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Powerchair or Mobility Scooter

When you consider purchasing a power wheelchair, or mobility scooter, you should also consider how you want to use your power chair or electric mobility scooter. It always a good idea to make a list of all the activities you would like to perform in your home and in your community first. This will help you to decide which powered mobility device will work best for you. There are major differences between a power chair and a mobility scooter.


Outdoor use of a power chair vs a medical mobility scooter

Many people incorrectly believe power chairs power wheelchairs are not made for out door use. While Scooters are popular, there are many people who need more function than is offered by a scooter.  Most power chairs are designed to be used both indoors and outdoors.  The most popular power chair is the mid wheel drive power chair. These chair were designed to look more appealing and to be used on a daily basis to assist the user in becoming more independent.   Electric wheelchairs have a computer that can be programmed to control the speed, turning speeds, braking speeds, and hand controls.  If you can not use your hands, a different control can be substituted like a head control, an eye control, a shoulder control, a mouth control, or a foot control. In addition, if you are too weak or uncomfortable to sit upright in a seat, a seating system can be added for comfort, improved posture and positioning.

The scooter is best used outdoors, but it can be much more difficult to use in public places like elevators, shopping malls, restaurants, or in hilly areas outdoors.  If you live in an assisted living building, a skilled nursing facility,  in board and care, or a large home, the scooter will probably work for you.

Lightweight Scooters are not as good as power chairs for indoor use because they are more difficult to manoeuvre indoors.  This is because the scooter frame is longer than the frame of a power wheelchair; thus the turning radius of a mobility scooter is larger than the turning radius of a mid wheel drive power chair.  The 3 wheel Micro Scooters are about 37″ long and can be used indoors, but the weight limits are typically up to 250 lbs.  A 4 wheel scooter is more stable (safer), but is more difficult to use indoors.  The electric scooter (medium size, regular size, & heavy duty size)are intended for outdoor use.  It works best for adults that have non progressive mobility issues or conditions (like copd, chf, arthritis, fractures, non-neurological conditions),  that do not have problems sitting for at least 2 hours, can easily get on and off the mobility scooter, and that can use both hands to safely operate the medical mobility scooter.


Is it easier to transport a power chair or a mobility scooter?

If you are considering using you power chair or medical scooter outdoors, then you may need a electric wheelchair lift or a medical scooter lift.  There are many light weight power wheelchairs and mobility scooter that can be dismantled and put in the trunk of your car or placed the bed of a pickup truck.

Lightweight power chairs have very small motors and  move at very slow speeds. They are mainly intended for indoor use.  These powered mobility vehicles are ideal for people that are not very active and are not heavy powered wheelchair users.  A regular size power chair is not easy to transport since its motor size, travel range, speed, and upgrade capabilities are much greater than those of an electric mobility scooter.

Source: http://seniormobilityaids.net/power-chair-vs-mobility-scooter/


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