According to German newspaper RP Online, over two million Germans now use rollators. That’s roughly 2.5% of Germany’s total population and 12% of the population over 65. The paper also estimated that 500,000 Germans start using a rollator every year.
Why are rollators so popular there?
For one thing, Germany has a much larger elderly population than the US. An estimated 12.8% of Americans are over 65 years old, whereas an estimated 20.3% of Germans are over 65. Plus, rollators were invented and first popularized in Europe. And although they’re now starting to catch on in the States, rollator use still isn’t as widespread as walker use on this side of the Atlantic.
Rollators are not only a part of everyday life in Germany, they’ve even become a part of pop culture. Last year an ad for German Christian music festival Kirchenmusik 2012 featured an elderly woman on a rollator holding up traffic and the cars around her inexplicably honking the tune to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Then a German nursing home in Hanover hosted a Pimp My Rollator competition to help residents from getting their rollators mixed up. And now there’s a German TV show called Old A** B******s which best as I can tell (I don’t actually speak German) is about seniors on mobility aids harassing the youth—yet another great way to keep active in old age.