Electric Power Wheelchair or Mobility Scooter?
While there are many types of mobility aids, which is the right for you all comes down to personal and specific needs.
At eBility, we want all our customers to get the mobility aid best suited for them. So, we've created an outline to help you pick whether you should buy an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter.
What Is a Mobility Scooter?
Mobility scooters are battery-powered electric vehicles and can be controlled by switches mounted to handlebars. Users can choose their speed and change directions with ease as they sit on the built-in chair. They are a great tool for people who are mobile enough to operate a small vehicle, but who find it difficult to walk long distances due to mobility-related disabilities, age, or other health issues.
Mobility scooters are a popular choice for a lot of people. Especially because there are different classes, with some that are roadworthy and some that are ideal for footpaths and even in indoor shopping centres.
Pros of Mobility Scooters
Mobility scooters are easy to use, which is great for people who have never used one before. Designed for mostly outdoor use, they can tackle tough or steep terrain with little problem. They offer users more flexibility over where they can go and what they can do in their day-to-day lives.
Mobility scooters come in different shapes and sizes to suit different users. If you're after a lightweight scooter to fold into the boot of a car or a heavy-duty model, there's one for everyone!
Cons of Mobility Scooters
Mobility scooters are more suited for people with upper body strength. This is because to use the scooter safely, they will need to stay in their position for long periods of time.
If you are considering buying a mobility scooter, keep in mind they can take up a lot of space if they aren’t foldable. It’s important to make sure you have adequate storage for a class 3 scooter or any larger model.
Finally, scooters are more for outdoor use. Their larger turning circles make them more difficult to manoeuvre in tighter spaces.
What are Electric Wheelchairs?
As you can gather from the name, electric wheelchairs are battery-operated powered wheelchairs. Also referred to as powerchairs, they are useful for people with limited mobility including serious spinal cord injuries.
Controlled by a joystick in the armrest, or with other adaptions like puff-and-sip or tongue-drive options available, electric wheelchairs allow their users more control and independence than a manual wheelchair or mobility scooter. The user can choose and control where they are going and at what speed, with minimal effort or movement required.
Pros of Electric Wheelchairs
Unlike mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs are ideal for people with limited mobility and body strength. Its compact design allows the user to control everything they need without strain.
Like manual wheelchairs, powerchairs can be customisable to meet your needs. From changing the seat height, depth and even the backrest to get as comfortable and supported as possible. Adaptions to controls can also customise the chair to suit the user’s mobility, including joystick or button operation from the armrest, or sip-and-puff or tongue-drive assistive technologies being mounted near the user’s mouth.
Cons of Electric Wheelchairs
Though electric wheelchairs are easier to move, they can be more difficult to control. The joystick is usually more sensitive and may take longer to learn than those switches of a scooter. If you’re new to mobility aids, electric wheelchairs might be a little too high-tech.
Electric wheelchairs are not always the most comfortable option for travelling long distances. Electric wheelchairs are also rather heavy, which means that you can’t always lift them into the boot of a car.
It's hard to compare an electric wheelchair and a mobility scooter. They're so different! But as a rule, we advise more able users to choose a scooter and a wheelchair for those who need extra support.
If you’re still stuck and unsure about which of these mobility aids are suitable for you, get in contact with us today! Our team will talk you through our aids and help you find the right one for you.
You can browse mobility scooters and wheelchairs currently for sale on eBility here. If there’s something specific you are looking for or if you’re considering a piece of equipment. feel free to get in touch with one of eBility’s friendly staff members today.