Mobility Scooter Versus an Electric Wheelchair
Posted by Tom Lee on
Mobility Scooter Versus an Electric Wheelchair
This guide will help you start your research and decide whether to purchase a mobility scooter or an electric wheelchair for you or a loved one.
Why consider a mobility chair device? For starters, the demand for electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters continues to grow exponentially due to the aging elderly population and the need for mobility devices for individuals with disabilities.
Marc’s Mobility provides a variety of new and used mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs to individuals who may have a disability or those with spinal cord injuries, or neurological disorders.
You’ll be able to easily maneuver and navigate to your destination safely and independently while driving a motorized wheelchair or scooter that caters to your short or long-term mobility needs. Check the online website for more information about mobility chair models that you might be interested in purchasing.
What are Electric Wheelchairs?
Electric wheelchairs, or motorized wheelchairs, run through an electric motor, instead of manual power. They are easy to disassemble and store, especially on long trips or for the ease of turning sharp corners. Marc’s Mobility electric wheelchairs include comfort, safety and innovative design through adjustable armrests, reclining seats, joysticks for easy navigation, storage compartment, and power wheels.
According to a new report by Technavio, the electric wheelchair market is projected to grow at USD 708.8 million between the years of 2019-2023. The growth is in part driven by a need for more electric wheelchairs due to a number of increasing orthopedic and neurological disorders such as knee problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-patient recovery from orthopedic surgery, according to the report by Technavio. As a result of this need for mobility devices, companies are focusing their efforts on launching new and innovative products and models of mobility devices for the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Additionally, there is an increase in aging of the elderly population, which will further drive the electric wheelchair market forward.
There are plenty of heartwarming stories about how mobility and electric wheelchairs have helped make peoples’ lives easier. But there are also many stories that demonstrate how technologically advanced wheelchairs have saved lives. For instance, there’s the story of a 69-year-old grandfather, Gary White, who used a standard wheelchair during a family trip to the lake to save his great-grandson.
After gaining recognition and being hailed a hero on social media, White was presented with a new electric wheelchair from the organization, Veterans Helping Veterans, which provides power chairs and scooters to those in need at no charge.
According to Karman Healthcare, some of the most common electric wheelchairs include the following:
- Rear wheel: these power chairs are quick, but the turning capabilities are not as agile. They are the most used electric power chairs
- Mid-wheel: typically has another wheel
- Front wheel: this is the most frequently used wheelchair that is versatile and can be used for the outdoors or indoors
What are Mobility Scooters?
Mobility scooters are battery-powered, motorized vehicles that make it easier to get around and travel far distances within a safe speed range. They are different from traditional scooters in that they possess three or four wheels.
Would you want to buy or rent a mobility scooter? What are some of the top brands? These are just a few questions you might want to ask yourself before you decide to invest in a mobility scooter. If you’re looking for a long-term transportation device, you might consider buying one for safekeeping and everyday use.
According to a new report titled “Vehicles for Disabled Market by Vehicle Type (Adaptive Four-Wheeler, Mobility Scooter), Manufacturer Type (OEM and Third-Party Customization), Entry Mechanism, Entry Configuration, Driving Option, Ownership, and Region - Global Forecast to 2027,” there are several factors that spur the growth and need of mobility vehicles for the disabled population market globally.
A few setbacks for this growth, according to the report, include high cost and the lack of medical reimbursement for mobility vehicles. One of the fastest-growing motorized vehicles will include the mobility scooter which allow individuals with disabilities to travel short distances and maneuver it for everyday use. Additionally, the report projects that North America is expected to be the largest market for mobility solutions and vehicles. The report states, “The increasing demand for mobility solutions and an increase in the sense of independence among disabled people have propelled the growth of this market.”
A few of the US-based mobility scooter manufacturers, according to the report, include the following:
The Pros and Cons of Mobility Scooter and Electric Wheelchairs
When considering buying a mobility vehicle, you might want to examine the many pros and cons and decide if you’d want a mobility scooter or an electric wheelchair. Are you looking for something with leg-room and comfort, or a vehicle that is easily rechargeable and travels far distances?
|Electric Scooter||-more leg room and comfortable
-easily foldable in the car and easy to travel with
-can travel far distance
-must regularly charge battery
|Mobility Scooter||-storage compartments in front or back
-vast/higher speed than electric scooter
-safety and stability
-difficult to fit in cars
-bulky, tends to weigh more
-exposed engines and other features
In a nutshell, electric scooters are a better choice for individuals with disabilities or the elderly population, or if you’re looking for a customizable chair. They are low-maintenance devices that are easily adjustable, lightweight, and foldable so you can carry them and put them in your car. They also have exceptional leg room and a comfortable backrest and compartments for easy storage. Mobility scooters, on the other hand, are a great mobility device for speed and are better suited for outdoor use as they are harder to navigate for sharp turns. You can read more about the disadvantages and advantages of mobility scooters here.
