As we get older, we often find ourselves getting less and less mobile, and finding it more difficult to get around. It can be particularly jarring to watch a formerly active loved one struggling to keep up with daily activities and social outings.
For seniors who are finding it harder to get around, a mobility scooter might just be the ideal solution. Whether indoors or outdoors, these electric scooters allow aging adults to get around with ease. Mobility scooters give seniors the independence they deserve.
Buying motorized scooters for seniors represents a fairly large purchase, and there is a lot of things to think about before deciding to do so. Often people isn’t too sure about who would benefit from a mobility scooter or how to go about obtaining one. And also some people still have a stigma of scooters and believe they’re cumbersome pieces of equipment that are too slow on rough terrain and hard to maneuver indoors.
Doing your research beforehand is the difference between a sound investment and buyer’s remorse. To help make the shopping process easier, here is a look at what’s available at some of the top mobility scooter retailers, followed by a comprehensive guide to mobility scooters.
Read on to check our Top Picks and to learn how to make the most informed decision when it comes to buying a mobility scooter along!
Our Top Pick
We recommend Pride Mobility because is reliable and long-lasting. Pride Mobility has been in business for over 30 years helping consumers remain mobile and it’s the number 1 brand on the market. This brand offers a large range of mobility scooters to suit people with basic needs and those with more complex requirements, three and four wheels, for both indoor and outdoor. And the best thing is, Pride Mobility builds scooters for any budget, so you will surely find a scooter that fits your needs. It’s also designed to disassemble easily and quickly.
About Pride Mobility :
Scooter weight range: 120-254lbs. without batteries
User weight range: 250-500lbs.
Speed range: From 4 mph up to 14 mph
Travel distance range: 8.1 miles up to 19 miles per charge
If your senior has trouble walking long distances, the Sport will help them get around comfortably. This scooter is perfect for their daily errands, shopping trips, museums, camping, cruise ships, and more!
Scooter Weight Range: Around 130lbs
User Weight Range: The Pride Go-Go Sport boasts one of the highest weight capacities in its class, holding up to 325 lbs.
Speed range: Around 4.7 mph
Travel Distance Range: The long-lasting 18AH battery offers up to 14.5 miles per charge and an ample 4.7 mph top speed.
Portability: Compact and easy to transport, the Sport is ideal for people who will be using their scooter often. Featuring Pride’s feather touch disassembly, this portable mobility scooter conveniently disassembles into 5 smaller lightweight pieces that fit easily into the trunk of most cars and all SUV’s and vans. The heaviest part is the front section, weighing about 44 lbs.
Ergonomic Design: The Sport’s wraparound Delta tiller helps keep seniors’ hands and fingers relaxed as they drive, which is ideal if they have arthritis or limited dexterity in their hands. On the adjustable tiller they’ll find front LED lighting to help light their way and a charging port for added convenience, giving them two ways to charge their battery, both onboard and offboard.
Indoor and Outdoor Performance: With solid 9” tires and 3” ground clearance, the heavy-duty Go-Go Sport handles outdoor terrain better than other travel scooters. Four wheels provide ultimate stability indoors or out with a 50” turning radius, and Pride’s exclusive black non-scuffing tires won’t leave tire marks on their floor when riding indoors. With adjustable armrests, the Sport fits easily through most standard doorways.
Extra perks: This model includes the Challenger Large Rear Basket to carry all the users personal items and shopping, a Deluxe Armrest Bag to keep their essential dry and close to them while riding their scooter or powerchair, and the Nonbreakable Universal Scooter Cup Holder so they can enjoy their coffee on the go!
Check the Pride Mobility S74 Go-Go Sport 4-Wheel Electric Mobility Scooter For Adults on Amazon.
If you are looking for a more affordable option, Pride Mobility also has a simpler – and yet reliable and long-lasting: the Go-Go Ultra X 3-Wheel Travel Mobility Scooter.
