HOW TO CHOOSE A MOBILITY SCOOTER
The benefits of owning a mobility scooter are many. However, one of the greatest benefits is the independence and freedom that the rider gains when purchasing a mobility scooter, whether for the first time or upgrading to a model with newer features. Mobility scooters make the home and the community more accessible, while maintaining safety and conserving the rider’s energy.
There are several important factors to consider when choosing a mobility scooter, such as, physical ability requirements, weight limits, and specific needs. If you are unsure of what you need, or options available to you, the following guide will walk you through some of the most important considerations when buying a power mobility scooter.
IS A MOBILITY SCOOTER FOR ME?
Generally speaking, individuals with lower body disability, loss of balance, weakness or fatigue, and those who have difficulty moving around despite the use of alternative assistive devices are ideal candidates for a mobility scooter. Mobility scooters can also benefit those with systemic or whole-body disabling conditions such as disabling arthritis, coronary or lung issues, obesity, etc. In most cases the average user has the ability to walk short distances, however daily activities are limited due to poor stamina. In these cases, a mobility scooter can be extremely helpful.
CAN I OPERATE A MOBILITY SCOOTER?
In order to successfully operate a mobility scooter an individual would need to demonstrate:
- Good upper body strength
- Adequate control of torso
- Dexterity to operate controls
- Ability to transfer to and from the scooter seat
- Good shoulder range of motion
It is also important to consider the weight capacity of the scooter you are looking to purchase. Manufactures generally recommend choosing a scooter that offers a higher weight capacity than the weight of the user, this allows the battery to operate more efficiently. Maxing out the weight capacity of the scooter can drain the battery quicker and shorten its lifespan.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 3-WHEEL AND 4-WHEEL SCOOTERS?
When choosing a mobility scooter, deciding between a 3-wheel and 4-wheel scooter will greatly depend on how you plan to use it. While 3-wheel scooters are somewhat less expensive than 4-wheel scooters, the main consideration when choosing between the two is whether it will be primarily used indoors or outdoors. While 3-wheel scooters have a better turning radius beneficial for maneuverability indoors, 4-wheel scooters offer a smoother ride for rough and uneven outdoor terrain.
3-Wheel Mobility Scooter:
- Smaller and narrower
- Ample leg space for taller people and those with knee pains
- Limited to only smooth surfaces
- Not recommended for outdoor travel, due to rough terrain
4-Wheel Mobility Scooter
- Wider wheel base
- Advanced full suspension system
- Light indicators and horns
- More power and Range for outdoor travel
- Not recommended for indoor use, due to wider wheel base that limits turning radius
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOBILITY SCOOTERS?
Mobility scooters come in many different shapes, sizes, and functionality based on their specifications for intended use and the technology they provide. The following are some of the types of scooters available to you.
All Terrain Scooter
- Travel scooter
- Perfect for people always on the go
- Practical scooter for every-day use
- Easy to maneuver and fit into narrow spaces
- Easily fold for storage
- Fit comfortably in the back of a car or truck
Bariatric/Heavy Duty Scooter
- Designed specifically for bariatric patients
- Weight capacity of more than 500 lbs
- Bigger motors
- Heavy Duty Tires
- Wider base for comfort and support
- Equipped with mechanisms to maintain balance on rough terrains
- Generally used for outdoor travel
- Smaller than all-terrain scooters
- Built sturdy for rough terrain
- Superior tread for all-terrain
- Aerodynamic base for smooth and speedy travel
- Superior suspension to withstand bumps and ditches
- Many have cases and baskets to carry important equipment/items
Choosing the mobility scooter that is right for you doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. It is just a matter of knowing what you want, what you need, and how the many options available fit your criteria. As you read this guide, we are sure it has sparked many more questions. Our local mobility experts are ready to answer your questions and help you find the best mobility scooter for you.
We work with people every day who are making decisions about which mobility scooter will meet their specific lifestyle needs. When purchasing a mobility scooter from Active Mobility Innovations, you can be sure of two things: reliable, friendly service and a great selection of options to meet your individual mobility needs. Please contact Active Mobility Innovations to answer your questions and discuss how we can help you gain more independence today!
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