Do you Need a Scooter?
The need for mobility transportation devices such as electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters has greatly increased with an aging population and the need for alternative mobility options to get around. Users can achieve more independence with the assistance of mobility devices that improve the quality of life.
You may benefit from a scooter if you have used canes, walkers, and other support methods for a while, but have still struggled to get around and move with freedom from potential falls. If you want to feel safe, you should consider investing in a scooter. For those with joint pain, or a neurological disorder, a scooter might help with easy mobility.
Something many people consider is whether a mobility device is covered by their insurance, as they are pricey though there are alternatives like renting or purchasing a used device. You should look into this and see what your plan covers. According to Very Well Health, many companies that sell scooters accept Medicaid to cover some of the cost. You might want to do a little more research to see what needs to be paid out of your pocket. You can also consult your physician and assess your needs to see if a scooter might be right for you if you have a disability or disorder that prevents you from moving independently.
Marc’s Mobility scooters range anywhere from $1K to $6,000, depending on style, type, features, and whether you are buying a used or new mobility vehicle. The prices may vary and be discounted if you choose a used one.
Before you decide to choose a mobility scooter, you might want to ask yourself a few questions:
- What are my options? Are there any alternatives?
- How far can I travel on the scooter?
- Are there any safety latches or brake features in the event of an emergency?
- Does it come equipped with LED lights?
- Are there storage compartments?
- Is there enough leg room?
- How long is the battery life?
- Should I buy a used scooter instead of a new one?
- What if I get into an accident with the scooter?
- Does my insurance cover part or the full cost of the scooter?
- Should I go for a trial run before committing to the vehicle?
Do You Need a Power Wheelchair?
There are a lot of power wheelchairs on the market today and it can be daunting to look through dozens of models and still leave feeling confused about what to purchase. You want to ask yourself if you’re looking for a motorized device that is good on speed or turning when you need it for a sharp turn.
- Are you looking for a device that you can frequently take outside or inside?
- Would an electric scooter be a better option if you’re looking to take it for both inside and outside use?
Weight for mobility chairs is another concern, especially if you plan on taking it everywhere for travel. Would it be easier if you had a lightweight wheelchair that was easily adjustable and foldable in an SUV or car?
You might also want to check if the backrest and other features can recline and offer ultimate comfort. Another thing to look into is the power level or how long the battery life would be for a power wheelchair, and whether you are comfortable with the type of joystick navigation on the device to direct mobility.
You might also want to read through the return policies in case you are not happy with the chair. Giving the chair a trial run might be a good idea, especially if you are indecisive or if it’s your very first mobility device purchase. It’s natural to feel anxious, but don’t let that stop you from looking into mobility devices that can greatly benefit or impact your life or the lives of your family members.
Here is a helpful chart of common weights for an electric-powered wheelchairs, which can vary in weight and features.
-lightweight and durable
-wheels can easily adjust and reassemble for extra storage space
Approx 13-20 pounds
-for easy transport and maintenance at hospitals, etc.
-wheels can easily adjust and re-assemble for extra storage space
Approx 20-35 pounds
-full size chair
-more spacious with larger seats, armrests, etc.
-battery needs recharging
-has great travel capabilities
Approx 50-300 pounds
-designed for people who are over 300 lbs
-larger and wider frame and seating
-wider features and wheel space
Approx 400-1,000 pounds
What to Consider when Choosing the Right Mobility Device
Once you’ve gone through your pros and cons list, you’ll have a better idea of the right mobility device that suits your health and wellness needs. Here’s a list of things to consider when choosing the right device:
- Am I looking for speed versus comfort?
- Am I looking for a three-wheeled or four-wheeled device?
- What is the weight of the device I am looking for?
- How long is the life of my mobility device?
- Does my insurance cover part or the full cost of the device?
- Should I consider renting if I’m not 100 percent sure about the device?
- Where can I take/drive my mobility device?
- Am I looking to use my mobility device in an indoor or outdoor setting?
- What are some rules surrounding mobility devices?
- What if I get injured on a mobility device? What are my rights?
- What if my mobility device doesn’t successfully charge? What is the battery life?
- Are there alternative joystick options for easily driving the device?
- How easily does the device disassemble? Will it fit in a small backseat?
- What is the preferred incline rating for the device?
Remember, each device is designed for specific needs. Make a list of what you’re looking for and see if the features match up to your expectations and physical needs. Keep researching and consulting mobility devices and keep up with the latest updates and new products from the industry.
As new technology continues to hit the market, it is important to know how it will advance mobility and benefit everyday consumers. You want quality mobility devices that will cater to your specific needs while providing quality, safety, and reassurance. Don’t be afraid to take a little bit of time to test drive the mobility device and ask the manufacturer or scooter seller questions about their models.