Going up and down sidewalks with rollators is quite similar to going over a threshold inside a house. The only difference is that sidewalks are usually higher.
Some people prefer to pick up the rollator while stepping onto the sidewalk. However, this method isn’t safe since there is no support from the rollator when it’s being lifted up. The weight of the rollator can also unbalance the user even more. For this reason, it’s important to learn how to do it in a safer way, with the help of the ‘curb climber’ that most rollators have.
This is the third lesson in a four-part series on how to correctly use a rollator outdoors.
Going up a sidewalk
- Drive with the rollator close to the curb.
- Tilt the rollator backwards, towards you. If the rollator is equipped with a ‘curb climber’, push it down with your foot so that the front wheels lift off the ground.
- Ride the rollator forward on the rear wheels until the front wheels are above the sidewalk. Let the front wheels go down onto the sidewalk.
- Step forward until the rear wheels get closer to the sidewalk.
- Lift the rear wheels onto the sidewalk.
- Step onto the sidewalk while supported by the rollator.
Going down a sidewalk
Always pay attention to the traffic when stepping off sidewalks with rollators, and make sure you have enough time to cross the street (if applicable).
- Get to the edge of the sidewalk and stay close to the rollator.
- Drive the front wheels down the sidewalk and engage the brakes.
- Take a step forward to be closer to the rollator, whilst holding the brakes.
- Release the brakes and drive the rear wheels down the sidewalk.
- Engage the brakes and step down the sidewalk. This way the rollator supports you.
Some people prefer to use ramps or slopes instead of sidewalks. This is a personal preference. We’ll teach you how to do that safely in the next lesson.
Tip: Walking up and down sidewalks is something to practice with your physiotherapist. It is not recommended to lift the rollator up the sidewalk as it can be too heavy and unsafe.
Take a look at this video to see how to correctly walk up and down sidewalks with rollators.
Next lesson: Walking on slopes