Rollators are a mobility device. They are a step up from canes for providing stability. For people with stamina issues a rollator with a seat provides a place to sit and rest also. I have used a rollator with a seat for about 2 years for these reasons. I have also found the rollator useful in almost as many ways as MacGuyvier did a paperclip.
The transition from cane to rollator is not easy emotionally. It means you became less mobile. However, when I broke my arm and couldn’t use my rollator, I missed it. Miss the awkward loading in and out of the car? No. My many uses of the rollator give me a level of independence that I missed.
Ok, so, what can the rollator do besides offering walking assistance and a seat? The first other use that I found and continue daily is carrying drinks and food. Yep, that seat is a rolling side table. Phones, laptops, tablets, books, purses, you get the idea, are all easily carried as well. I try not to combine beverages and a laptop in the same ‘carry’ – beverages do like to slosh when the wheels hit the slightest bump.
Think about what else a rollator can carry. Laundry baskets, cleaning supplies, toilet paper packages, and paper towel packages all rollator travel. Speaking of travel, the rollator is great at carrying suitcases, totes, and backpacks too. Pretty much anything you would normally carry that can fit on the seat, the rollator can carry. My kids have even borrowed my rollator to move their heavy items. Just keep in mind your rollator’s seat weight limit.
Can it become a tool in chores? Yes it can. Add an empty box to the seat, roll around a room or two and add what needs to leave the room to the box. When done, simply roll the box to where it should go. You can carry the trash bags to the dumpster, recycling to the bin, and a favorite, groceries from the car to the kitchen. How? Think about putting heavy bags and large items on the seat. Lighter bags can be hung from the handles and any other strong rollator ‘hooks’.
A shower aid? Well, I use it, with brakes engaged as an additional grab bar, towel rack, and clothing holder. Getting in and out of a shower can be challenging with a dropped foot. Depending on my day, I may need another grab bar away from a wall in the form of a rollator handle. Likewise, sometimes it helps to temporarily hang the towel on a rollator handle.
A new use I discovered today was carrying my vacuum cleaner. With balance issues I normally leave vacuuming to other household members. However, things spill I would prefer to clean up sooner. Sometimes it works sweeping messes into what I call an amusement park trash sweeper, a standing long handle dustpan. Messes on a rug call for a vacuum. I loaded the vacuum onto the seat and rolled it to the spill, plugged it in, and then used an attachment to suck up the mess. It was easier to wrap the cord back on having the vacuum on the rollator. Then I just rolled it back to the closet!
What is on my rollator right now? A sweater is draped over the back rest and a baseball cap is hanging from a height adjustment knob. I am ready to sit outside on a sunny warm afternoon! Who knows what other uses I will find for this versatile mobility device, my paperclip in disguise.
My MS Tips/Hacks.