Mobility Scooters vs Wheelchairs – Which is the Best Option?
People with mobility impairments or poor strength and dexterity often need a mobility aid so that they can move without the help of another person, namely a mobility scooter or a wheelchair. The question is which one of the two is the most reliable, efficient and useful unit that can transport a person with disabilities, depending on the budget and needs of the person in cause.
The practical wheelchair
Back in the days, the wheelchair was the only means of transportation for people with mobility impairments and they had to be pushed around if they didn’t have enough strength to rotate the wheels by hand. Manual wheelchairs did their job very well and were a considerable support for the incapacitated ones, but upper-body strength was required if you had no one to help you, so this was the main drawback of the wheelchair. Other than that, the wheelchair is practical, lightweight, easy to fold and can be stored even in narrow places. Modern models are engineered with durability, performance and strength, although the basic idea remains the same: a chair with large wheels that you have to operate with your hands in order to move from one place to another.
The powerful mobility scooter
Mobility scooters appeared as a request of persons with disabilities who needed a means of transportation that is easier to maneuver and can be handled by people with minimum strength and dexterity. The mobility scooter is a combination between a scooter and a car, it is engine powered to reach average speeds, it has 3 or 4 wheels that make it reliable and safe, it has a comfortable cushion seat and foot, arm and headrests that can be adjusted to the preferences of the user and it is operated by a controller or a joystick, meaning it can be used even by people who can only use one finger. The best mobility scooter models include comfortable accessories like baskets, crutch or oxygen tanks holders, rear view windows, headlights and horns that maximize their safety, comfort, and ease of use. Mobility scooters can also be disassembled, folded and stored away and people can customize their unit according to their needs. The biggest drawback of the mobility scooter is that the price of the best mobility scooter models is considerably higher than the price of a wheelchair and not everyone can afford to purchase a mobility scooter. Also, they are not medically approved and can not be suitable for many medical conditions, especially if the disability is severe.