We find them lined up, plugged in, and awaiting a rider at the entrance to larger stores, making it safer and easier for older adults and those with physical infirmities to maintain independence. And for many seniors, purchasing their own personal mobility scooter to utilize in a variety of settings makes sense. To help you learn more about the ins and outs of scooters, the Kansas City home care team at Enhanced Home Care shares the following:
How Do Mobility Scooters Work?
Usually, mobility scooters are made of about four to five major parts which include the frame, drive train, and battery. Although these moving aids are quite alike in a lot of ways, there are disparities in their speeds, capacities (weights), and battery lives. A typical mobility scooter has a seat that stretches over three, four, or even five wheels, a flat region or foot plates for placement of the feet, and handlebars or a delta-style steering placement at the front to be able to turn one, two or three steerable wheels.
The seat might be designed to pivot to be able to gain access when the front is obstructed by the handlebars. Usually, mobility scooters are powered by batteries. A maximum of two batteries are always kept on the scooter and are charged by an onboard or battery charger unit that’s different from the standard electric power. In some countries, scooters powered by gasoline are still used although they are speedily being substituted by electric versions.
Having both forward/reverse directions and speed controls, the tiller is the steering column that is centrally located at the front of the scooter. It has many features which include a speed limiter, lighting controls to be used at night, turning signals, and a battery use indicator. The forward/reverse direction can be operated using thumb paddles, finger controls, or a switch.
Types of Mobility Scooters
Mobility scooters are available in different types. There are user-powered scooters which are moved by a CLD (Central Lever Drive) in a push-pull rowing motion to offer mobility and a workout at once; small and light manual scooters that are for traveling, and can be folded or easily detached into smaller pieces while transporting them; large, heavy scooters that are used on rocky outdoor terrain; and mid-range scooters that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The mid-range scooters have slow and steady movement, can be used to shop, and normally have a speed of about 5 to 7 mph.
Generally, mobility scooters are classified into two types: front-wheel drive (FD) and rear-wheel drive (RD).
Normally, front-wheel drive scooters are most appropriate for indoor use. The weight capacity of the rider should range from a minimum of 170 pounds to a maximum of 250 pounds.
On the other hand, the rear-wheel drive is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use with the weight capacity of the rider ranging from 350 pounds to 500 pounds, depending on the producers of the machine.
Benefits of Mobility Scooters
The importance of mobility scooters to those with problems moving around cannot be overemphasized. We have compiled a list of some of the benefits of mobility scooters below:
- A mobility scooter comes in handy for people who do not have the stamina or arm/shoulder flexibility needed to make use of a manual wheelchair.
- It is much easier to pivot the seat of an electric scooter than it is to move the foot rests on manual wheelchairs.
- A mobility scooter can be very important to people who are suffering from systemic or whole body disabling conditions (such as coronary or lung issues, some forms of arthritis, obesity, etc.), who are still having difficulties with being able to stand, walk a few steps, sit upright without any form of support, and control the steering tiller.
- One of the high points of mobility scooters for many users is that they look nothing like wheelchairs, removing the sense of “disability.”
- Generally, mobility scooters are less costly than powered wheelchairs and make them the first option to consider while shopping.
- To date, producers of mobility scooters have been working on the appearance of scooters to be generally accepted by users. Available in the market currently are mobility scooters which look like short, thin, small cars, and even others that have a striking resemblance to motorcycles.
Could your senior loved one benefit from a mobility scooter? Contact the Kansas City home care professionals at Enhanced Home Care to learn more, or to schedule a free in-home consultation to discover additional ways to improve independence, safety, and overall wellbeing and quality of life. You can reach us any time at 913-327-0000.
This article was a guest blog submitted by Amazing Machines.