People with medical conditions often have to spend long periods away from work and be inactive so they can get better. Although staying in bed can seem nice at first, it can affect your mental health and even lead to depression.
Fortunately, mobility scooters can save the day and help people who are taking bedrest move around again. These vehicles allow you to take part in day-to-day activities and meet up with friends and family despite being immobile.
However, there are several factors to take into consideration when buying a mobility scooter, and this article will look at the benefits and drawbacks of these scooters. You’ll also be given guidance on how to choose the best scooter to meet your unique needs.
What Is a Mobility Scooter?
A mobility scooter is an electric vehicle and it provides people with mobility problems with a simple way of getting around independently.
Typically, mobility scooters look a little like golf buggies, but they function more like motorized wheelchairs or comfy motor scooters. They don’t travel as fast as motor scooters, and generally only reach speeds of about 8 miles per hour at most.
These vehicles are powered by batteries, have large and padded upright seats, and their controls are simple and straightforward.
There are different types of mobility scooters to choose from, and we’ll take a closer look at them in the next paragraph.
Types of Mobility Scooters
The different kinds of these scooters are suited to different environments, so it’s important that you know more about them before purchasing a new one. Your unique situation will determine which scooter will be best for you.
Travel Scooters/Boot Scooters
These scooters are made for people who want to travel around and can be folded or disassembled into smaller parts that will easily fit in a car.
Travel scooters tend to be small and light but still capable of moving around well with a typical maximum speed of four miles per hour.
Three-wheel mobility scooters are easy to use indoors and have good maneuverability, which is why they’re good for using indoors. They have a good turning radius and they are the most commonly-used scooters for people who don’t spend a lot of time outside.
People who want to move around outside will prefer to use a four-wheel mobility scooter because it’s better suited to the exterior environment (rough terrain, hills, etc.). These scooters are much more stable than others and they won’t tip over easily.
Mid-Sized Scooters/Road Scooters
These mobility scooters are stronger and bigger than travel scooters. They come with larger batteries as well, which means they can travel further in between charges. Road scooters are more comfortable as well, making them good for longer excursions outside.
As the name suggests, these scooters can be used on the road, but they must be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency if you live in or plan to visit the UK.
Also, these mobility scooters can reach up to eight miles per hour, making them quite powerful and fast.
Luxury scooters are a bit fancier than typical mobility scooters and come with more features and look a lot prettier. They are made with higher quality materials as well. Naturally, that also means these scooters come at a higher price tag.
What Are the Pros of a Mobility Scooter?
There are many benefits to using mobility scooters, so there are many reasons to invest in one of these vehicles.
Allows More Physical Movement
The biggest issue people with immobility face is their restricted movement, and with mobility scooters, this can be changed. Even people who have had surgery can move around and still live a happy life thanks to these scooters.
Easy to Control
Mobility scooters are made to be easy to control so there’s no strain put on users. They are more convenient than wheelchairs and usually have designs that aid comfortability as well.
Can Aid Recovery
Because users don’t have to move around as much but can still be mobile with mobility scooters, they are good at speeding up the recovery process.
Mobility scooters aren’t very big and can be stored in small spaces, so they’re ideal for going shopping and visiting friends or family with ease.
Allowed on Public Transport
If you have to use public transport, you don’t have to worry about not being allowed onboard. Most models are designed to make using public transport easy.
What Are the Cons of a Mobility Scooter?
As is the case with anything you can buy, there are also some drawbacks to mobility scooters.
There are many mobility scooters to choose from, and some can be rather costly if you don’t have a big budget. Typically, you’ll find that new scooters start at a price of $1000.
Using a mobility scooter frequently will lead to performance variation for the battery. Sometimes, battery failure can happen if a scooter is used often, and you’ll find it lasts between 18 months and two years.
Mobility scooters need to be taken care of well and they must be cleaned often. It might even be necessary to perform monthly overhauls to ensure the scooter continues to work as intended.
Not Suitable for Everyone
These scooters might not be ideal for everyone, especially people with poor eyesight. If you have a hearing impairment, you could be a safety risk if using a scooter like this.
Tips for Finding the Best Mobility Scooter for Your Needs
Mobility scooters can be costly, so it’s important that you know how to find the best option for you or your loved one. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a mobility scooter:
Try it Out
Before you buy a mobility scooter, the person who will be using it should try it out. That’s why it can be tricky to buy these vehicles online. It’s best to go to a supplier or seller and make sure the scooter will suit the user.
Consider Your Environment
Keep in mind where the scooter will be used. That will determine the kind of mobility scooter you choose. Consider factors like space, ease of use, the environment where the user will move around, and so on.
These scooters can get heavy, and if the user is going to have to move them to and from a car, you need one that is as light as possible. You may also need to buy a car hoist.
Even if you don’t plan to use the scooter very often, it’s important that it’s comfortable. If you’re going to move around on a scooter regularly, comfort is that much more important.
Now you know the various types of mobility scooters, their advantages and drawbacks, and how to find the best option for you or your loved one. You will be making an informed decision that you won’t regret and enjoy the scooter as you should.