The Guide to Mobility Scooters for Seniors
Electric mobility scooters give seniors independence indoors or outdoors and there are many kinds of models available. We did some research on the best models, we’ll show you some of them later in this guide.
As we get older, we may find it harder to get around, and become less mobile. It can be hard to watch a parent who used to be very active now struggling to keep up with their social activities or daily activities.
If seniors do find it hard to get around, they should check out a mobility scooter. Buying a motorized scooter is a sizable purchase and there are a lot of models on the market.
To help you out and make your shopping easier, Senior Affairs will feature some of the best companies and models to choose from.
What Are the Top US Mobility Scooter Brands and Retailers?
There are a lot of scooters on the market today. Understand each model is different and you should pay attention to the range and various features.
Top Mobility Scooter Brands:
- Pride Mobility – A recognized leader in the industry. they manufacture high-quality scooters for seniors and people with limited mobility, they also have electric wheelchairs (power chairs), lift chairs, and mobility lifts.
- Golden Technologies – Known for luxury-quality products without the high price, they produce mobility scooters, power wheelchairs, and lift chairs.
- Drive Medical – The newest company in the mobility scooter industry, they also sell bathroom safety equipment, specialty beds, respiratory equipment, and more.
Top Mobility Scooter Retailers:
- ScootersNChairs – they offer a large variety of scooters, prices range from $779 up to $7200.
- 1800wheelchair.com – They offer a large variety of scooters including 3 and 4 wheels, travel, and indoor and outdoor.
- Walgreens – Walgreens has a small selection, some are small and foldable – priced between $549 to $1799
- Amazon – As you’d imagine, there is a huge range of models to choose from, upon research we found 3 and 4 wheel models, costing between $679 to $2000.
- Gomobilityscooters – There are a lot of options here as well, 3, 4 wheel, foldable, heavy-duty, and even ones with a canopy cover on them. They have basic models as well as high-end, all-terrain, heavy-duty models.
- Medicalsupplydepot – You’ll find a full range of models here from indoor to outdoor, travel, and 3 and 4 wheel models. Basic models start at $795 up to $5712.99 for the highest spec model.
Deep Dive: What Are Mobility Scooters?
Mobility scooters are small vehicles with a motor. They come in front, rear, or four wheel drive models. The user sits on it in a seated position like sitting in a chair and steers the handlebars like a bicycle.
Since scooters has special batteries, they need to be charged up. each has a different range, most go for 6 to 8 miles on a charge for most standard models, you can get a heavy duty model that can last for up to 30 miles.
Models made for road use can get up to 8 miles an hour, with indoor models going 4 miles an hour.
What is the Purpose of a Mobility Scooter?
Mobility scooters are mobility aids that make it easier for seniors to get around as they age. Some seniors use their scooters in place of walking, taking public transportation or depending on a ride from someone else. They can get around their local areas without much trouble, others use their scooters to get around their homes if walking is hard.
What Are The Most Important Features in a Mobility Scooter?
- What terrain it rides on – some scooters are only designed to be inside, and others can be driven on sidewalks and roads.
- How easy it is to transport – it’s helpful to have a model that folds up in case your caregivers need to transport you.
- How easily does it turn? – If you’re staying inside, trying the 3-wheeled model is good because it has a small turning radius, consider where you want to use the scooter.
- What is the maximum weight capacity? – for larger people, they should make sure the scooter can properly support them.
- What are the safety features? The top three features to look for are non-tip wheels, an easy-to-use brake, and an easy-to-use single hand controller.
- What is the battery range? Some batteries can go for 6 to 8 miles on a charge, others can go up to 30 miles. Pick a model suitable for your needs.
- How comfortable is it? Since you might be sitting in this for many hours, you want to make sure it’s comfortable to sit in
What are The Different Types of Mobility Scooters?
There are four types of mobility scooters:
- Three-Wheel – Three wheel mobility scooters are perfect for using inside, they are usually smaller and lighter than the 4-wheel models, these have a tighter turn radius, but keep in mind that outdoor use is limited.
- Four-Wheel – Four wheel mobility scooters are good if you want to ride on your scooter outside. The four wheels give you much-needed stability.
