6 Options to Consider Before Making Your Mobility Investment
“Nice to be here? At my age, it's nice to be anywhere.”
While this line is famously attributed to comedian George Burns, the sentiment runs deep among the Greatest Generation today. Even those who are part of the traditionalist Lucky Few age group along with Baby Boomers often face the same obstacle: limited mobility.
That’s where mobility scooters come in. With the freedom of movement this technology can offer, anyone with limited mobility can now live exciting and fulfilling lives without the stress of making arrangements for every trip they want to take.
Mobility is your freedom
Today’s sophisticated personal mobility scooters have capabilities that far exceed those provided by walkers, manual wheelchairs, or canes. A major advantage of this ride is the convenience of being able to take it on public transport and other vehicles like taxis. Even airlines now allow passengers to check-in these scooters as oversized luggage.
In fact, several folding electric mobility scooters contain airline-safe travel batteries to ensure that they pass any airport inspection. This makes trips more convenient for those who rely on these scooters by diminishing the pain and fatigue caused by walking long distances.
A great example of a travel-friendly option is the REMO 24v 250w Auto-Flex Folding Travel Electric Mobility Scooter. Since it’s lightweight and portable, it won’t inflate your baggage fees. The fact that it’s foldable makes it the best choice for seniors who still want to enjoy an active lifestyle but don’t want to risk their physical health. Most impressively, this model comes with an easy “push of a button” system that automatically folds the entire scooter in less than 10 seconds. With a speed of 5 mph and the ability to travel 13 miles in a single charge, this type of airline-approved mobility scooter offers unparalleled ease, convenience, and comfort to any traveler.
Apart from empowering their users with the independence to move around and go about their lives in the most normal way possible, these electric scooters also offer comfort and convenience in style, like the Euro Style 3-Wheel Electric Mobility Scooter. This scooter can be maneuvered easily on various terrains and conditions to allow the elderly or injured to effortlessly complete errands and even join family outings and parties.
While mobility scooters are incredibly useful, it’s important to take into consideration the reason for buying one. Several models work well for both indoor and outdoor use. However, there are types that are designed for more outdoorsy riders. Others are created to fit the needs of those who travel frequently and would like to bring their mobility scooters with them.
Here are some tips on what you need to know to make an informed decision on the make and model of the personal mobility scooter you’ll purchase. This is an important investment, so make sure to pick one that will fit your needs for the years to come.
Things to consider when buying a personal mobility scooter
Mobility scooters have bicycle-like handles that help users steer them towards their preferred direction. The handles are mounted on a tiller—a post located in front of the rider. The seat typically has a backrest and armrests for maximum comfort.
Physical strength of the user
Some strength in the upper body is necessary to steer any mobility scooter. The user’s upper body has to be in a fully erect position, with the arms outstretched during the entire duration of every trip. Even the smallest personal scooters have these operating requirements, so make sure you take them into consideration. Consult with a physician to confirm that a personal mobility scooter is suitable for your lifestyle. Request a complete mobility assessment to check if you’re capable of handling this mode of transportation.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Use
Apart from determining whether you have sufficient dexterity, strength, and physical capability, you need to decide where you’re going to use the scooter. Are you going to use your personal scooter inside or outside your home? While most mobility scooters can be used in both, there are models designed to cater to your specific needs.
If you plan to use it indoors, check if you can maneuver the scooter inside the house with minimal difficulty. Generally, three-wheeled scooters are seen as the preferable option for this situation because these offer a shorter turning radius.
However, it’s the size of the tires that merits a closer look. Ideally, a mobility scooter to be used indoors should have 9-inch tires like the EW-M41. In terms of speed, this lightweight personal scooter can reach up to 5 mph and travel up to 16 miles. This makes it suitable for exploring indoor spaces like malls and parks.
As for those who plan to use their mobility scooters outdoors, make sure to get one that’s capable of handling different terrains. A good example of this is the EW-72. One look at its 16-inch rear tires and you’ll immediately realize that this personal scooter can even go off-road.
The full suspension system of the model guarantees that your ride will remain super comfortable -- even when you’re traveling over a rough terrain. The fact that it can speed up to 15 mph and hit a maximum drive range of 43 miles for every charge shows its suitability for longer drives around town. It’s also engineered to have an 18" high-back seat and adjustable headrest so you get more stability, which is critical especially when you’re driving on uneven ground.
Weight of the driver
Once you have decided that a personal scooter fits your lifestyle, check another crucial requirement: the machine’s maximum weight capacity. Standard-sized scooters can support riders weighing anywhere from 250-350 pounds. However, larger riders require more durable models like the eWheels EW-52 700w Heavy Duty 4-Wheel Electric Mobility Scooter.
Here are a few questions to consider when deciding whether a mobility scooter can cater to your needs:
- What is your weight?
- What seating option would be most comfortable for you?
- Do you prefer a wide tall back luxury swivel seat or a captain’s seat?
3 wheels vs. 4 wheels
Personal scooters come in three-wheel and four-wheel models. While both can handle indoor or outdoor use, the right mobility scooter for you is the one that fulfills all your requirements and matches your physical capabilities.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two:
A three-wheel personal scooter like the eWheels EW-77 Edge 60v 800w 3-Wheel Stand or Sit Folding Electric Mobility Scooter is ideal for indoor use as well as navigating smooth surfaces. It’s also great for narrow spaces because it can easily handle sharp turns. This model will work well for tall users because it offers more legroom.
Meanwhile, a four-wheel scooter like the eWheels EW-54 60v 700w Full Covered Digital Dash 4-Wheel Electric Mobility Scooter is preferable for outdoor use, especially on rough terrains. It also offers a broader and sturdier wheelbase, so it can accommodate heavier users. The weight distribution feels more balanced as well.
Two-person mobility scooters
While the majority of mobility scooters can carry only one rider, there are models nowadays that can accommodate two people comfortably. This comes in handy for heavier users who need a wider space for a more secure and relaxed ride.
Another great reason to opt for a two-person mobility scooter is the chance to bring a passenger along for the ride. This will be particularly helpful when going out with friends or loved ones who are not yet using mobility scooters but are unable to walk long distances. With a heavy duty mobility scooter at your disposal, you can conveniently offer a leisurely and hassle-free day of sightseeing and shopping to your companion.
A general rule when it comes to mobility scooters is that more features and more advanced capabilities means higher prices. As expected, special modifications and customizations will cost extra. Alternatively, the most basic models will be priced at the lower end of the list.
Here’s a quick guide on the price ranges for various mobility scooters on the market today:
- Under $1,000: Standard personal mobility scooter
- Over $1,000 to $3,500: Heavy duty personal mobility scooter
- Over $3,500-$5,000: Exclusive personal mobility mobility scooters
Personal mobility scooters have improved the lives of millions of people. They offer an incredible level of independence to those with health concerns and disabilities by giving them the capability of traveling without assistance. Mobility scooters have also helped battle social isolation, especially for the elderly and physically disabled. With personal scooters, everyone can easily participate in daily activities and even enjoy occasional excursions.
Nowadays, you no longer need to go through the trouble of arranging assistance whenever you need to go outside. With this technology, you can just jump onto your personal scooter and go off to enjoy your life!