are a popular way for people with some mobility problems to get around
in their homes, the grocery store, the shopping mall and other important
areas in their neighborhood. If you are fatigued after walking to
another part of your house or to your mailbox, you can still maintain
your independence with the use of a fun and comfortable scooter.
Another name for a scooter is PMV or personal mobility vehicle.
People who benefit from having a scooter for
mobility include people with multiple sclerosis, mild cerebral palsy,
severe forms of arthritis. The elderly and stroke survivors also find
that scooters help get from here to there without using a product that
looks like medical equipment!
With more than 100 scooter models to choose from,
how do you choose the right scooter for your needs? It's kind of like
shopping for a car. You know what you need to use the car for, so that
helps you to choose which car to buy. The same is true for a scooter.
Here is an easy checklist to help you decide which is the right scooter for you!
Your weight. How much you weigh is the
first consideration. When making a purchase, you'll be asked whether you
weight 250 pounds or less, or if you weight more than 250 pounds. The
second choice is a more durable scooter to be able to carry that
difference in weight. Consider whether you are close to that weight
limit, and if you will be carrying heavy objects on your scooter or in
your scooter basket! It all adds up!
Scooter dimensions. The size of the
scooter is going to be important based on your environment. If you use
your scooter indoors where the hallways are narrow and the corners are
tight, then a smaller scooter with a small turning radius will be your
better choice. You can find those measurements in the specifications
section when review the details of any scooter.
Scooter durability. Eighty percent of scooter buyers purchase a 3 wheel scooter.
Scooters come in three general sizes: compact, midsize and rugged
outdoor. If you will use your scooter on rough terrain, hilly grass or a
rural area like a farm, you probably will want a 4 wheel outdoor scooter. Four wheels adds more stability over rough terrain. A 3 wheel scooter allows better maneuverability in tight spaces.
Transportation. Will you be transporting your scooter
in the trunk of a car? If so, you need to consider a scooter that
disassembles. You also need to consider the size of those individual
pieces and the weight of the largest piece. Many scooters do disassemble
into three pieces, not including the batteries. The heaviest piece can
be as much as 30 pounds. So, you might need to consider how much weight
your spouse, friends or caregivers can lift in order to get that into
the trunk of your car. Also check the sizes of the pieces to be sure you
or a friend can get them into the trunk of the car being used!
Alternatively, you could look at scooter lifts.
The seat. If you are in and out of your
scooter seat all day, then you would probably be fine with the seat that
comes standard with your scooter. If you remain in the seat most of the
day, you'll want to consider upgrading to a more comfortable seat that
has extra foam padding. Also consider leg room; if you are tall, you
will want a seat that can be moved higher. Some seats also swivel for
easy access, then lock in place when you are facing forward. More
expensive, and thus more comfortable seats, are oftentimes called
Captain chairs because they look like the chair/seat used by a captain
on a boat.
The arms. If you are in and out of your
seat, you'll probably want arms that rotate back out of the way for easy
transfer. Some scooters come with arms that can be adjusted wider to
allow more room for you and a heavy coat on chilly days, or to help
adjust the chair to the most comfortable position for your needs.
Accessories. There are many options from
pouches to baskets to headlines, and many of these options have an
additional charge to them, just like when you bought your car. Take your
time when scrolling through the Accessories list when comparing
scooters and their value to your needs.
Colors. One of the most popular colors is red, followed by blue, then silver. What was the favorite color of your favorite car?!
Tires. Most scooters now come with foam-filled tires. These eliminate the problem of flat tires.
The Tiller. If you have limited ability
to grip, be sure you don't get a scooter that has knobs for release
mechanisms. The tiller is like the handlebars of a bicycle, and it can
be moved forward for easy access to sit down, the moved back in place
for when you are ready to drive on. Some scooters are made with a lever
that allows you to just move it with the push of your hand to release
Here is another important checklist of you are
not sure if you are ready to buy a scooter. If you agree with the
following questions, a scooter may be right for you:
1. My needs cannot be met with lesser equipment (e.g., manual wheelchair).
2. I have sufficient vision and judgment to guide a scooter safely.
3. Availability of power mobility will increase my access to different environments.
4. I can transport a scooter to and from intended environments.
5. I have sufficient strength, range of motion,
and endurance in my hands and arms to guide a device with a tiller.
(Scooters are guided by tillers, which are mechanically similar to the
handlebars of a bicycle).
6. I have adequate trunk stability. (Seating
options are limited on scooters so the user must be able to hold him or
If you or caregivers have questions regarding
your vision, judgment, strength, range of motion, endurance in
hands/arms, trunk stability — please call or email one of our customer service representatives.