If you’ve been looking for help to get around while avoiding fatigue or pain, read on to discover it a mobility scooter is right for you.
As the design of mobility scooters has improved, they have become much more comfortable to use and far easier to operate.
The tiller (handlebars) can be maneuvered even by people with limited upper body strength, while the basic controls makes it easy to learn how to operate. You’ll still need to be confident you can control and stop, especially in the event of something unexpected. But most people get the hang of it quickly and are on their way.
A major benefit of a mobility scooter is their ability to be taken on public transport and other accessible vehicles, such as taxis. This allows you to travel further, while being able to take your mobility scooter with you. After getting a scooter, you may find trips out become more pleasant as you experience less fatigue and pain that can come from having to walk even short distances.
You can even take your mobility scooter on holidays with you. Most airlines will allow you to check your scooter in as oversize luggage, allowing you to travel and take those vacations.
A decrease in mobility, whether due to age or illness, can make daily activities much harder. Either you need to forgo them entirely, or get help from others to do things like your shopping, getting to appointments, or simply meeting up with friends.
A mobility scooter allows you to carry out these activities yourself, without assistance. Suddenly you’re able to get around at home, travel to the shops and back, and even get to appointments, without the hassle.
However, while mobility scooters allow those you have difficulty walking to get around, it is important to note that they shouldn’t entirely replace physical activity. Your occupational therapist or GP can advise you on other things you can do to ensure you stay active.
Mobility scooters are restricted to just 10km/h and can only be used in pedestrian areas. As such, they’re not classed as vehicles and don’t need to be registered – except in Queensland, which offers free registration.
You also don’t need a licence to operate them. The only requirement in Australia is that you have a genuine need of a mobility scooter. However, it’s important you’re physically able to operate your mobility scooter safely so it’s worth discussing with your occupational therapist or GP about the skills you’ll need to operate one safely.
There is much more awareness now about accessibility and making it easy for all of the community to be able to take part in social activities. As public spaces and centres are continually looking for ways to improve accessibility, it’s becoming easier for mobility scooter users to visit those areas just like anyone else.
Likewise, the design of mobility scooters now allows them to take up far less space while offering greater maneuverability when it’s crowded. A small or folding mobility scooter can take up very little space while allowing you a sense of freedom.
Mobility scooters are for people who are mobile enough to operate a vehicle but are unable to walk long distances, either because of disability or a health issue. There are a wide range of scooters types available, from small, folding scooters that can be used to get around home and shopping centres, through to heavy duty mobility scooters that can navigate steep hills and travel distances of up to 50km.
If you’re considering a mobility scooter, there are a few things to consider. Read our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide to find out just what you need to know before you go to buy.