When buying mobility scooters, size definitely matters. While you want one large enough to be comfortable and powerful, you want it to be right-sized for wherever you plan to use it. You also want it to have the right features for your needs.
Basic Facts about Scooters
Scooters are an alternative to an electric wheelchair that look more like a golf cart than a wheelchair. Operated by battery, they are more manageable than manual chairs for people with limited flexibility in the arms or shoulders, and are great for those with disabling conditions, such as heart or lung problems. Ironically, they are often more economical to buy, as Medicare is very picky about who they will approve a power wheelchair for.
Scooters are equipped with three to five wheels, with three the usual number for inside use and four or more the option for ones that will be used outside. Most operate around 5 mph, although some can exceed 8 mph. Battery life ranges from less than 7.5 miles to over 20.
Size-Related Concerns when Buying Mobility Scooters
In selecting a scooter, you have several size-related concerns:
- What is the turning radius? With a range of less around 30″ to more than 70″, the amount of room the scooter needs to turn around impacts where you can use it. Models with a smaller radius are better inside the home or in the grocery store where aisles are tight.
- What are the weight and dimensions? Lighter models that are easier to transport might be about 20″ wide and 35″ long and weigh 100# with the battery, while large models can exceed 30″ and over 70″ long and weigh 350# with the battery.
- How wide is the seat? Seats range from 14″ to 33″, which will impact how comfortable the scooter is for the length of time you are on it.
- What is the ground clearance? Some products have a ground clearance as low as 1.5″ which makes traveling outside or navigating a restricted space more difficult.
- How much weight can it support? Front wheel drive scooters, usually smaller and used inside, often have a weight limit of 250 pounds, while some rear wheel drive models can support more than 500 pounds.
Considerations with Big Scooters
When buying mobility scooters, it is important to consider where you will use them. If you foresee a change in your living circumstances to a smaller place, a super-sized scooter might be too big to use. Most large scooters won’t suit a space in assisted living.
Your other concern is how easy it is to transport. While you can acquire vehicle lifts to manage any size scooter, some must be partially disassembled during transport. On some models, the heaviest piece does not exceed 30#, while for some scooters, the heaviest piece exceeds 80#.
With many variables to consider, make sure to talk to your Western Stairlifts representative about size and features that will suit you when buying mobility scooters.