising Safety

When using an indoor walker for the first time, begin by ensuring it is adjusted to the right height for you. The handles should align with your wrist height. Next, assess your surroundings.

Avoid areas with changes in levels, varying textures, or potential trip hazards, as the rear ferrules may catch on surfaces or wires, causing the frame and you to become unbalanced. To start moving with the walker, shift your weight onto the front of the frame while releasing pressure from the back.

Then, with a slight bend in your elbows, gently slide the walker forward. Step into the frame with your first foot, followed by your second foot, before moving the frame again. For a smoother and more continuous stride, consider using a 4-wheeled walker.

When it comes to changing direction or navigating doorways, take your time, you are not in a rush! Since the wheels are fixed, you’ll need to pivot or lift the frame and take small side steps. Focus on moving your feet only when all four feet of the frame are securely on the ground to maintain balance and minimise the risk of falling.

Ready for More Exploration?

Enhance your mobility with the versatility of accessorized 4-wheeled walkers. Equipped with suspension, brakes, seats, and baskets, these walkers offer multifunctional benefits, enabling fluid movement within various activities beyond simple point A to point B transportation.

4 Wheel Walker (Rollator)

Now that you’ve selected your rollator, let’s ensure you know how to use it effectively.

If you have chosen a 4-wheeled walker, it’s very simple to begin walking with it. Adjust the height to your comfort, hold the frame with both hands, look forward and begin walking with your natural strides.

Unlike 2-wheeled walkers, you don’t need to push the frame forward. Simply walk, aiming to land your front foot just inside the base of the frame, in line with the rear wheels, with each step. Maintain a smooth momentum for safety and stability.

If you find yourself hunching over or reaching too far forward, the walker may be moving too quickly for you. It might be best to consider using a 2-wheeled walker or trying a slower-paced practice on a carpet before going outside.

Remember, the most important tip is to engage the brakes when stationary – whether standing, sitting, or transferring. Proper use of your walking aid ensures safety and confidence, allowing you to go the distance with ease!

For more details about our mobility equipment, or advice from our occupational health therapist don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our devoted team is here to offer the support you need.

Related blogs:

How to Choose the Ideal Walking Aid

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