Check the Go-Go Ultra X 3-Wheel Travel Mobility Scooter on Amazon.
What are Mobility Scooters Afterall?
Mobility scooters are medical aids that make it easier for people who have difficulty walking for an extended period to get around. They are basically small motorized vehicles that are a lot like motorized wheelchairs and are sometimes referred to as electric scooters or power-operated scooters.
There are several types of mobility scooters, hey can be front, rear or four wheel drive. The one-user sits on them in a similar seated position to sitting in any chair and steers them by way of handlebars (much like a bicycle.)
Scooters run on integrated batteries and need regular charging. Each model differs slightly, but in general, you can expect around 6 to 8 miles of use from each charge for a standard model, though some heavy duty models go as far as 30 miles per charge.
Models suitable for road use run at up to 8 mph, while indoors and sidewalk suitable models max out around 4 mph.
To give you a clearer image of what mobility scooters are, the most well-known example of a mobility scooter is the motorized scooter available at many grocery stores.
What are the Different Types of Mobility Scooters?
We’ve identified four types of mobility scooters:
1. Three-wheel scooters
Three wheel mobility scooters are ideal for indoor use as they are typically smaller and lighter than their four-wheel cousins, and offer a tighter turning radius that is much better for indoor use. Their outdoor use is limited, however, so think carefully before choosing one.
2. Four-wheel scooters
Four wheel mobility scooters are a much better option for those who want to drive their scooter outdoors. Having four wheels gives them extra stability.
3. Lightweight/Compact/Folding/Travel scooters
These scooters are more lightweight, compact, and are easily foldable, as they are specifically designed to fold down for transportation in the trunk of a car. If you’re looking for a mobility scooter for air travel, taking on a cruise, or a trip to an amusement park, this is a solid option. Although most lightweight models are on the smaller side and don’t come with as many added features, they are still a convenient way to increase mobility and maintain independence while out in public settings.
4. Heavy-Duty scooters
Due to its construction, Heavy-duty mobility scooters can carry up to 500lbs or more and are suitable for heavier people who might exceed the weight limit for a smaller model.
If you’re looking for a mobility scooter that can handle off-road terrain and has solid durability, a heavy duty model may be good option. Heavy duty mobility scooters typically have a heavier tread tire, a larger battery, and can cover more miles on a full charge compared to the lighter and smaller models.
What Features are Important in a Mobility Scooter?
The last component to consider when shopping for a mobility scooter are the features the scooter offers. The scooter’s features will help tie everything together and highlight how the specific model will fulfill your loved one’s needs and enhance his or her life.
1. Easy-to-Use and Reachable Scooter layout
The scooter layout is the overall look and feel of the mobility scooter. When thinking about this feature, you want to avoid not complicated systems, difficult to use machines.
And you also want to make sure that when seated on the scooter the user can reach all the necessary buttons, handles, and storage spaces.
This will allow them to be in control and get the most function out of the scooter.
2. Easy to Navigate
Steering and navigation on a mobility scooter are usually done with a handlebar-style steering column, similar to a bicycle or a motorized scooter. This gives the user full control over the device without needing to operate a pedal system. When seated on the mobility scooter the operator should be able to reach the handles easily and operate all the controls comfortably.
For instance, Three-wheeled models are more suitable for use at home, but they have a much smaller turning radius. Consider where the scooter will be driven to make sure it’s maneuverable enough.
3. Number and size of wheels according to the user’s needs
Mobility scooters can come with three or four wheels, usually with the seat situated over the rear axle. As mentioned above, Three-wheeled mobility scooters are more suitable for indoor use, as they can be easier to steer in close spaces. While four wheels offer a more all-terrain option and can be driven on sidewalks, and some can even be driven on roads.
Wheel size is also important to consider since this will provide traction over a variety of surfaces.
4. Adjustable backrest, movable arms and comfortable seat
Finding a scooter that’s comfortable to sit on for long periods of time is a must.
