Today we will talk about a bit of a different topic for my blog. Mobility scooters! Getting around independently is extremely important so let’s take a look at the best electric motorized scooters for senior and elderly on the market today!
Strength training is very useful for maintaining your ability to walk if you are otherwise healthy. But if you are disabled or otherwise unable to walk unassisted it’s still very important to have a way to move around independently.
This is because the ability to move independently equals freedom. When you lose the freedom to choose where and when you want to go, your likelihood of developing mental health problems and other health issues will increase exponentially.
Even though I recommend people to take care of their strength to be able to walk as long as possible it’s obviously no always possible. There are many reasons people can lose the ability to walk including spinal injuries, inflammatory diseases, obesity, diabetes, crippling accidents etc.
Regular wheel chairs allow some freedom of movement if you are physically fit enough to use your upper body to move around. Unfortunately this is not realistic for most seniors who are wheelchair bound. Even if you are able to move around comfortably using your upper body, the range will always be rather limited.
Fortunately technology has made it possible to move extended distances with battery powered motorized scooters and electric wheelchairs. Recent advancements in battery technology has increased the ranges and made the scooters more affordable. The battery is the most important
What are Motorized Scooters
Motorized mobility scooters are light vehicles that are essentially a cross between an electric wheelchair and an electric scooter. They are intended mainly for disabled people to help them move around.
It’s usually possible to use a mobility scooter on the sidewalk and in most larger markets and stores. Mobility scooters come in different sizes and shapes depending on the intended use.
Generally speaking, larger scooters have better range and are more suitable for outdoor use while smaller scooter are good for indoor use and getting around your neighborhood.
Scooters consist of:
- Chassis that is usually built from steel or metal alloy
- The wheels, usually three or four depending on the model. They also house the brakes
- The steering column that houses the controls, instruments and gauges like speedometer.
- The seat that is usually made to be comfortable and heavy-duty for extended use
- The battery that is the power source of the scooter. Usually Lithium based just like in your cell phone these days. Lithium battery offer superior capacity with greatly reduced weight when compared to lead batteries. Win win!
- The motor and the drive train move the scooter and turn the chemical energy from battery into movement. The power of the motor dictates how fast the scooter can go and accelerate. Most mobility scooters won’t go faster than 8 mph which is the legal upper limit for mobility scooters.
There are scooters for different uses. Lightweight folding scooters are great for travel as they can be put in the trunk of a car or even taken with you on the airplane. Some of the lightest scooters are actually portable.
Some scooters are designed specifically for outdoors use. They are usually quite a bit heavier with rugged tires and larger batteries for extended range. If they are meant for use in traffic they will usually feature some safety and signaling equipment.
There are even outdoor mobility scooters with off-road capability. These types of scooters will have increased ground clearance, better suspension, wider wheel base, lower center of gravity, rugged off-road tires and even four wheel drive.
Why scooters are useful for seniors
Scooters are useful for getting around independently if you have disabilities or conditions that prevent you from walking very long distances without pain or discomfort.
Being able to move independently is extremely important for the quality of your life and your mental health. You don’t really think about how important it actually is until you are stripped of the right due to one reason or another.
Having health issues that affect your ability to walk is the most common reason why seniors lose the ability to move around freely. Mobility scooters are a solution to this situation if medical solutions and physiotherapy can’t return adequate ability to walk. Mobility scooters still generally require you to be able to use your arms relatively well.
If you are relatively healthy I would never recommend getting a mobility scooter for sheer convenience. Active lifestyle and moving with your own muscles is extremely important for your overall health and longevity. If you can, always walk or cycle when the distance is reasonable. Leave the scooter for those who need them.
The outdoor model scooters can be an option for having a car even if you are healthy and can walk. They allow you to drive for several miles and carry things like groceries and other cargo. But you should treat them like a car in this situation. Choose to use them only when you have to.
