What is a Mobility Scooter?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Mobility scooters are motorized devices that make it possible for individuals who are unable to walk with relative ease to enjoy independent mobility. With the use of a scooter of this type, the individual can move freely around the home and many public places without the need for an attendant or caretaker. For many people, the creation of the mobility scooter makes it possible to enjoy a higher quality of life than would be possible otherwise.

Sometimes referred to as mobility chairs, the scooters take the basic premise of wheelchairs and improve on the design and the range of motion. Wheelchairs usually require the individual to have some amount of upper body strength in order to effectively move the device around the home and elsewhere. When the individual does not have sufficient upper body strength to guide a wheelchair up an incline or to operate the chair for more than a few yards at a time, this severely limits where the individual can go and how frequently.


A mobility scooter changes all that. Designed as a combination of a scooter and a motorized wheelchair, the scooter incorporates the best features of both. Like a motor scooter, the mobility scooter has a comfortable seat and a flat area for the feet to rest. Controls that are on a small dashboard in front of the seat make it possible to perform all the functions associated with a wheelchair. Because it does not require a great deal of strength to work the controls, even people who have difficulty getting around in a wheelchair will find the mobility chair is an excellent solution.

Because the mobility scooter is usually powered with electricity, it can easily be charged from a wall outlet at night. The charge with most models is sufficient to allow users to move around the home for several hours before requiring another charge. The design is sleek enough to allow greater ease of movement than is possible with bulkier wheelchairs.

In addition to the enhanced ability to move around the home, a mobility scooter also makes movement outside much easier. The chairs usually carry a charge that is sufficient to allow the user to go shopping, visit the park, or attend social events and religious services. The small but powerful motors found on most versions of the chair make it possible to negotiate uneven terrain ranging from street curbing to small inclines on streets and in parks.

Along with electric-powered models, it is also possible to purchase gasoline-powered mobility scooters. Electric models normally come with a primary and secondary battery system, which makes it possible to move around more in between charges. Gasoline powered models sometimes have two small fuel tanks. While relatively quiet, the gasoline models are not generally considered to be as quiet or convenient as the electric models.

While the market for individually owned scooters has grown, it is also often possible to shop at retail outlets that keep a small inventory of scooters on hand for shoppers to use. Often, the scooters are offered on a first come first served basis and are provided as a courtesy for shoppers. Amusement parks sometimes also offer the mobility scooter for use by people visiting the park, although there is often a rental charge associated with the usage.



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