How to be comfortable in your electric scooter
If your ability to walk distances is limited, you may be considering getting an electric scooter which is often referred to as a mobility scooter. Mobility scooters are a great way of maintaining some independence as they let you continue with many activities such as taking part in social events, doing the shopping and running your own errands.
Mobility scooters come with a wide range options around speed, power, weight, size and seat support. Before you invest in a scooter, it’s a good idea to think about what your needs are.
Things that you might like to consider before purchasing an electric scooter are:
Your mobility needs
Take a few moments to write down all the places that you are likely to go on your new electric scooter. Will you use it indoors or outdoors? Or both? Will you need to cross roads and go up and down kerbs? Or will you mostly be inside shopping centres? Will you be on flat concrete footpaths or uneven surfaces?
You can also think about how far you want to travel on your scooter. Will you be covering reasonable distances, or will you just be popping in and out of a few shops? All of these things can influence the type of scooter that is best for you and your needs.
You might also like to think about your ability to move around. Think about sitting, standing and getting into the scooter, and also your ability to move your body within the scooter.
Your height and weight should also be taken into consideration. Generally, larger people tend to need a scooter that is appropriate for their build. Before you decide on a scooter, check that its size and load bearing capacity is a good fit for you.
It’s also important to understand your ability to stay balanced and steady, both when you are sitting in your scooter and when you are standing or walking around.
Posture is also an important thing to consider. Do you tend to hold your body in a certain position? Will this be comfortable for you in a scooter? When you use a scooter, you will need to be able to stay in a comfortable, safe and supported seated position for some time. This means that the seat and backrest need to be padded and comfortable. Your seat needs to give you enough room to wear a coat, but not so much room that you end up leaning sideways for support.
Your eyesight is also important. If your eyesight or cognitive abilities are becoming a problem, a scooter may not be the best option for you. Talk to your doctor before making a decision.
What size scooter?
The right size scooter for you depends on your body size, and needs. Bigger scooters aren’t necessarily better than smaller ones, they simply perform differently. Smaller scooters tend to have a short wheel base which means that they have better manoeuvrability. They are also easier to transport in a vehicle. Medium scooters are one of the most popular scooter varieties and are great for outdoor use and transporting. Most medium scooters have limited indoor use. Larger scooters with a longer wheel base tend to offer a smoother ride; however, they are difficult to move around in ordinary vehicles and don’t turn as tightly in confined spaces. Most large scooters are not for indoor use.
Larger and All weather / Bariatric scooters tend to be more powerful and have larger battery capacity. They also tend to go a bit faster than the smaller ones.
How many wheels?
Mobility scooters come in three and four-wheel varieties. Three-wheel scooters tend to be easier to manoeuvre, which is helpful in shopping centres and around the house.
Four-wheel scooters tend to be more stable, and can be a good choice if you are riding on rougher terrain outdoors. They also have extra foot space.
A number of scooter accessories are available to help make you more comfortable in your electric mobility scooter. Things like cup holders, rain covers, bags, mobile phone holders and sun canopies can all be added to make your mobility scooter just right for you.
Pressure care cushions are also great when sitting for long distances. They provide a comfortable, even distribution of air flow to help prevent pressure sores from developing.
If you’re thinking about getting a mobility scooter, talk to the team at Mobility Aids. They can offer great advice, and they also stock a range of scooters and accessories. Why not take a look at some of their daily living products right now?
More Advice on Mobility Aids
Looking for more tips to get the most from your mobility aids? Check out our wide range of health tips from leading health & mobility professionals.
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This article is sponsored by Independence Australia, a social enterprise that provides choices for people living with a disability or other personal need, enabling them to regain and retain their independence within a supportive community.