Walker-Rollator Preventative Maintenance Guide
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “happy wife, happy life.” Well the same goes for your Walker Rollator, if you keep it happy, you’ll be happy. This starts with what we call general rollator maintenance, that ideally should be done every 3 months. In the article, I’ll be providing you with a general checklist of things to look out for that’ll help prolong the lifespan of your rollator by a wide margin.
- Brake check
- Back Rest
When it comes to the brake check, what you’re typically looking for is appropriate tension on the brake cables. Good tension is the key element that keeps the brake cable from becoming soft and ineffective. Now all rollators will come with some sort of an adjuster screw (see picture below) that will allow you to adjust the tension of your brake however you please. In terms of maintenance, brake cables will always loosen tension over time with use and inevitably lead your brakes to stop working. A few simple turns of the screw to add tension back into the cables will have you back on track!
Now we come to an interesting point, you may be asking yourself “how do you do proper maintenance on wheels?” The answer to that question is … unfortunately you really can’t do much. Now that doesn’t mean you 100% can’t do any maintenance at all. One thing that you can do, would be every couple of days to just give the wheels a good spin to see if they are spinning smoothly. If not, you can still wash down the wheels or even take a thin brush and really wipe down the creases in the wheels. This way you can remove any dirt or gunk that could have caused the wheels to not spin as smoothly. Also make sure to be looking out for any flat spots on the treads of the wheel. If you do notice one, then at this point you should be looking to bring it in for a service repair ASAP! Now last but not least, if you have the ability you should always be looking to apply any form of lubricant on the bearings as that will prolong the lifespan of the wheels greatly. With that being said, walker bearings aren’t very easy to get at. If you find that trying to lubricate the bearings would prove too challenging then I highly recommend that you bring the walker in for a service appointment, that way saving you time and effort.
Now most rollators will have handles that can be adjusted to meet a certain height. Some have this option offered through a push button, but a majority of the walkers you’ll see will have this option offered with an adjustable knob of some sort. What you should always be looking out for is to make sure that the knob is fully twisted clockwise. You might have noticed that the handle bars will sometimes feel loose when you're holding onto them. This is caused by the knob starting to untighten in the socket. To prevent this from happening you should always be checking the tightness of the knob and making sure that it's as tight as possible. I recommend checking the knobs at the end of every week to make sure that they stay tight.
As obvious as this sounds, maintenance on the backrest comes down to how well you treat it on a day to day basis. You should never be grabbing the rollator by the backrest when putting it in the car. This can damage the foam of the backrest or you can be causing damage to the bracket and/or screws that support it, which is just as important. Another thing to note is that the backrest wasn’t designed to carry any sort of load, this even includes something you may normally consider a light object. Like stated before, the brackets that hold the back up were created for one purpose and that is to keep the backrest at a good position to provide you with support while you take a rest on the rollator.
A quick aside, an occasional check under the seat cushion is also advised. Some seats are clip-ins and others are held in by screws, either way regular check ups are recommended to make sure the seat hasn’t started to come apart.
At the end of the day if you can follow the 4 main checkpoints, you should be able to prolong the lifespan of your rollator beyond what was advertised when you bought it. Like I said before as long as the rollator is happy, you’ll be happy too!