If this a particular concern, look for one with an adjustable backrest, movable arms, and an extra padded seat.
Special attention to the seat of the mobility scooter, that should be comfortable, supportive, and large enough to accommodate the user. Some seats offer a swivel option, which makes it easier to get on and off.
5. Large Battery Life
Most mobility scooters are battery operated and need to be fully charged to get the maximum run time and distance out of them. Typically, the bigger the mobility scooter the larger the battery, but smaller and more portable mobility scooters also have a range of battery life and distance depending on the model and overall size.
Some batteries allow 6 to 8 miles of use, while others go as far as 30 miles – be sure to pick one that suits the typical distance the scooter will be traveling.
You should also consider where in your senior’s home or garage he or she will be charging the mobility scooter.
6. Safe to Use
The three most important safety features to look for are non-tip wheels, an easy to use brake, and an easy to use single hand controller. Some models also offer non-leak batteries for extra reassurance.
7. Weight Capacity
For larger individuals, it’s important to check out the maximum weight capacity before purchase, to be sure they can use their scooter comfortably.
If your loved one needs a scooter that can be folded up for taking on public transit or in a car, make sure the model you pick is designed to do so.
9. Big Storage Space
Lastly, most mobility scooters offer some form of storage, either with the traditional front basket or a rear storage space. It’s good to consider what your senior will need to carry on a daily basis, including any oxygen or medical devices, as well as a purse or backpack. The mobility scooter will be your loved one’s main mode of transportation, so there should be room to hold groceries and assist with his or her daily tasks.
What is the Benefits of Mobility Scooters for Seniors?
For many seniors, loss of mobility is a distressing part of getting older. Seniors can benefit from a mobility scooter if they find that their lack of mobility is impacting their daily life. If they’re having trouble balancing throughout the day and don’t feel as if a walker or cane will provide improvement, a mobility scooter or wheelchair is the best option for them.
A motorized scooter for seniors is a mobility aid designed to make it much easier to get around. That means that the main function of mobility scooters is to increase the independence of those with mobility restrictions.
Seniors with decreased mobility can operate the scooter on their own, just like they would drive a car, and can continue to go where they want to go and maintain their independence.
Some seniors use their mobility scooter in place of walking, taking public transit, or relying on a lift from another person, to get around their local area with minimal trouble. Others use their scooter to get around the home if walking is difficult.
Either way, mobility scooters can help seniors continue to shop on their own, participate in activities, visit friends, and attend outdoor events.
Many aspects of life that are affected by limited mobility can be enhanced with a mobility scooter.
Using a mobility scooter gives many seniors their independence back, which is good for their confidence, and helps them keep up with their social life and stay active.
Who Typically Uses a Mobility Scooter?
The main reason a person uses a mobility scooter is that an ailment or condition is limiting how he or she gets around. This can be simple due to age; or due to health conditions like arthritis, stroke, obesity, and Multiple Sclerosis; or even due to coronary or lung issues.
Someone is a good candidate for a mobility scooter if:
- The user can walk a few steps
- The user can sit for extended periods (and is used to it)
- The user can fully operate, drive and navigate the scooter on his/her own, without assistance
A mobility scooter may not be the best mobility device if:
- The user has vision problems, as the scooter may be difficult to steer and navigate
- The user has mental difficulties, as the scooter may be too complex to drive
- The user needs to be strapped in, as scooters require the user to support themselves while seated
- The user cannot sit for extended periods
- The user has no mobility, as most scooters require the user to get on and off with minimal assistance
* Please note that while many seniors may fulfill these requirements, working with a doctor will ensure that the mobility scooter is medically necessary which will help with funding and insurance coverage.
Is a Mobility Scooter a Good Option for Your Senior?
The best way to know if a scooter is right for your senior is to spend some time listing out the reasons why he or she would benefit from using a mobility scooter. Having your ideas on paper makes it easier to make a final decision and it’s also a great first step towards finding the correct scooter for your loved one.
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