When used like this they are a much more affordable and environmentally friendly option to having a car. They require less parking space and use electricity as energy source reducing exhaust gasses and emissions to minimum. Of course, they can’t replace a car for long trips on the highway and you will be exposed to rain and weather but it all comes down to your personal need and preference.
Now that we know what mobility scooter actually are and what they are used for, let’s look at the best models available on the market right now!
The Best Ultra lightweight folding mobility scooter
Our first scooter is an ultra lightweight folding one, that can be carried around by a healthy strong person easily and stored in the trunk of a car for example. Meet the Drive ZooMe Flex Ultra Compact Folding Travel 4 Wheel Scooter
This feather-light mobility scooter is one of the lightest mobility scooters on the market. What I really like about it besides it lightweight is that it features a single motion folding and unfolding for transport. This means there is no need to assemble any bolts and nuts like in most travel scooters.
The scooter features four wheels which is always more stable than three wheels. This is especially important in portable lightweight scooters because the wheel base is narrower than in full size scooters, reducing stability.
The control bar is adjustable to position the controls optimally for different size users and provide easy control for users with limited arm and hand mobility. With fully charged battery the scooter can go about 13 miles which is excellent for a lightweight portable scooter.
- Lightweight (58 lbs)
- Good range (13 mph)
- Single motion folding
- Low max speed (4 mph). This is necessary on a portable scooter for safety
- A bit high price but you get what you pay for!
Affordable portable scooter for elderly
The next one is a more affordable portable scooter for those looking to get something simple to go around town and take on the trunk of a car for travel use. Meet the Shoprider 3-wheel portable scooter.
The Shoprider is of extremely simple design but that doesn’t make it any less usable. On the contrary actually. I believe in the old acronym KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Less moving part means less thing to break and simple constructions are more durable and easier to repair.
The Shoprider is a bit heavier than the Drive ZooMe at 70 lbs but still light enough to be easily lifted into a trunk of a car or carried around by a healthy person for a short distance. It also features a three wheel design which make it a bit more unstable.
- Lightweight (70 lbs)
- Top reviews from users
- Three wheels (unstable)
- No single motion folding
- Short range (8 miles)Low max speed
The Best mobility scooter for outdoors
If you are looking for a true outdoor mobility scooter than can go pretty much anywhere, look no further. Meet the Hummer XL Folding 4-Wheel Electric Scooter
This robust outdoor scooter features an extremely stable chassis and suspension that is designed for durability. Even though it’s heavy-duty it completely suitable for indoor use as well. The suspension and tires are designed for outdoor and even off-road use as they feature an increased ground clearance and suspension range.
The Hummer can carry up to 300 lbs of load and is designed with a wide seat with memory foam cushioning. The cushioned seat combined with the high quality suspension make the ride very comfortable and stable. The seat is designed so that the center of gravity is lower than in typical outdoor scooters. This makes the Hummer-XL stable in steeper hills.
The Hummer-XL comes equipped with full light pack for traffic use, including turning signals, tail lights, front lights and reverse light which make it perfect for traffic use. Even though the scooter is rather rugged, it’s foldable! This means you can take with you in the trunk of your car.
- High carry capacity (300 lbs)
- Good stability and off-road capability
- High top speed (6.8 mph)
- High range (15.5 miles/charge)
- Relatively expensive. But it’s the best in its class!
I hope you enjoyed these tips and reviews for getting an electric motorized mobility scooter. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments section below and I promise to get back to you as soon as possible!
Mobility scooters are a great way for getting around if you have disabilities or problems with walking long distances. However, it’s important to hang on to your ability to walk on your own two feet if your disability doesn’t prevent it completely.
This is because the more you avoid walking and activity, the harder it will become and soon you will have no option but to use a scooter. This is not something you want.
Scooters are a good way to improve your freedom of moving around if you have any issues with walking and they are a relatively affordable option for getting a car.
If you have trouble walking simply due to having weak legs, being over weight or running out of energy, I recommend you try strength training. You can download my free strength training program from the form below. It will show you the basics but you should always talk to your doctor about the reasons and treatment options for your walking problems.
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See you next time!