A mobility scooter can greatly improve a person’s quality of life and offer a renewed a sense of independence. Walks in the park and trips to amusement parks with the grandkids are possible with the help of an electric scooter.
Choosing a mobility aid is a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. Before you invest in a mobility scooter, it’s important to consider the benefits and understand the types of scooters available.
Why Choose a Mobility Scooter?
Mobility scooters offer numerous benefits. But the main benefit is freedom. These scooters allow you to enjoy the activities you once loved, like walking around the neighborhood or shopping at the grocery store.
Regaining independence is often reason enough to convince people to invest in a scooter. But if you still need some convincing, here are some other benefits these scooters offer:
No Need for Physical Maneuvering
Unlike with a conventional wheelchair, scooters require no physical maneuvering. People of virtually all mobility levels can use an electric scooter because they’re powered by battery.
There’s no need to have someone push you around. With the push of a button or joystick, you can move your scooter on your own and in whichever direction you please.
Electric scooters are easy to operate. Some have push-button starting, while others start up with the turn of the ignition key. Push the throttle control forward to move forward, or pull it toward you to move in reverse. Steer the handlebars left or right (just like with a bicycle) to move the scooter in your desired direction.
Each model comes with detailed operation instructions, so you can be sure that you understand how to operate every function of your scooter.
Mobility scooters are battery-powered, so they should be charged in between uses to ensure you have all the power you need to get through your next outing. Most models can go up to 25 miles before needing to be recharged.
Mobility scooters are also travel-friendly. Most models are easily portable, and they’re also allowed on public transport.
Whether you’re traveling by car, bus or train, you can take your scooter with you on-the-go.
Mobility scooters are more affordable than ever. With high demand and increased competition, scooters are available at much lower prices than they were two or three years ago.
In some cases, Medicare will cover some or all of the cost of the chair.
New mobility scooters come with many adjustable features for a comfortable fit. From armrest height to seat width and seat height, these scooters can accommodate people of all shapes and sizes.
Types of Electric Mobility Scooters
If you’re sold on the benefits of mobility scooters, you may be wondering which one to choose. There are several types of electric mobility scooters. Understanding each type and its benefits can help you find the right one for your needs.
A three-wheel scooter provides mobility and freedom, but it also offers a tighter turning radius compared to its four-wheel counterparts.
Just as its name suggests, these scooters have three wheels: two in the back and one in the front. Like a true scooter, these models have handles that allow you to steer right or left and a basket to store your essentials.
Comfortable padded seats and a range of adjustable options make these scooters a great fit for just about every user. Sizes range from small to portable travel sizes and large, luxurious models.
Three-wheel models are designed for outdoor use, so they’re a great option for fun day trips.
A three-wheel scooter may be a good fit for you if you:
- Want a scooter for mostly outdoor use
- Have a higher level of mobility
- Need to make tighter turns
Just like a four wheel walker, four-wheel scooters are more stable and sturdy than their three-wheel counterparts, making them a great option for people with very limited mobility.
These chairs come in a wide range of sizes and styles, many with built-in baskets and anti-tip wheels for better safety.
In most cases, four-wheel scooters come apart for easy transport and have long ranges of up to 30 miles or more.
High-end models have turn signals, parking lights and wide seats for maximum comfort.
A four-wheel scooter may be a good fit for you if you:
- Need more stability
- Have a lower level of mobility
- Plan to use the scooter mostly indoors
If you’re on the go, you need a lightweight scooter that easily fits in the back of your vehicle. That’s exactly what travel scooters offer.
They may not have all of the bells and whistles that regular 3- and 4-wheel scooters offer, but they make it easier to travel in comfort.
Most travel models have three wheels, simple seats and a minimalistic design. Some have folding designs and convenient basket storage. You’ll find a few 4-wheel designs, too, but the 3-wheel design makes it easier to ride the scooter outdoors.
One thing you’ll notice about travel models is that they have a much lower range than other scooter options. Some can go as far as 16 miles before needing to be recharged, but most will only go 6-8 miles before running out of power.
A travel scooter may be a good fit for you if you:
- Need a lightweight mobility scooter
- Don’t plan on riding long distances (e.g. rides in the park or around the neighborhood)
- Have a higher level of mobility
Heavy Duty Scooters
A heavy-duty scooter is designed to accommodate more weight and offers features that make heavier users feel more comfortable while riding. Many models have larger seats, foot rests and arm rests as well as adjustable options to keep the rider safe and comfortable.
Some scooters offer a weight capacity of 550 pounds.
Heavy duty scooters typically come equipped with bigger motors and larger tires. The bases are also wider to offer a more sturdy and stable feel while riding. And because these models usually have bigger tires, they can easily move through grass and other types of terrain that would be difficult for a lightweight model to handle.
On the high-end, heavy-duty scooters can go up to 45 miles before needing to be recharged. In the low-to-mid range, they can go up to 16 miles before need to be recharged.
A heavy-duty scooter may be a good fit for you if you:
- Need a model with a high weight capacity
- Need a scooter that can ride through tough terrain, like grass
Tim is a professional caregiver who has helped hundreds of seniors gain back their freedom and independence. He has been actively helping the senior community for 20+ years.