People with mobility difficulties need the right quality mobility scooter to move around. They help people with limited mobility to move around freely and safely. It is a substantial investment, no matter which brand you are planning to buy. Some brands cost a few hundred bucks, whereas others with added features might cost you thousands. Before finalizing and purchasing a mobility scooter, you must do your research to be sure of what you are getting. The following are the five crucial things to consider while finding the best mobility scooter.
- How much weight can the scooter carry?
Mobility scooters work on electric charge supplied by small batteries. You must charge these batteries for safe and efficient running. It’s essential to consider the maximum weight it can carry. Most scooters can carry up to 300lbs. If the weight that it can carry reaches its upper limit, including your weight, then it will be difficult for you to carry any grocery bag or any bag attached to your scooter. In this case, look for other scooters with a higher weight capacity. It is also dangerous to go on uneven or uphill terrain on a mobility scooter with maximum weight.
- Insurance coverage
If your doctor certifies that you are not able to use any other type of mobility aid like a cane, wheelchair, or a walker, then your health insurance will cover the cost of the scooter. But if your medical needs say you will be okay to use a manual chair or any other mobility aid, then your insurance provider will cover the partial cost of the mobility scooter. The insurance companies need an order sent by your doctor for the mobility scooter to the local medical supply company. You can then talk with a representative of the pharmaceutical supply company to help you find the right mobility scooter based on your daily needs and lifestyle. In case you don’t want insurance to cover the scooter cost, then you will get a wide range of selection from online suppliers, too, who can ship your choice of the scooter to you.
- Hand dexterity and better control
Mobility scooters are there to help people with disabilities and compensate for agility limitations. But to operate and control the mobility scooter, you need some physical strength. Therefore, it might be dangerous for senior people with nervous system disorders like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis to operate these scooters. Since they might not be able to physically manage and control the buttons like squeezing the brake handles, toggle a joystick, etc. Mobility scooters are not advisable for them.
- The flexibility of traveling with a scooter
If you plan on going outdoors, buy a mobility scooter that is portable and can also fit into the trunk of a vehicle. Mobility scooters give you more flexibility to move in and around the home, but traveling in different cities is a different story altogether. There are many varieties of mobility scooters that you can disassemble for a comfortable trip. Also, carry accessories like spare parts, tools, and side mirrors with you in a bag when planning on traveling by air.
- Battery Life
Another point to consider while buying a mobility scooter is where all you are planning to use it. If you are more of an outdoor traveler kind of person, then make sure you buy a mobility scooter with longer battery life and sturdy tires to safely move on any terrains like sand, dirt, grass, and gravel. It is essential because going outside plays a vital role in the longevity and health of the seniors. Therefore, you need to be sure that with the mobility scooter you purchase, it would be safe to venture in and around your community.
- Additional Factors
Once you find the scooter according to your needs, look into the features that increase the safety, comfort, and durability. The basic form of mobility scooter is useful, but you can also customize it based on what you might need later on. It is essential to check additional features like the seat comfort, easy-to-reach controls, and armrests of the scooter. You can ask for the installation of an extra basket if you need additional storage space. Look for what all built-in safety mechanisms they have to prevent the scooter from rolling over, and a security alarm to alert your loved ones in case anything happens.
- 4 Wheels or 3 Wheels
The answer to this age-old question of whether a three-wheeler is less stable than a four-wheeler is that it all depends on how you are using it. A four-wheeler can also topple as easily as a three-wheeler.
The above are the few points to consider before finalizing on a mobility scooter. Last but not least, before making the payment, do ask them for a test drive to be sure of the mobility scooter you have chosen. You will get to know whether the mobility scooter is right for you for your day to day needs. Some medical supply companies offer a week of free home trial too. In case your supplier denies it, you can ask them about their return policy for situations when something happens to the scooter.