If you’re looking to maintain your mobility and independence, or that of a client’s or loved one, you may be considering purchasing a mobility scooter. But there are many different models of mobility scooters from different companies all with different specifications and uses… So how do you find the scooter best suited to your needs? We’ve put together this guide to help you figure out the answer to that exact question! From what you need to consider before making a purchase all the way through to scooter maintenance, find everything you need to know right here.
Benefits of mobility scooters
A mobility scooter is a significant purchase, so before you buy one you should consider the benefits of owning a scooter. If the items listed below aren’t areas in your life in need of improvement, then you may want to consider other walking aids before committing to a scooter.
Independence – Scooters can make moving around the house and going outside more manageable for people who require assistance to walk. This means a scooter could allow you to make your way around without additional assistance and you can move around for longer.
Mobility – Scooters can help keep people mobile as they require significantly less energy from the user to operate than walking. Depending on the design of the scooter, they can also make maneuvering around tight corners easier.
Speed – When you have trouble walking, getting from place to place takes longer than it would if you had no issues with mobility. Scooters will allow you to move around at the same (or even faster!) pace as a walker with no mobility issues.
Ease – Mobility scooters are designed so their use is intuitive, you will quickly get the hang of riding around in one.
Comfort – Scooters are designed for you to sit in them for long stretches of time, so they are designed for comfort.
Lifestyle – A mobility scooter can give you the freedom of movement necessary to live the lifestyle you want. Moving will require less time and energy, giving you a greater ability to complete activities that bring you joy.
What you need to consider
Once you’re certain in your decision to buy a mobility scooter, you need to start thinking about what features you need your scooter to have. There are many different models of mobility scooter, so when sorting through your options you should be aware of:
- Your mobility – A mobility scooter is only safe and practical for people who are confident in their ability to transfer from one position to another and sit upright without help. This is because it takes a certain level of dexterity and movement to operate a scooter. If you have poor upper body strength or issues with balance, you’ll need to think about what product adaptations are available to support you and your needs.
- Your hearing & eyesight – To safely operate a mobility scooter, you need to be able to quickly react to your surroundings. Some level of eyesight and hearing loss is ok, but you should talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to operate a scooter before you commit to purchasing one.
- Your height & weight – Mobility scooters are not one-size-fits-all, so you need to make sure when looking at scooters that the controls will be comfortably in reach for you when sitting and that it’s capable of holding your weight.
- Your environment – Where will you be driving your scooter? Some models are designed primarily for outdoor use, while other models are made for inside the house. You need to consider what environment you will be using your scooter in and choose a model accordingly.
- Your future – You want your mobility scooter to be with you for many years, so you need to think about what your future needs may be when choosing a scooter. Are you likely to gain weight? Will you move house? Are you expecting a major lifestyle change? You want to ensure the scooter you buy is perfect for both now and 5 years from now, so make sure you consider your future when looking at different scooter models.
Types of mobility scooters
Now that you know exactly what you need from a scooter, you can check out the different types of scooters available for you to purchase. These include:
These lightweight scooters are designed for ease of transport, meaning they will either disassemble or fold easily to fit in the boot of a car! This is a great scooter for trips to the shops, visiting friends, and small day trips with your family.
These scooters are super easy to maneuver around smaller spaces as having only one front wheel allows for tighter turns and increased direction control. Three-wheel scooters also tend to be easier to transport than four-wheel scooters as they are smaller.
Having 4 wheels increases the stability of the scooter, making them more appropriate for outdoor use due to their better ability to handle uneven terrain. These scooters tend to be slightly less maneuverable than three-wheel scooters.
Servicing and maintaining your mobility scooter
The mobility scooter you buy will be a huge help to you, but only if you look after it. A broken scooter is no use to anybody, so make sure you regularly service and maintain it.
- Read the manual – Manuals aren’t written for fun, they contain really important information about how to properly care for you scooter, so read it before you start using your scooter!
- Keep it dry – Most scooters aren’t designed for heavy rain or deep puddles, and a lot of damage can be done if your scooter gets too wet.
- Keep it clean – Wipe away any dirt or dust your scooter may pick up day-to-day, you don’t want any foreign objects getting caught in places they don’t belong!
- Check the tires – To keep your scooter rolling smoothly, make sure it always has the correct tire pressure and a good level of tread.
- Speak up – In time, you will become very familiar with how your scooter operates. So, if you notice anything strange about the breaks, steering, battery life, or anything else, report it to your repairer. The sooner you have problems checked out, the sooner (and cheaper) they will be fixed.
Mobility scooters purchased from Vital Living all come with a free 6-month service! To keep your scooter running smoothly, you should maintain a regular servicing schedule with at least one service a year.
Next Steps – Buying the right mobility scooter for you
At Vital Living, we have an extensive range of mobility scooters available for sale or hire, so we will definitely have a scooter that’s perfect for you. Contact our dedicated team now and we can help you find your perfect fit.