- Travel – Travel scooters are designed to be light-weight and easy to fold down to put in the trunk.
- Heavy-Duty – Heavy duty scooters can support 500 lbs or more and suitable for heavy individuals who exceed the weight limit for smaller models.
Some three and four-wheel models have a canopy top to protect you from the sun, rain and the elements.
What Does Mobility Scooter Class Mean?
When you choose a mobility scooter, you should be know what class you’re buying.
- Class 2 scooters can only legally be used indoors or on a sidewalk and can travel up to 4 mph. A class 2 scooter is considered a pedestrian (places you’d walk) not the road or on the highway!
- Class 3 scooters are licensed to be highway worthy and have lights and indicators, these can go up to 8 mph.
Be clear if you’ll need to take your scooter on the road or highway, if so, get a class 3 scooter.
What Would Someone Need or Consider a Mobility Scooter?
Losing your mobility and independence can be depressing or distressing for a senior. Life would be so much easier to get around church, the grocery store, pharmacy or meetups with family or friends with a mobility scooter. Having a simple transportation around the house can give a older person confidence and their independence back – helping them keep up with their social lives and staying active.
How Do You Choose a Mobility Scooter?
The most important thing to think about when making a decision to buying a mobility scooter is determining where, how and when you plan to use the scooter. This determines which models to focus on whether its class 2 or class 3.
Also think about the health of the scooter rider, to determine if you’ll need a heavy duty model, extra comfortable or adjustable model if needed.
There are a lot of scooter models on the market, I’m sure you’ll find one that fits your needs and budget. We recommend making a list of the features you need before you start shopping to save you time. Here’s a list of brands to get you started.
Scooters for Seniors – What You Need to Know
There is a lot of promotional materials out there about various scooters for seniors both online and in print and on TV. They are constantly saying how easy it is to get a scooter! And the fact is: it’s true if you have $800 to $2900 to spend today. Since there is a lot to know before you buy a mobility scooter, we’ll do our best to help and save time by providing a Top 10 Questions For Seniors to Ask Before Buying a Mobility Scooter.
The Top Questions to Ask Before Buying a Scooter for a Senior
- Will the mobility scooter be used mostly inside, outside, or both? There is a loaded question, but it’s important to get this part right, please think about where the user will need this assistance? For example, a scooter mostly used inside doesn’t need to be as durable as some of the outdoor models are. Most indoor models work great with 3-wheels ( 1 in the front, 2 in the back) one front wheel makes it much easier to turn and surprisingly makes it lighter. The outdoor models are heavier, and considered more sturdy, and have a longer range of travel on a charge. This makes them more expensive as well.
- Do you need a new model or would a used or (refurbished) scooter be fine for you? You can score a discount on a used or refurbished scooter. A quick Google search revealed that all kinds of used scooters in my area. Scooters are usually maintained well by the owner/operators, so if this is an interest, we suggest you look into it.
- Do you or someone you know have the ability to transport your scooter if you plan to use it outside? Keep in mind that most grocery stores now have a mobility scooter available for use if you ask, of course, some don’t.
- What is your budget for spending on a mobility scooter? For all the reasons we’ve mentioned above, there’s a wide range in prices for mobility scooters for seniors. You’ll find pricing coming in around $750 on the low side and $4500 on the high end. The features, durability, and quality increase the price dramatically.
- Is the scooter comfortable to sit in? If possible try to find a showroom or a place you can actually sit in it locally, if not read lots of reviews! The legroom is a consideration to think about as well. See if you can test-drive your scooter, or have a caregiver do it for you, you won’t regret it!
- What is the maximum load weight? Load weight refers to all of the weight-bearing-stress that’s being put on the scooter at any one time. If you’re overweight or you’ll need to carry heavy objects with them need to keep this in mind while making their final decision.
- What safety features and/or accessories come standard with your purchase? You’ll be frustrated to spend $2000 on a new scooter just to find out that the armrests are considered accessories and would need to be purchased separately. (enough said)
- What warranty comes with your purchase? Be sure to understand the warranty and all it’s fine print and covenants. Service can be costly on mobility devices, so know your position up-front.