Monday, December 26, 2011

Mobility Scooters and Electric Wheelchairs: A Comparison

Several mobility aids are widely available for physically handicapped individuals. These may vary from conventional canes and walkers to much sophisticated electric powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters. The latter two can bring greater freedom and independence to disabled persons. Hence, this article will be comparing the mentioned mobility aids to help those concerned individuals to decide which of the two they will purchase for themselves, or for their loved ones who need it.

Both mobility aids utilize the same types of rechargeable batteries. They can also run as far as 15 miles or more before requiring battery recharging. Also, both mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs can accommodate a weight of 500 pounds, or greater. Lastly, the controls for speed and acceleration are similar for both mobility vehicles.

In terms of cost, electric wheelchairs are considered as the most expensive among all mobility vehicles. The advanced power, speed, and features of such wheelchairs can cost as much as, or even exceed, the price of average automobiles. The price of electric wheelchairs can be as much as $15,000. On the other hand, mobility scooters are more cost-effective. The deluxe types of such vehicles can only cost a small fraction of an electric wheelchair’s price, that is, from $1,000 up to $5,000.

For storage purposes, mobility scooters are more convenient than electric wheelchairs. Mobility scooters may be folded or dismantled and can be expediently kept in a closet or be transported in a car’s trunk. On the contrary, electric wheelchairs are very heavy and are not foldable primarily because of the sturdy materials that they are made of. Such properties make these types of wheelchairs hard to keep or transport.

To achieve optimum comfort, the adjustability of some features on both mobility aids is of major importance. The seats, armrests, and footrests of electric wheelchairs can be accordingly angled and adjusted for comfort. The seats and handlebars of mobility scooters can also be adjusted for the same purpose.

An electric mobility scooter can be steered using handlebars like that with a bicycle while an electric wheelchair makes use of a joystick.

Individuals with problems on mobility of the upper portion of their bodies may find electric wheelchairs easier to manipulate compared to mobility scooters. For those with impaired postures, electric wheelchairs may include motorized reclined, tilt, and stand options for support. Also, wheelchairs are more comfortable for those who require spending most of their time in their mobility aids.

So, which of the two aforementioned mobility assistance vehicles is best for you? We have compared the electric wheelchair and mobility scooters. This is surely a great help for affected individuals to make a wise and informed decision on which one to purchase. Either of them will tremendously aid a mobility impaired individual to become more self-reliant and to move around better. But in the end, your decision whether to buy an electric wheelchair or an electric mobility scooter will greatly depend on your personal needs, preferences and budget. If you can comfortably mount a scooter then go for it, otherwise if balance is an issue, it will be safer to ride the wheelchair type.

No comments:

Post a Comment