Ever tried an electric mobility scooter or power wheelchair? If your unique physical or medical condition hamper your mobility, then you should get yourself one of these innovative mobility devices. You have modern options that you can avail to regain the quality of life that you cannot achieve at the moment due to old age, genetic disorder, or serious injury. For serious mobility impairments, using a cane, crutch, walker or gait trainers is out of the question.
Choosing a power wheelchair or an electric mobility scooter is not as easy as you think. They require serious consideration, akin to choosing a house, a car, or an insurance plan. It pays to know why you need them and how you will use them, among other questions. Of course, comfort, cost, transportability, power capability, and features also come into play.
There are many varieties of power wheelchairs and mobility scooters on the market, and most of them share common features. A power wheelchair, as its name suggests, is a motorized wheelchair that is powered by battery, is propelled by an electric motor, and is driven by a programmable joystick controller. Like the conventional wheelchair, it has two large rear wheels and two small front wheels. This device is recommended for people who would like to regain some of their mobility which is impaired by an injury or a chronic health condition.
Electric mobility scooter
The electric mobility scooter, on the other hand, looks like a wheelchair but more like a scooter. It has three or four wheels, handlebars (or steering wheel), a swivel seat, and a battery as the power source. This mobility device is for people with minor mobility issues, especially people whose walking endurance is tested by walking distance or walking duration due to arthritis, obesity, cardiovascular conditions, and other issues that make walking difficult.
Indoors or outdoors?
Power wheelchairs are designed for both indoor and outdoor use, even on tough terrains. Scooters are best used outdoors, but not in hilly areas. Unlike wheelchairs, scooters are difficult to maneuver indoors, especially in public places like restaurants, shopping malls, and elevators.
To transport a power wheelchair or a mobility scooter, you will require an electric lift or ramp. With regards to ease, electric wheelchairs are very heavy (even for standard lifts!) and impossible to carry, and they generally do not fold, unlike conventional ones. Mobility scooters are easy to dismantle or fold for easier transporting. They can easily fit in a trunk and even a backseat of small cars.
Both electric mobility scooters and power wheelchairs can go up to 9 to 15 miles on a single charge, depending on unit and type. They both use the identical kind of batteries, and they require charging at regular intervals. The weight of the user may affect battery charge life, and this will factor when the device is in use.
Electric wheelchairs provide the most bodily comforts as they offer the most advanced features and functions to vastly improve mobility. They come with a wide range of support options, including stand, tilt, and recline, adjustments options for seating, armrest, and legrest, and input devices that the user is able to use if they lack of the use of their hands and fingers. As with the electric mobility scooter, it allows adjustments only to the seat and handlebar. Other than that, it provides a psychological advantage to people who do not like to be seem as old or handicap confined to a wheelchair.
Power wheelchairs are more expensive than electric mobility scooters. They would cost even more with advanced features or additional extras. They could cost as high as $15,000. Mobility scooters cost between $500 to $5,000. Both mobility devices are covered by insurance.