Selecting a mobility scooter is a significant decision that has a major impact on your quality of life. It would not be an exaggeration to call it one of the crucial choices to make when you age and aim to keep up your physical independence.
While most people have heard about a mobility scooter, and perhaps even seen one being used, very few people have a complete idea about it.
Keeping that in mind, here is a complete guide on mobility scooters that will help you understand its benefits and choose the right one.
So, let’s get started!
What Are Mobility Scooters?
Mobility scooters are made for mobility support like a wheelchair but look like a motor scooter. The distinguishable feature of these products is their appearance. It has three to four wheels, and the seat is placed behind the handlebar, which is used to operate the scooter.
These scooters are battery-powered and offer assistance in going around outdoors, be it for the short trips to the local shops or going around the town. Some of the scooters are even suitable for on-road usage.
Benefits of Using Mobility Scooters
Achieving greater physical independence is the most important benefit of a mobility scooter, but it’s not the only one. Here are the six benefits of using mobility scooters that make it more popular than other support devices:
- Works for both outdoor and indoor use
- The ability to ride on uneven or rough terrain
- Spacious and open design
- Adjustable seats with enough space for moving in and out of the seat easily
- Sleek designs that don’t make it feel or look like a medical aid or a wheelchair
- Available in several sizes and shapes for fitting different spaces and needs
Understanding the Different Classes of Mobility Scooters
Mobility scooters come in two classes based on their purpose of use, namely class 2 and class 3:
- Class 2 mobility scooters:
Class 2 scooters are also called lightweight scooters, boot scooters, or four mph scooters. The speed of 4 mph is just a bit faster than the average walking pace, making these scooters ideal for taking out on the sidewalk.
- Class 3 mobility scooters:
Class 3 scooters are also called road class scooters. They are larger, faster, and more spacious than class 2 scooters. These have lights at the rear and front, along with fitted wing mirrors.
Many people start with class 2 scooters before transitioning to class 3 after they are more comfortable with using the controls.
Who Should Use a Mobility Scooter?
There can be multiple issues causing problems that limit your freedom of movement. It can be ailments, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or simply old age.
- However, you are not the right candidate for using a mobility scooter in the following situations:
- Eyesight problems making it hard to navigate
- Mental challenges as a barrier to navigation
- Issues with sitting steadily in a seat for a considerable amount of time
- Inability to get on and off the mobility scooter without help
In all of the conditions mentioned above, you will have trouble in operating and navigating mobility scooters.
Things to Consider When Buying a Mobility Scooter
You will need your doctor’s approval to buy a mobility scooter. The doctor will probably also suggest the right scooter design for you. Even then, carefully consider the following factors when buying a mobility scooter.
- The ideal terrain for the scooter
Some models are made to be used indoors, while others have turn signals and lights that make them suitable even for highways. Before buying the scooter, think carefully about where you’re planning to use it.
- Portability and weight
Small scooters can be as light as eighty lbs., and even get folded fit in the car trunk. You will need a heavy-duty model for traveling on the roads. These are heavier, but that doesn’t matter because they aren’t meant to be lifted.
- Maneuverability and size
A 3 wheel mobility scooter has a small turning radius, which ensures greater maneuverability indoors. The four-wheeled scooter is more stable and copes better with outdoor usage and uneven terrains.
- Maximum speed
Mobility scooters for indoor use have a speed of around four mph, while those for highway use have approximately eight mph. Though choosing the right scooter based on the terrain is more important, nervous users might feel uncomfortable in faster models.
- Miles per charge
The smaller scooters can travel for six miles on a single charge, while the heavy-duty models usually go up to thirty miles on each charge. The choice depends on the extent of your use.
- Safety and comfort features
Safety features like anti-tip wheels, easy-to-use controller, and easy-brakes are important parts of a good scooter. It should also ensure comfort through padded seats and adjustable seat-backs and armrests.
A mobility scooter will be of immense help to anyone who doesn’t want to depend on others for every move. It’s bound to uplift your spirits when you achieve a certain level of independence despite your age.
Use the information you gathered from above to buy the right mobility scooter for yourself. Make sure to give the scooter a test run to check safety, space, and comfort and not just looks and design, and you’ll have the ideal companion to help with your mobility.