Disability aids and equipment
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How can I find a suitable adapted outdoor rollator, in London, at any price?

newbornnewborn Member Posts: 541 Pioneering
1. Must be a gutter arm rest. (Not needing weight bearing on hands)

2.   Must shock absorb. (Type of tyre and size, and/or added jolt absorber)

3. Must have drag brakes. (Not needing strong or constant handgrip)

4.  Must be truly lightweight for small user, (not child but thin, short, not at all strong.)  A larger child size device would possibly work.

5. Must include seat,( but back rest not needed.)

6.  Must fold easily .

7. Must NOT have alleged 'kerb lift', which is a name for an obstruction added in order to rip the ankles off the user at every step. 
 (A make called tr*ja is not the only firm, but is one of the few firms producing gutter arm rests for some of their products, (which are unbelievably expensive),  but every one of their rollators have this  wierd ankle-smashing feature, plus they seem to make their products out of iron, to judge by the weight.)

8.  Needs to have a small footprint, to get through crowds etc.

9. Ideally, would have a power assist option

There are individual elements of many of these essential features, in various rollators on the market.

There are various charities and engineers advocated on the Scope site.  But it seems impossible to actually get to speak to one, to get a sensible usable walking aid.  They appear to demand the person first of all produces a list of the thousands of rollators,  proving that none have all seven elements , off the shelf.   

Then, they want the user to buy any one, virtually at random, and ask if it can be altered.    That would make good sense, if there had first of all been proper engineer's advice on which element needs to be first, second, and so on, up to ninth,  which would be the most  easily retro-fitted adaptation of the list.   

E.g. maybe almost  any hand-use rollators can easily have gutter armrests instead of handles. Or maybe hardly any of them can?  Maybe the shock absorbing gadget and tyres is routinely cheaply purchased and easy to fit as an alteration. Or nearly impossible?  The same goes for the drag brake. 

  Probably buying one with the lightest weight is one of the first elements, impossible to change.   But, maybe if it is too light , it would be more unstable with the altered centre of gravity from having the waist high arm rests added?

Should it have 3 wheels or 4, or could it have retrofitted stabilisers?  Can it be small, manoeuverable for small doors and shop aisles, but still be stable on broken paving? 

 Too much shock absorbing and wide soft tyres will make it hard/impossible  to push, especially   uphill.  But the opposite is wheelchairs and rollators with hard wheels, which are blissfully easy for speeding around inside a smoothly hard-floored shop,  but which make it impossible  to reach the shop in the first place, because the uneven pavements transmit every bump as a painful shock. 

Could a clever engineer cannibalise some lightweight miniature motor, intended for a toy, a bike, or skateboard or something, so as to have the best of both worlds by adding it to an ultra light rollator at a low level, (thus correcting the centre of gravity for the gutter arm rests, ) at the same time as letting the user walk uphill, or for a longer distance, by switching on some modest power-assistance? 

 


Replies

  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 532 Pioneering
    Hi @newborn

    Sorry, I'm not going to be able to offer any assistance with this.

    It sounds as if you have already done extensive research of all the different rollators commercially available. I can't claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of all the different makes and models.  DLF do hold fairly detailed lists of commercially available equipment so you might want to check with them if you haven't already: https://www.dlf.org.uk/

    I don't doubt that a skilled and helpful engineer could adapt a commercially available product to make it more suitable to your needs. We normally suggest REMAP https://www.remap.org.uk/ and DEMAND https://www.demand.org.uk/ but I'm guessing these are the organisations that you have already been in touch with, without success. I'm not aware of any other charitable organisations that do this sort of work specifically for disabled people. Someone did tell me that their local 'Men in Sheds' group had assisted with a basic adaption: https://menssheds.org.uk/find-a-shed/ no harm in asking your local group, if you have one, but I suspect this might be beyond their remit.  Unfortunately, with these sort of one-off custom adaptions there aren't any guarantees about the end results and you may well have to risk investing in the item that is closest to your needs in the hope that the final result will meet your needs.

    It sounds as if the Troja Four Wheeled Forearm Rollator is perhaps the closest match to the criteria you have  listed above. I'm wondering if the curb lifter could be removed or the manufacturers could supply one without curb lifter. I believe are made by Topro, who have a UK office:  http://www.topro.co.uk/

    Sorry I have been unable to assist.

    Jean


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    Thank you.  As mentioned in my post, the T. pro Troja is not suitable. 

    It jolts and harms.  Those horrid bumps for blind people, plus the permanently broken uneven paving,  mean I'm only able to walk down  roads on the tarmac,  amid the traffic.

    Sadly, most local authorities  like the vanity of spending huge fortunes on fancy brick paving for high streets, which produces a high risk for pedestrians and a high profit to contractors.   (Only a cynic would ponder the word 'backhander') Best Practice of using smooth surface is used by only a few local authorities, being cheaper, easy and fast to repair,   and safer  for users.

    Tr*ja is so heavy even fit passers -by complain when they try to assist lifting it over every raised brick or threshhold strip.

    .  It has the peculiar device to injure ankles. 

    I had to remove the huge hand held brakes.  Now, I am limited to never going up or down slopes.  Getting the short distance from front door to street is increasingly problematic.    

    There seem to be many thousand charities and sentimental organisations for helping cute children, versus one or two, or none, when they become adult.  That's  why I wondered if it's possible to gain from being so small and light,  and to use something intended for children. 

    But I'm afraid the eager sentimental engineer/ designer who hopes to spend his retirement doing good works for charity will recoil in horror if the 'wrong sort of human' turns out to need his help, even though they are over school leaving age!.

    If your mobility aid is a wheelchair, you can, in theory even if not in practice, get something tailor made, even on n.h.s.     Try to keep a remnant of exercise and movement in your body by struggling with a walker, and  you have a choice of bog standard, or very slightly better, but still almost unusable, and at incredible cost.    (E.g. The tr*ja offers replacement of the armrests, alone,  for hundreds of pounds)

    My theory is there is vast, vast unmet need.   Who are the likely potential  user group for rollators?   Athletes, easily able to bear their weight on their hands? Or old, weak, frail, unsteady, arthritic people with pain in their joints, who need to spread the weight along the entire forearm? 

      People still frequently accost me asking for information about my hated tpro trja, because they didn't know it was even possible to have such an aid for one of their relatives, who cannot get out of the house, cannot even cross the room, because of painful hands and wrists, making it impossible to use the zimmer frames and conventional hand grip walkers they have been issued. 
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