As a result of the continuous progress and development of medicine and health care knowledge, more people are living longer but the consequences accompanying aging are not easy to escape. Most of the older adults experience osteoporosis, joint pains as a result of arthritis, muscle aches, and others suffer from neurologic deficits like paraplegia or Parkinson’s disease or musculoskeletal problems such as hip dislocation or wearing of the patella. These conditions cause difficulty or worse, painful movement hence limiting the ability of the individual to perform leisure or routine activities and this decreases the quality of life for these people.
With this predicament, modern rehabilitation scientists and health care professionals have developed devices that are meant to facilitate and assist these elderly clients to move. Examples of these assistive devices include canes, the rolling walker, crutches and wheel chairs. One of the common assistive devices used by these people who suffer from these conditions is walkers. Unlike their ancestor the cane, walkers offer a wider base of support and are more stable with a higher capability of preventing falls and other injuries.
However, recent studies have shown that there are a number of people using walkers who experience difficulties with using these devices and it tends to interfere with the ability to maintain balance in situations like walking up a flight of stairs or in uneven surfaces. There are also some who complain of the excessive strength and demands needed to utilize canes and walkers.
These concerns prompted the development of rolling walkers or also called rollators. This is a regular walker but attached with tires so as to avoid the lifting that is needed in a standard walker to facilitate movement. It makes walking and movement smoother and more appreciated by the person using it since it avoids the process of lifting the standard walker from one point to another. Aside from the benefit that using these walkers with wheels offers a greater sense of independence to its user.
Furthermore, the rolling walker allows personalization of the equipment such as the size of the wheels. One may choose larger wheels so that it is easier to get through rough roads or smaller set of tires when these assistive devices are used only indoors. The person also can select whether to have the wheels fixed in one position or wheels that can be swiveled.
Additional innovations to ensure safety of using rolling walkers were also developed such as the lock that may be placed on the wheels so that the person would not slide while maintaining a standing position. There are also rollators with brakes in them to further control the use of the device in case the user is losing strength and balance.
These assistive devices have gone a long way from the traditional materials such as sticks that are used to help people suffering from different ailments. Despite these things, there is still much research needed to see and resolve all problems associated with the equipments or improve the design that includes more benefit to the user.
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