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Zimmer vs Rollator


Registered User
Oct 28, 2016
South Wales
I'm wondering if anyone has experience of this. My OH with vascular dementia has been in a nursing home for two years. His balance is poor and he gets around by using a zimmer. He never leaves his room, just walks from bed to chair then back again. He's never understood the need to lift the back two legs so drags it around with difficulty. He's now decided he wants a rollator and I've bought him one. Now it's here I'm not sure if it's a good idea, or if he will try to lean on it and fall over. I haven't taken it in yet. Maybe I should keep it at home and just take it in when he goes out with us? Anyone got any experience?? I've had a nightmare trying to arrange cataract surgery for the past couple of years, it took place last week and I thought I'd be able to sit back and relax for a bit!! Think he has an endless list of things for me to do...


Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
With my mun the OT said that they don't like PWD using rollators as they don't understand how to stop with them and it causes falls.

My mum does now drag her frame buto didn't when she first had it a few years ago.

Is it worth talking to an OT or the home.


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
I agree with @jugglingmum about PWD not understanding about using the brakes.
OH has had a rollator for nearly 3 years now which he uses to go out. He too has very poor balance and the rollator helped stop him falling. However, since he had some bad UTIs recently I have noticed that he is forgetting how to use the brakes and sometimes it "runs away" with him and at other times he is trying to use it to get up without putting the brakes on first. He now needs a frame indoors and although he too drags the back legs along he is much steadier with it. I dont know how much longer he will be able to continue using the rollator


Registered User
Sep 22, 2014
NW England
A similar exprience to the other posters here.

When I wanted to get a rollator for mum, the care home insisted on her having an OT assessment first, which they arranged. The OT arranged for a rollator for mum (which was free) adjusted it correctly for her and stipulated limitations on when she used it.

She can only use it when she is outdoors, and thus always has someone beside her. Mum has no idea at all about using the brakes.
Within the home she still uses her frame and can safely wander around on her own with this.

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
My partner can't use a rollator as she feels it rolling away and has no idea how to control it let alone how to use the brakes. She takes her zimmer outside, which is not recommended, but it works fine. Good luck, cuppatea,


Registered User
Oct 28, 2016
South Wales
Thanks @jugglingmum @canary and @brambles. After writing my post I was thinking it wouldn't be good to use it in the Home, so you have all confirmed what I thought. I'll just take it in for him to use when we are going out somewhere such as coming home, as then he will always have someone with him. I'll talk to the Home tomorrow when I go in as well.


Registered User
Sep 13, 2014
I’ve worked with older people and their mobility a lot. Sometimes the walking frames with two wheels in the front are best as they roll forward when pushed without being leaned on but when the user leans on the frame the weight goes through the back legs which have normal ferrules at the base and grip the floor. Four wheeled rollaters do tend to run away.


Registered User
Oct 28, 2016
South Wales
Yes @Olliebeak I have come to the same conclusion. OH has poor balance and leans on the frame when he stands up so it will just move away from him and he will fall flat. I couldn't leave it in the Home with him as he stays in his room on his own, so it won't be much use. I also found it's not that compact so not much easier to get n the car. Now I have to explain to OH... Better facing his rage that the complications of breaking bones...

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