If you have, for whatever reason, lost some or all of your mobility, you know how much it can negatively impact your life. Whether you were a social person, an active person, or somewhere in between, losing the ability to go places you once could due to an inability to walk, is a really taxing and stressing condition to be in. While walkers and manual wheelchairs do provide enhanced utility to tons of people, they do not allow people to go all the places they want to go and the very act of moving yourself from point A to point B using one of these manual devices can be very tiresome.
Thankfully, advances in technology have really made it possible for even people with severe mobility issues to enjoy their lives. Mobility scooters, that are most often electric powered scooters, have really opened up the world for tens of thousands of people who have limited mobility, and it is has opened the world up to them literally. They’re more comfortable and practical than an electric wheelchair or “power wheelchair”, and they generally have a higher weight capacity, and comfier seat. Many of us are familiar with those Hoveround commercials from the 90s and early 2000s that showed older folks with limited mobility enjoying the view from atop the Grand Canyon.
This was a real turning point for people with limited mobility. Finally, there was a powerful, yet safe and stable device that allowed people to go far more places than they could before. Fast forward a decade or so, and there are now tons of options on the market, some that are even specially tailored towards certain needs and lifestyles. These have proven to really improve the quality of life for people with a wide range of mobility issues, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors, go on all terrains, comfortable travel with their mobility scooters without a ton of hassle, and more.
If you or someone you love has limited mobility, an electric mobility scooter is an excellent way to help them maintain an healthy, active, and social lifestyle, even if their health status doesn’t allow them the mobility they once had. With that said, there truly are a ton of different options on the market and it can be a bit intimidating and not a little confusing. These can be expensive devices, some of which may be offset by insurance, others that may have to be purchased out of pocket.
What follows are a few of the most important things you need to keep in mind when shopping for an electric mobility scooter.
Know Your Budget/Insurance
If you have seen the Hoveround commercial mentioned above, you also likely know that there are some insurance plans that will partially or fully cover the costs of certain types of approved mobility scooters. This can be very helpful, especially to older individuals or those who have a fixed budget. Not all models qualify and not all plans cover even a portion of these devices. If you have private insurance or Medicare, you will want to contact your insurance provider before you start shopping to find out if these devices are covered under your plan at all, and if so, how you go about getting a scooter with partial or full insurance coverage.
The thing is, you are not likely going to be able to purchase the electric mobility scooter of your choice using your insurance by going to a retail site like Amazon. Your insurance provider may have specific retailers or services that you need to use in order to get these savings.
If you do not have insurance or your particular plan doesn’t cover this kind of equipment, it helps to determine your budget before you begin shopping. This will save you time as it will eliminate time spent looking at models that are outside of your price range. This is also a good way to ensure that you don’t overspend.
What Features Matter Most?
Another big factor that you will need to take into consideration is what you plan on doing with your electric scooter. If you are looking for a comfortable scooter that will allow you to more easily navigate your home and tight spaces, a traditional three wheeled scooter will likely work best for you. The three wheeled design gives the scooter a tighter turning radius than four wheel, which makes it far more suitable for getting around tight spaces like small apartments.
Are you a larger person or do you plan to use your scooter on uneven surfaces? If so, you might prefer a four wheeled model of electric scooter. These still allow you to easily turn around in most areas, but they do not have the tight turning radius of a three wheeled scooter. However, with a four wheeled scooter, you get a more stable and secure ride, higher weight capacity, with enhanced safety when compared to the three wheeled model. The four wheeled model also distributes weight a bit differently, which can make for a smoother ride.
If you are an active person and you want to be able to navigate tough terrain and enjoy the great outdoors, you are going to want to look at heavy duty and all-terrain electric scooters. These scooters have a better suspension than more basic models. They also have much larger tires, which allow the scooter to handle a wide variety of different types of terrain. This type of scooter is also often a lot more powerful than the other scooters we describe, as it needs the power for rough terrain. This type of scooter also often has a great battery range than other models, so it is better for people who want to spend a lot of time outdoors. Pay attention to battery type to make sure that your mobility scooter battery won’t be a problem.
For social people who may not be into the outdoors, but do want to spend a lot of time out of the house, travel oriented scooters are a great choice. These are safe, reliable electric scooters that are designed with travel in mind. This means they weigh less, so they are easier to get in and out of a car. They are also designed to either fold or easily be taken apart, without the need for any tools.
There are a lot of other features that may or may not be important to you when looking for a scooter, but the cost, your insurance, and the type of scooter you are looking for are incredibly important. These are things that you need to decide before you even go shopping, as it will help guide your research and your efforts. As you can see from this brief breakdown, there is a type of scooter for people of very different lifestyles, meaning that no matter how active or social you are, there is a safe and reliable option that will allow you to continue to live your life to the fullest, even with limited mobility.