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From a therapists perspective the following items need to be included in walker designs:

1- A walker needs to be light enough so that it can be picked up and put in a car, however it should not be too light! If it is too light it is not helpful to hold someone upright, but will simply tip over if a person starts to fall.

2-Large wheels are helpful for navigating indoor rugs & thresholds & uneven pavement outdoors.

3-For Rollator-style walkers front wheels that are designed to rotate 360 degrees are ideal for most users. Some manufacturers have placed a locking mechanism on the front wheels (that rotate 360 degrees) so the user has the option to keep them fixed in a forward position if desired.

4- If it is a Rollator style walker it should be designed so that it can stand upright by itself when folded. (Many Rollators are not designed to stand when folded & will fall over when placed in a folded upright position - frustrating for a user who is sitting in a restaurant & wants to fold the walker & place it out of the aisle.)

Tennis Balls on the Back...

For Standard Walkers: There are plastic walker glides people can attach to the bottom of the walker that function like tennis balls. Walkers have also been designed with spring loaded balls placed in the bottom of the walker's back legs.  When walking forward the balls glide. If a person is falling & puts weight on the walker the balls retract inside the legs, leaving only rubber edges so it won't roll. These walkers with the spring loaded balls never caught on. I am not sure why. Bad advertising? Or did too much grit get caught inside with the balls preventing them from rolling...?

Exchangeable feet

Technically the wheels on a standard walker can already be exchanged using a screw driver.  People can apply smaller or larger wheels to a standard walker frame. The problem is that it is not quick and easy to do so, so most people will put one size wheel, or a 'flat bottomed walker leg' on and use it everywhere.  The idea of making this more easily exchangeable has some merit. I can foresee a few ways this might be done. The ideal would be to shoot for creating a walker that has legs/wheels that don't need to be removed, but just inherently work well in all situations - indoors or outdoors - for the majority of people. 

Bags & Transport of Items

There are already many bags, cupholders, clip on trays, baskets etc designed for 'standard walkers' that allow users to carry dinner plates, cups etc.  If the user has the physical skills to use a 'Rollator-style' walker, then these usually come with a seat, which makes a great place to put plates etc for transport.


 I like the idea of the podnarover. Without having tested it, my first concern would be whether the three wheels will give enough support on  slightly sloped, uneven terrain. It 'looks' like it will fold up easily & ideally be light enough for someone to pick up and easily place in the car.

Good Walker Design

An example of a walker that I like as a therapist: Escape Rollator by Triumph. Triumph has also released a new, modern rollator/transport  chair, which I have not tested yet, but believe looks interesting as well. See:

Rhonda Bonecutter, OTR/L