Your Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Resource
Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 am
Elderly people who have difficulty getting around often find that using a wheelchair is not the optimal solution, especially since manual wheelchairs can require a lot of physical strength to use. Instead, a mobility scooter is often a better choice and is usually considerably less than an electric wheelchair.
Mobility scooters, like wheelchairs, have been around for some time, but the first electric mobility scooter can be traced back to the 1960′s. Since then, there have been a number of improvements in their design and dependability.
An Electric Mobility Scooter, or adult scooter, is a motorized device used to help make it easier for someone to get around. The base of the device is elongated and has a chair positioned towards the rear and handlebars on the front. The handlebars, which are referred to as the tiller, extend from the front of the electric scooters base and can be adjusted to bring them closer or farther from the user. In addition to controlling the direction of the scooter, the tiller can also control acceleration and braking, as well as controlling any other extras, such as running lights.
One of the big differences between mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs is the tiller. On an electric wheelchair, an armrest control is usually used to move the device and there is nothing in front of the users legs. However, on a mobility scooter, the tiller is located on the front of the users legs, which makes it impossible to drive the mobility scooter directly up to a table or desk. As a result, the target market for a wheelchair and scooter differs in that mobility scooters are primarily intended for people who can walk for short distances, but have trouble doing so.
While there are many types of mobility scooters, many much less expensive than others, most are designed to work well both indoors and outdoors. There are several considerations though, such as tire size, ground clearance, and speed, which help determine if the scooter will work well outdoors. The number of tires can also have an effect, with 4-wheel mobility scooters offering more stability when used outdoors.
3-Wheel Mobility Scooters, on the other hand, offer the advantage of being more maneuverable, as they have a smaller turning radius. So, for indoor use, a 3-wheel scooter may be preferable. Of course, this extra maneuverability comes at the cost of stability and weight support, so it is important to determine what type of scooter will work best for your individual needs.
There are also several types of scooters that are designed to fit special needs. For example, heavy duty scooters are designed to support more weight and preform better outdoors. Travel scooters, on the other hand, are essentially on the opposite side of the spectrum. Travel scooters are designed to be as lightweight as possible, so they can be transported easily without a scooter lift. They have fewer features and extras to help reduce weight, typically being designed to be broken down into several easy to manage pieces.