Mobility scooters give the eldery or those with disabilities an independent way to navigate their local community. It allows them to participate in local events, further enriching their social lives and the experiences of others. In short, mobility scooters are crucial parts of many people’s lives.
To ensure that a loved one (or yourself) gets the most out of a mobility scooter, it’s essential to think about the features that they’re going to need.
Mobility scooters come in many different forms and sizes with a range of features. There are foldable mobility scooters, portable mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs and more. It can be confusing for those who are new to the market.
To make the process easier, it’s important to understand the different types of mobility scooters. Additionally, you need to know how each one relates to the personal requirements and preferences of the potential user.
To help, we’ve created a list of things to consider when buying a mobility scooter.
Where does the user need to go?
First and foremost, you need to know the types of places the user needs to go to. Then, you need to consider the size and maneuverability of the scooter and how it suits the locations that the user will be travelling to.
For example, for users that will be travelling to indoor places, a light, three-wheel mobility scooter would be ideal. Because of it’s small size, three-wheel scooters are generally easier to maneuver around tight corners and narrow pathways. Users who often go to shopping malls will benefit from a three wheeler. It is recommended that smaller scooters are only used on flat even surfaces.
If the user is an outdoors person, then a medium to large four-wheel scooter might be more suitable. Medium-sized scooters can be used in outdoor areas with uneven surfaces. Larger-size scooters usually have a suspension system that allows users to navigate through steep paths and bumpy terrains. Additionally, four-wheel scooters also offer more stability than its three-wheel counterparts.
How far will they need to go?
When it comes to mobility scooters, battery usage is an important consideration. It might seem like a no-brainer to immediately go for the scooter with longer battery life. However, since such scooters are more expensive, it’s better to think about how much you’re going to use it.
If the user often goes outdoors and travels long distances, then, yes, large scooters with larger batteries are ideal. However, if the user only travels when shopping for necessities or doing errands, a smaller, less-expensive scooter might be enough.
Another thing to consider is portability. If the user goes on family roads trips, it might be necessary to fit it in the boot of a car. In this case, consider a foldable or portable mobility scooter.
Ease of use
Each user is going to be different. As a result, the physical attributes of the user must be considered when choosing a mobility scooter. Comfort is extremely important especially for those who are going to be using the scooter for extended periods of time.
For taller users, a three-wheel scooter with plenty of legroom would be ideal. The size of the seats and the handles are also important considerations. For smaller users, make sure the seat height is appropriate. In addition, you can also buy an electric wheelchair if necessary. It provides better back support and can be customised to the user’s preference.
For individuals that might have trouble with complex control mechanisms, it’s best to find a scooter that’s easy to use and maneuver.
Physical limitations will also need to be considered. Those with hearing impairments, arthritis and joint pain might require special features. If this is the case, we recommend consulting with mobility and rehabilitation service providers. Consulting with health care professionals regarding the use of scooters with certain medical conditions is also helpful.
Whoever is using the scooter, make sure that they know how to properly use it. Although mobility scooters are generally safe, there are still risks involved in using them.
Of course, there’s the price tag. When getting a mobility scooter, it’s nice to have all sorts of features. However, if they’re not going to be used, it would just be a waste of money. As a result, it’s important to consider what the user can and can’t go without. Is a longer battery life necessary for the user’s lifestyle? Will a second-hand scooter suffice?
If you’re thinking about getting a power chair, consider if the user really needs that extra back support. Electric wheelchairs are generally a lot more expensive than a mobility scooter and you wouldn’t want to spend more money than you have to.
Like with any purchase, you have balance cost with the features that you’re getting.
The Australian Government offers a range of schemes and grants designed to subsidise or even cover the cost of mobility equipment. It’s worth exploring these options to find out if you’re eligible for support. Also Read here what you need to know about government funding for mobility scooters.
With such technology, the eldery and those with disabilities are now able to experience a level of independence that they might otherwise not have had. To make sure that the user gets the best experience as possible, consider the points we’ve discussed above. Think about the user’s preferences and needs.
If you have any questions or concerns, consult with mobility scooter providers or health care professionals.