Mobility Scooters have, over the years, evolved into highly efficient and reliable machines that help millions of Americans each year retain their mobility. There are many different types available on the market today and many different styles. Finding the right one can seem overwhelming, but like most things it is pretty simple if you know a little bit about them.
One of the first things you should do is decide what you are going to use the scooter for. There are several questions you should ask yourself like: Is it going to be only used around the home and town? Or do you plan on taking it on vacation with you? Are you going to use it mostly in paved areas like the mall, Disney world, and the supermarket? Or do you plan on taking it out on the farm or on hikes through the woods.
If you are planning on taking your scooter on trips and on vacation then you will probably want to get a travel scooter. Travel scooters are very easy to assemble and disassemble. They can be easily placed in your trunk or in a plane without the need for vehicle lifts or special packaging. The Ameriglide Lite, for instance, weighs only 99 pounds and breaks into 5 pieces with the heaviest piece only weighing 32 pounds. This makes it very easy to put it in the trunk and almost anyone can lift it. Travel scooters are also generally fairly simple and scaled back. They usually do not have headlights or tail lights, and have fewer added comfort features than traditional mobility scooters. Since travel scooters are very light and small they are not recommended for people over 5′ 11″ or 300 pounds. Travel scooters function better on pavement, so if you are planning on using it outdoors over unpaved ground then you may want to consider a heavier scooter.
A regular mobility scooter has more features and is much more heavy duty than a travel scooter. It is not designed to be easily disassembled however. These types of scooters generally support more weight than travel scooters, some support up to 500 pounds. They are designed to better handle rough terrain and are incredibly durable. They also generally have more features and accessories built in. For example, the Golden Companion I has a very intuitive control panel, a recessed head light, and a tail light. It also has several accessories that are not available for travel scooters, such as the electric Easy Rise Seat. If you plan on taking these types of mobility scooters out of the house with you, you will either need a vehicle wheelchair lifts or use transportation that has a vehicle wheelchair lift on it. In many larger cities there are busses that have wheelchair lifts on them and there are many transportation services available that will come pick you up at your house as well.
After you assess your needs and expectations of your scooter, it is much easier to make a selection that best fits your needs. Check out my next article on 3-wheel and 4-wheel scooters and the benefits of these scooters.