What is a rollator frame or wheeled walking frame?
It is a lightweight aluminium frame. It has two wheels at the front and two sticks with a rubber ferrule at the back.
Can a rollator frame or wheeled walking frame be used outdoors?
The answer is yes and no. It is designed to be used indoors and is unsafe to use outdoors. However, it can be used on a flush surface outdoors, but definitely not on an uneven surface.
I am using a stick but a frame appears to provide more support. Can I use a frame for mobility instead of a stick?
This is an important question. Many people look at a frame and see that it is has a wider base and has support on three sides. On seeing this, most automatically assume that the frame is more supportive and can prevent falls. However, the truth is strikingly different. Imagine a teenager using a baby walker: they cannot stride forward at a comfortable pace and tend to frequently stumble on the post of the walker in front of them. The same principle applies to a person who uses a frame after being recommended a stick, and vice versa.
Second, if an individual falls with a stick rather than with a frame, they are likely to suffer fewer injuries.
Third, the more an individual has support, the quicker they lose their skill. If a person starts by using a walking frame, it is difficult for them to then use a stick.
Therefore, patients should be assessed by a physiotherapist before acquiring or switching to a walking aid. The more supportive aids introduced to an individual, the more scope for deformity being indirectly inflicted on them. It could even take away their independence.