If you are a newcomer to walking with a rollator, you should better ask someone to help when going outdoors for the first time. In doing so you can practice guided and be more confident while taking your first steps.
This is the first in a series of four on lessons on how to correctly use a rollator outdoors. It is advisable to take it slowly and first practice walking on an even surface. When feeling comfortable doing it, you can carefully try it also on a bit of a bumpy road.
Start on even surfaces
Adjust the height of the handles to reach your wrist and hold them loosely. If possible, keep your hands around the brakes. As you start walking, ask yourself a couple of question to make sure you do it the right way:
- Do I walk relaxed?
- Do I walk as closely as possible to the rollator?
- Do I walk straight up?
- Do I look ahead?
- Do I lift my feet well?
Keep on practicing and walk a bit further every day. Do not push yourself too hard and rest along the way on the seat of your rollator when getting tired. While practicing walking you will also learn how to handle bumps, curbs, slopes or any other obstacles on the way.
Carrying a bag
If you need to bring a bag, put it in the basket that comes with your rollator. If your rollator does not have one, do not hang the bag on one of the handles as this will make the rollator instable. There is also a risk for the bag to get stuck under the wheel.
Forewarned is forearmed so always look ahead to see holes or any other obstacle on the street. Avoind making sudden movements and take a wide range around the obstacle.
In case one of the four wheels of your rollator gets in a hole, your rollator will becomes instable and you should not lean on it.
What to do in this situation?
- Take a step backwards.
- Tilt the rollator towards you.
- Walk in a wide arch around the hole.
Tip from Rollz-physio Anne-Wil Siegmund:
“Is the sidewalk in your neighborhood bumpy or uneven? Contact your municipality and ask to be fixed. It is often possible they do not know about it so it is a win-win situation. Usually, you have the posibility to complain online, to avoid walking on the bumpy street.”
If you want to known more on how to walk upright with your rollator, to make a turn or hold your hands on it, take a look at this blog.
Next lesson: Going up and down a sidewalk.