Scooters are a popular way for people with some mobility problems to get around in their homes, the grocery store, the shopping mall and other important areas in their neighborhood. If you are fatigued after walking to another part of your house or to your mailbox, you can still maintain your independence with the use of a fun and comfortable scooter.
People who benefit from having a scooter for mobility include people with multiple sclerosis, mild cerebral palsy, and severe forms of arthritis. The elderly and stroke survivors also find that scooters help get from here to there without using a product that looks like medical equipment!
Here is an easy checklist to help you decide which is the right scooter for you!
Your weight: How much you weigh is the first consideration. When making a purchase, you'll be asked whether you weight 250 pounds or less, or if you weight more than 250 pounds.
The size of the scooter is going to be important based on your environment. If you use your scooter indoors where the hallways are narrow and the corners are tight, then a smaller scooter with a small turning radius will be your better choice.
Scooters come in three general sizes: compact, midsize and rugged outdoor. If you will use your scooter on rough terrain, hilly grass or a rural area like a farm, you probably will want a 4-wheel outdoor scooter. Four wheels add more stability over rough terrain. A 3-wheel scooter allows better maneuverability in tight spaces. Also available is a revolutionary new scooter that includes both indoor performance and outdoor maneuverability. It is versatile and will move effortlessly between indoors and outdoors, over grass, gravel, carpet, or tile.
Will you be transporting your scooter in the trunk of a car? If so, you need to consider a scooter that disassembles. You also need to consider the size & weight of those individual pieces. Many scooters disassemble into three pieces, not including the batteries. The heaviest piece can be as much as 30 pounds. So, you might need to consider how much size and weight your spouse, friends or caregivers can lift into the trunk of the car being used!
Now, if size, weight & disassembling are an issue, you might consider purchasing an Invacare Phoenix powered mobility lift. Its simple operation makes it easy for virtually anyone to lift a scooter or power wheelchair into a van, pickup or sport utility vehicle.
The seat: If you are in and out of your scooter seat all day, then you would probably be fine with the seat that comes standard with your scooter. If you remain in the seat most of the day, you'll want to consider upgrading to a more comfortable seat that has extra foam padding.
Accessories: There are many options from pouches to baskets to headlights, crutch & oxygen tank holders, etc. and many of these options have an additional charge to them, just like when you bought your car. Take your time when scrolling through the Accessories list when comparing scooters and their value to your needs.
Colours: One of the most popular colors is red, followed by green, then blue.
Tires: Most scooters now come with solid or air-filled (pneumatic) tires.
The Tiller: If you have limited ability to grip, be sure you don't get a scooter that has knobs for release mechanisms. The tiller is like the handlebars of a bicycle, and it can be moved forward for easy access to sit down, then moved back in place for when you are ready to drive on. Some scooters are made with a lever that allows you to just move it with the push of your hand to release the Tiller.
Here is another important checklist if you are not sure if you are ready to buy a scooter. If you agree with the following questions, a scooter may be right for you:
1 .My needs cannot be met with lesser equipment (e.g., manual
2. 1 have sufficient vision and judgment to guide a scooter safely.
3. Availability of power mobility will increase my access to different
4. 1 can transport a scooter to and from intended environments.
5. 1 have sufficient strength, range of motion, and endurance in my hands
and arms to guide a device with a tiller. (Scooters are guided by tillers,
which are mechanically similar to the handlebars of a bicycle).