Mobility Scooters vs Electric Wheelchairs

mobilityscooterToday, many seniors make use of mobility scooters to allow them to get around easily and safely. These devices have actually been around for many years, with the first mobility scooters dating back to the nineteen-sixties. However, the modern mobility scooter offers many advantages over earlier models and is a great deal different from the first models.

Differences Between Mobility Scooters and Wheelchairs

Mobility scooters, which are often called adult scooters or electric scooters, offer a service that is similar to a wheelchair. This is because the user sits in a chair and then allows the scooter to do the work of moving around. However, the way that a mobility scooter is laid out is quite different from that of an electric wheelchair, resulting in several differences in how these two types of mobility vehicles are used.

The biggest difference between a mobility scooter and an electric wheelchair is the way the chair is positioned.

On an electric wheelchair, the chair is positioned at the center of the base, with only a footrest in front of the chair.

Mobility scooters, on the other hand, have a much longer and wider base. The chair is positioned towards the rear of the mobility scooter and a set of handlebars, called a tiller, extends from the front of the base, allowing the scooter to be controlled.

This difference provides additional stability for the scooter, but means that it can not be driven directly up to a table in the same way that a wheelchair can be. Instead, it is necessary to either transfer out of the scooter and into a chair at the table or to position the scooter parallel to the table. This can make mobility scooters more difficult to use for those who are unable to walk at all.

Aside from the design of the base and chair, electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters share many similarities, both in the way they are designed and the way they are used.

A Quick Word About Mobility Scooter Range

The range of a mobility scooter can greatly vary by model, as well as how and where the adult scooter is driven. For example, a scooter that is near weight capacity and driven uphill will loose its charge much more rapidly than a mobility scooter that is not near weight capacity and is driven downhill.

It is also very important to regularly charge the mobility scooters batteries, based on how often the scooter is used. Those who use their mobility scooter on a daily basis will typically need to charge their scooter on a daily basis, while those who use their scooter only once a week, will not need to charge the battery as frequently.

TIP: Many users that need to travel more than 10 miles everyday invest in an extra battery pack for their mobility scooter. This way, while one battery pack is being used, the other can be charged, allowing them to be swapped out easily.

While the range and top speed of a mobility scooter can greatly vary, most can travel at least 10 miles on a single charge and at speeds of around 5mph.