How to put a rollator walker into the car trunk?
My mother uses a rollator walker but she struggles getting it into and out of her trunk.
Do you have any recommendations to make this easier? REPLY from Caring-for-Aging-Parents.com:
Elderly who need a rollator walker often have decreased strength and endurance. So lifting a walker into and out of a car can be a challenge.
The first thing to think about is the weight of the rollator walker. If you haven't purchased one yet or can afford to upgrade, consider a lightweight version.
When considering purchase, I always recommend that seniors try out the walker but also try lifting it into and out of their car. Different versions fold differently (in the middle, front to back).
A few rollator walkers come with a latch to hold the walker together once folded but many do not.
Most regular walkers are between 16 - 19 lbs. Rollator walkers for heavier people are usually 20 - 22 lbs. Lightweight versions can be as light as 13 - 15 lbs.Recap of options to consider when buying a rollator walker
When considering all aspects of a rollator walker, including folding it up and putting into or out of a trunk, consider:
If you already have a walker, tips for getting it into your car...
- the weight; having a lightweight walker can make it easier to get into and out of the vehicle.
- how it folds (in the middle, front to back); does this make it easier to get into your particular vehicle?
- are parts removable (ie. basket) to make it more compact?
- does it have a latch to hold it together once it is folded?
Soft Material Folder
- if there is no latch to hold it together when folded, consider making a holder. Velcro closures can work great for this. It is much easier to lift a rollator walker that stays together once folded than one that flops apart and may put you off balance.
- consider other areas of the car for storage; sometimes seniors find that lifting a walker into and out of their backseat is easier than the trunk.
- if you're lifting it into the backseat, you can often leave it almost upright (though folded) if you move the front seat forward.
open the door or trunk as wide as possible
- once you have found a way to keep your walker securely together once folded, bend with your knees, hold onto the bottom part of the walker (do not grab one of the closer upper bars), lift with your knees (not your back) and move the walker into the car.
- I've seen some seniors use a blandet to help slide the walker into a trunk. This works ok but not great.
There are a few companies that sell a different type of lift-assist. It involves attaching a durable material to the back of the trunk that folds out from there. You place the wheelchair (likely could be used for a walker) into the material and fold it up. Then you use built in handles on the material to lift the wheelchair (or walker) into the trunk.
I have never used one but have seen them on the internet (though you have to search quite hard). Lifts
Another option is considering a lift to help get the walker into and out of the vehicle.
The drawbacks is lifts are very expensive and, though there are many options for lifts for wheelchairs or scooters, there are no lifts specifically for walkers (please share if I'm wrong!). So the lifts or attachment system would have to be altered for the walker.
Lifts for vehicles vary in price but may be $1200+ for an installed version. If you decide to look into this, use a certified dealer and check the weight capacity of the lift (it should be good for a walker as they are usually meant for wheelchairs or scooters). Vehicle Set-Up
Seniors often find it easier to lift walkers into and out of hatchbacks that are low to the ground. There is more room and they don't have to lift the walker as high.
I have worked with the elderly for many years and have practiced this movement with them many times. It is certainly a tough situation that has no easy answer.
If any other readers have any tips or tricks that you use to make lifting a walker into and out of the car or trunk, please share below.