Mobility Scooter or Power Wheelchair Which is Best For me
Many people are unclear which power mobility device is best for their needs. In fact many users aren’t even sure what the difference between a power wheelchair and mobility scooter are. When deciding which device is best for you it’s important to consider many factors such as turning radius, seating options, portability, ambulatory strength and terrain the power wheelchair or handicap scooter will be used on. Speaking with a mobility specialist is ideal and will usually help you in deciding on which item is best to fit your needs. The first factor to consider is if the mobility device you’re looking at provides adequate turning radius to get in and out of where you need to go. A power wheelchair although usually heavier provides a much tighter turning radius than most mobility scooters. Often power wheelchairs have a mid wheel drive feature enabling them to turn within 18 to 22 inches offering the most maneuverability to get through tight areas like smaller homes and tighter doorways. A mobility scooter typically offers a turning radius of about 35-40 inches depending on the number of wheels and style of scooter. So consider where you’ll be using the mobility equipment when choosing the right one.
Secondly you’ll want to consider upper body strength and seating requirements for you power mobility device. While scooters are typically more portable and easier to travel with, their seats are normally less comfortable and require more upper body strength especially in the shoulders to operate. If you’ll be using the scooter for an extended period of time your shoulders can become very weak and tired from holding them up for great lengths of time while operating the handlebars also known as the tiller. While using a power wheelchair there is much less stress on your arms and shoulders. A power wheelchair is typically operated by a joystick on the right or left side depending on which hand you have more comfort with. When considering how much time you’ll be in the mobility scooter or power chair and your shoulder strength, also consider the comfort of the seat. While most scooters simply come with a small shoulder blade height seat, many power wheelchairs are offered with a high back seat with a head rest. This seating usually also has the option to upgrade the seating to a gel or foam cushion to prevent sores for those who are in their mobility device all day. Lastly you want to consider portability of your power mobility device. While most standard mobility scooters can be taken apart easily to travel with most standard power wheelchairs cannot. In order to transport a power wheelchair easily you will more than likely need a vehicle lift attached to the rear of your vehicle. There are power wheelchairs on the market that offer the ability to be taken apart easily however they do not offer the same seating comfort and longer range that standard power wheelchairs offer. So when choosing which device is right for you, consider all of these factors. This will ensure you have the best device to fit your needs for years to come and help make your life easier. If you have any specific questions on which electric wheelchair or mobility scooter is right for you, never hesitate to contact an authorized mobility equipment dealer to go through your options.