As you age, you realize that your body becomes weaker, and everything you used to do becomes harder to achieve. Walking around also becomes a bit tedious, and it may seem that you can only stay in one place all day.
But you do not have to stay limited. With mobility scooters, the seniors can move from one point to another the same way they used to do earlier, but you do not have to walk all the time.
Mobility scooters come in various designs, and they are meant to perform better than wheelchairs. They come with a rechargeable battery (or power bank?) that stores electric energy that you use for your mobility needs. But how much do you know about these devices?
These are the seven facts you should know about mobility scooters for the seniors.
1. Indoor vs Outdoor Use Scooters
Mobility scooters serve in various ways. They can help the elderly to move about, both indoor and outdoor. Indoor scooters are intended for use only within the house, and, maybe on your pavement around the house.
The indoor scooter is more delicate because it is meant for the soft and smooth ride on paved surfaces.
For outdoor use, the scooter needs to be tougher. The ideal mobility scooter should work well for both paved roads and off-road needs.
However, they are a bit bulky because they are designed for strength and stability. However, you may need to move the elderly by public transport or car.
That would mean that you need a lightweight mobility scooter that can go onto the vehicle so that they can use it at their destination. A foldable one should be ideal for the occasion.
2. Scooter Speed
Although the speed of the scooter may not be a point of consideration when buying one for the seniors, it may be valuable because of making the right decision for its main use.
Mobility scooters come with two distinct speeds. They are either able to go up to 4 or 8 mph.
The former is meant for indoor use. The owner can use it around the compound or outdoors on the sidewalk. A mobility scooter that can reach 8 mph is meant for use on the road.
They are not too slow to cause trouble with traffic. However, you need to consider the comfort of the senior who is going to use the mobility scooter.
Some of the senior members cannot stand the ones with high speed. Consider getting them the slower scooter, but ensure they only use them on the sidewalk.
3. Battery Power and Performance
Choosing a mobility scooter for the elderly requires that you consider their expectations on usage performance. The battery on a scooter determines how far it can go. This also indicates how many trips they need to recharge it. You will, therefore, need to evaluate their usage needs to determine what scooter will suffice their needs.
Some scooters can go as far as six miles before it requires another charge. These types are ideal for use at home. The heavy-duty scooters can go as far as 30 miles. Such mobility scooters are good for seniors who love or need outdoor movement and experience.
You are required to ensure that you study the scooter you are about to buy. Analyze when and where the mobility scooter is required. You do not want your senior to go out and get stuck because the battery got drained. You can also save some cash by avoiding going for the highest performer when it will be unnecessary.
4. Maximum Capacity
Depending on the build, mobility scooters can carry various weights. Depending on the scooter type, the capacity can range anywhere between 250 and 500lb.
You will want to consider that variation when buying a mobility scooter for your senior. The best capacity of the mobility scooter will depend on the weight of the user, and if they will be carrying anything along when using it.
The light and foldable scooters can only carry little weight. This feature mostly affects seniors that would be going out and need their scooters carried along on the vehicle.
However, you can still buy a robust mobility scooter for seniors who do not need light designs, and you will need to use a mobility scooter carrier instead of folding it.
5. Comfortability of the Mobility Scooter
Seniors need the highest comfort when riding around. Comfort is a feature designed into mobility scooters for the elderly. You will want to ensure that your beloved senior stays comfortable all the time they are sitting on their mobility scooter while going out.
Basic mobility scooters are comfortable enough for short trips around the compound. But you would need more comfort when going for a long ride. Seniors who have other conditions, like paining backs or disabilities, will need more comfort. You will, therefore, have to choose a suitable scooter that offers more comfort features.
Some of the features that determine the comfort on a mobility scooter include adjustable armrests and seatbacks as well as their padding, and an extra wise seat. All these are meant to provide enough space for the user and enhance their ability to adjust on the seat.
While comfort and usability are very important when choosing a mobility scooter, the safety of the seniors is paramount. You want to ensure that the scooter has the safety features that will; ensure that the elderly are safe when using it. The safety features protect the user as well as the scooter.
The first safety feature to look out for is the braking system. There should also be a single-hand control to make the scooter use simple for most people. Do not forget to inspect the turn lights, charging indicator, rear mirror, and the horn – all which enhance usability and safety while on the road.
7. Cost of Mobility Scooter
During old age, you need support for moving around, because you cannot do a lot by yourself. It, therefore, means that you cannot work and make money. Whatever savings you have, you will want to spend little by little so that it can see you through for as long as possible.
Finding an affordable scooter is going to be essential, depending on your current situation and future needs.
However, you should not forget that the price may compromise the essential features of the mobility scooter. While you want to save more during your purchase, it is important to consider that you get every feature that you need on your mobility scooter.
You do not want to compromise your safety while on the road to save a few bucks.
As seniors grow older, they need an easier way to maneuver around in the house. A mobility scooter is an essential tool for them, even when they want to go out.
However, it is essential to ensure that the mobility scooter you buy for the elderly is safe for use and provides them with the comfort they need. While the price may determine affordability, it is apt to sacrifice and invest in a durable and more secure mobility scooter.