Independent Living & Mobility
Independent Living & Mobility
Independent Living & Mobility
Independent Living & Mobility

Mobility Scooters


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A mobility scooter has a seat over three, four or now five wheels, a flat area or foot plates for the feet, and handlebars Handlebars in front to turn one, two or three steerable wheels. The seat may swivel to allow access when the front is blocked by the handlebars. Mobility scooters are usually battery powered. A battery or two is stored on board the scooter and is charged via an onboard or separate battery charger unit from standard electric power
The tiller, with forward/reverse directions and speed controls, is the steering column centrally located at the front of the scooter. Forward/reverse direction can be controlled by thumb paddles, finger controls, or a switch. There are two types of mobility scooters: front-wheel drive (FD) or rear-wheel drive (RD). The FD is usually a smaller device and is best used indoors. Rider weight capacity is generally upwards to 250 pounds maximum. The RD is used both indoors and outdoors with rider weight capacity of 350 pounds. A heavy duty rear-drive can carry up to 500 pounds, varying by manufacturer.
Allan R. Thieme invented the first mobility scooter in 1968, in Bridgeport, Michigan .Thieme was personally motivated to create this product to help a family member diagnosed with multiple sclerosis . This first mobility scooter, a front-wheel drive model, was conceived and built at his home. The Amigo, as it was brand-named, initiated the entire "scooter" industry.

Advantages of Mobility Scooters



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Assistive and small sit-down motor scooters provide important advantages to people with mobility problems throughout the world. A scooter is useful for persons without the stamina or arm flexibility necessary to use a manual wheelchair. Also, swiveling the seat of an electric scooter is generally easier than moving the foot supports on most conventional wheelchairs. A mobility scooter is very helpful for persons with systemic or whole-body disabling conditions (coronary or lung issues, some forms of arthritis, obesity , etc.) who are still able to stand and walk a few steps, sit upright without torso support, and control the steering tiller.
A major selling point of mobility scooters for many users is that they do not look like a wheelchair, disability still being seen by many as a negative or somehow shameful. Mobility scooters are in general more affordable than powered wheelchairs, leading to them being procured as a cheaper alternative.


Limitations of Mobility Scooters



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While a mobility scooter eliminates much of the manual strength problems of an unpowered wheelchair, its tiller steering mechanism still requires upright posture , shoulder and hand strength, and some upper-body mobility and strength. The arm-rest mounted controller typical of powerchair designs may be more suitable for many users. Scooters also have fewer options for body support, such as head or leg rests. They are rarely designed for ease of patient transfer from seat to bed.
Other drawbacks include longer length, which limits their turning radius and ability to use some lifts or wheelchair-designed access technologies such as kneeling bus lifts. Some mobility scooter have low ground clearance which can make it difficult to navigate certain obstacles, such as travelling in cities without proper curb cuts Navigating in restricted spaces, whether in the home or in public spaces and buildings can also be a problem.
These limitations may prevent some disabled individuals from using scooters. In addition, scooter limitations may vary depending on model and manufacturer. A limitation of one make/model does not necessarily carry over to all. Individual needs may affect the suitability of a particular model of mobility scooter.
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