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Choosing between a Scooter and a Power Wheelchair


When choosing between a scooter and a power wheelchair it is important to understand the differences between each category and within each category to determine the best fit for your needs.

A scooter is a mobility aid featuring 3 or 4 wheels and uses a tiller and handlebars to steer and drive the device. A mobility scooter is probably the most popular way for seniors with mobility issues to get around. They are often very stylish, fast and great on outdoor terrains. However, mobility scooters also come with some drawbacks. Mobility scooters have a very wide turning radius, making them difficult to use indoors and in tight spaces. Also, the handlebar system requires arm strength to keep the arms extended and maneuverability of the joints in your wrists to control acceleration and hands to control hand-braking system. Those with limited mobility in their hands, wrists or limited strength in their arms would be better suited for a power wheelchair. Mobility scooters are often also very heavy and require specialty lifts or vehicles for transportation. Some models of mobility scooters will disassemble into multiple parts for loading, but the sequence of taking the unit apart and putting it together again can be quite cumbersome.

A power wheelchair (also known as a motorized wheelchair or electric wheelchair) often have 4 to 6 wheels and are driven using a joystick controller. Power wheelchairs have a much tighter turning radius than mobility scooters, making them ideal for indoor and tight quarters such as elevators. Like mobility scooters, power wheelchairs can range widely in specifications and features among the various models. Traditionally, power wheelchairs have been focused heavily market, with advanced features such as adjustable seating positions, footrest positions and controller positions, they were designed to be seated in for long periods of time. Often traditional power wheelchairs can also be quite heavy and difficult to load requiring lifts or specialty vehicles similar to mobility scooters.

As a result of some of the drawbacks to traditional power wheelchairs, a new breed of power wheelchairs have been developed which are lighter, foldable and extremely easy to load into any vehicle. Travel Buggy foldable electric wheelchairs are the leader in the category and carried here at LifeCare Mobility. These portable power chairs are easy to use, quick to fold and convenient to transport, plus they are allowed on airlines and cruises making them an ideal travel companion.

With so many options on the market today it is difficult to understand what product might be the best fit for you. That’s why the experts at LifeCare Mobility are here to help!  For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page.

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