Mobility scooters are designed for people who have some mobility but are challenged by slopes or distances. A wide variety of mobility scooters, in various price ranges, are available to fit your needs from leading manufacturers such as Invacare, Pride, Sunrise Medical and Drive Medical. Mobility scooters come in a number of styles which can accommodate a wide range of user needs. When selecting a mobility scooter one should consider where the scooter will primarily be used (indoor, outdoor or both), how often the scooter be transported in a car and any specific seating/accessory needs.
Most mobility scooters are defined by four features which separate them from power wheelchairs: Scooters are directed by a tiller at the front of the base that can steers the front wheel. This arm can be tilted and locked allowing a safe and comfortable ride for all users. Forward and reverse motion is controlled by two thumb levers. The seat of scooters is usually mounted on a stem, allowing many scooter seats to rotate from side to side. Finally, scooters have a base board instead of footrests. Scooters are steered using a tiller, you need sufficient arm strength to drive it and thumb mobility to use the controls.
Below is a brief outline of the three types of mobility scooters generally available. If you are not sure where to begin or if you need help picking the right scooter for you, please consult a mobility professional.
Foldable Mobility Scooters: Easily folded and ready for transport, these scooters are perfect for the active person who likes to travel. Additionally, foldable scooters, often called travel scooters, disassemble into light parts that are easy to lift into the trunk of most cars. Sealed batteries make these travel scooters airline safe; make sure to check with your carrier booking your flight.
3 Wheel Mobility Scooters: Looking for a full featured scooter with excellent maneuverability? You should consider a three wheel mobility scooters. Three wheeled scooters offer full-size comfort and are ideal for both indoor maneuverability and outdoor durability. Scooters in this category offer a wide array of features including: swivel seats, arms rests, storage baskets and more. And, with a maximum weight capacity of 300 to 400 lbs even larger framed users can be accommodated.
4 Wheel Mobility Scooters: A fourth wheel and a wider wheel base create the most stable platform within the mobility scooter category. Four wheel mobility scooters are designed for maximum stability and built specifically for outdoor use. Some larger models have knobby tires and high ground clearance; these scooters are a great choice for even rugged terrain. Some models offer a range of 25+ miles per charge and a top speed of 10 mph! The wide wheel base, which makes the 4 wheel mobility scooters great for outdoor use, often makes the turning radius wide as well. Indoor users with tight living spaces should keep this in mind.
Make sure to a mobility scooter is right for you. Consult with a doctor and mobility professional prior to purchase