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Mobility Scooters: Time for a Mobile Aid?

mobility scooter

Independence is a significant aspect of adulthood. So, it’s expected that our parents and grandparents will want to remain self-sufficient and active, even after retiring. This way, they can lead fun and active lifestyles in retirement.

But unfortunately, some older adults may find it challenging to maintain their independence due to specific health issues affecting their ability to move freely. In the long run, limited mobility can become unsettling for most older people.

The good news is that you can improve your loved one’s mobility with the aid of mobility scooters, which are electric vehicles that can help people with mobility issues regain their ability to move around and promote self-sufficiency.

At Seasons Retirement, we encourage our residents to take advantage of various living options available, especially for those who wish to maintain their independence after retirement. Our residences allow easy access by vehicles such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

This article covers the features of mobility scooters, their benefits, and how to tell if your loved one needs one.

What is a Mobility Scooter?

A mobility scooter is an electric vehicle that provides motor assistance to individuals who may find it challenging to walk around and get by with their daily activities. This power-operated machine performs the function of a power wheelchair but looks more like a motor scooter.

Although mobility scooters typically have three to four wheels, you may sometimes find one with more than four wheels. They have a seat overlying these wheels, a flat area or foot plates for the feet, and handlebars or a delta-style steering system to control the wheels.

Most mobility scooters run on integrated batteries, even though a few models are still gasoline-powered. This should be no surprise, considering the world’s stance on clean energy solutions. Note that electric mobility scooters require frequent charging to function optimally.

For some older adults, especially those with mobility issues, an electric mobility scooter provides help with moving around. Also, the vehicle provides an excellent transportation means for older persons to move around in their local neighbourhood, so they don’t have to rely on public transit only.

When Does a Senior Need Mobile Aid?

Post-retirement represents a time for older adults to engage in fun and exciting activities. However, limited mobility due to various health challenges may affect their ability to participate in such events.

Also, they may find it challenging to keep up with regular activities such as attending religious institutions, visiting the mall, attending social meetings, etc.

Hence, it is essential for older adults with any mobility challenges to get mobile aid, like a mobility scooter, to regain their independence and stay active.

Types of Mobility Scooters

Mobility scooters come in various designs and forms to satisfy the different needs of older folks. Here are the four types of mobility scooters for seniors.

1.    Three-wheel

This mobility scooter model is suited for indoor use, given its smaller size and lightweight. The three-wheel vehicle boasts a narrow turning radius, which makes it ideal for your older loved ones to use in their homes.

Additionally, a three-wheel scooter model is cheaper than other mobility scooters. However, unlike other vehicles, it is not recommended for outdoor use.

2.    Four-wheel

If your older relatives love to drive outside their homes, a four-wheel mobility scooter is a way to go. With four wheels, this vehicle is more stable and safer to use outdoors than the three-wheel model.

Also, four-wheel mobility scooters have long battery life and an increased weight capacity. Hence, they can accommodate a more comprehensive body weight range and function for an extended period.

That being said, it is worth mentioning that this model is more expensive than its three-wheel counterpart.

3.    Travel

A travel scooter is a unique mobility vehicle that can be folded up and transported easily, perhaps in a car trunk, from one point to another. Unsurprisingly, it is the lightest and most compact mobility scooter.

While travel scooters may not offer a high weight capacity, it is the perfect choice for older adults who are always on the move.

4.    Heavy-duty

As the name implies, a heavy-duty mobility scooter is designed to carry individuals with weights higher than the capacity of smaller models. It can support weight up to 500lbs and offer a comfortable ride over a long period.

Classes of Mobility Scooters

Mobility scooters can also be divided into two classes, namely Class 2 and Class 3 scooters.

Class 2 scooters are suitable only for indoor use or on a sidewalk and are allowed to travel at a maximum speed of four mph. They are pedestrian scooters and cannot be used on roads or highways.

On the other hand, Class 3 scooters are designed for road use, as they are built with lights and indicators. This scooter class can travel over eight mph.

Benefits of Mobility Scooters for Seniors

It has been established that electric scooters are a perfect solution for persons with mobility issues. But what features make these power-operated vehicles ideal for your older loved ones?

Below are a few benefits of an electric scooter for seniors.

1.    Convenient and Portable

True, a walker or cane can help your older relatives to move small distances. However, they will quickly get tired when using these accessories, especially when travelling long distances. Fortunately, a mobility scooter is an excellent option for your older one’s travel.

Asides from their convenience, electric scooters are portable and easy to handle. You can fold up some scooter models and transport them from one place to another.

2.    Promote an independent lifestyle

Older adults with limited mobility may feel less independent, requiring help carrying out daily activities, like shopping, working out, or even moving around. Luckily, with a mobility scooter, your older loved ones can keep fit, visit the shopping mall, and get around in their local area.

3.    Comfort

With easy-to-handle steering, adjustable armrests, and back-support seats, mobility scooters are designed to provide comfort to riders.

Before choosing an electric scooter, your older ones should consider the leg room, as there are different models for various preferences.

Conclusion

Older adults must stay active, and a mobility scooter can help them. Fortunately, these motorized scooters are available in various styles and models to meet the specific needs of anyone with a disability.

At Seasons Retirement, we encourage our residents with limited mobility to engage in social activities, including those that keep them active and moving to the best of their ability.

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