1. Are you physically capable of operating a mobility scooter?
Before investing you want to be confident that you will be able to manage a scooter comfortably and safely. Is your balance and posture good enough to sit upright for long periods? Do you have the perception, dexterity and responsiveness needed to accurately judge your speed, turn to look to the side or behind and stop quickly if needed? Is your eyesight good enough to detect obstacles in your path? Answer yes to all these questions and you’re ready to start choosing a mobility scooter.
2. What special needs do you have?
If you have limitations using your hands you will want to pay particular attention to the scooter controls. Different designs suit different people. It is possible to modify the controls of some scooters for operation by arm, chin or head. Power wheelchairs operate with a joystick mounted on the armrest, which can be maneuvered with one hand.
Positioning pads will be required if you have a disability that requires your legs to be elevated. Make sure you test-drive your scooter with the positioning pads in place.
3. How much weight must the scooter carry?
It is important to choose a scooter suitable for your weight and build as this can affect stability, especially when turning. As well as the rider’s weight, also consider the weight of items likely to be carried, such as oxygen tanks, shopping bags, golf clubs or pets.
If you are close to the weight capacity, consider choosing a scooter in the next capacity range as people often gain weight once they stop walking and start riding. Be honest! Carrying too much weight on a scooter will void the warranty and affect the performance.
Think about other physical attributes as well. If you are petite, you may feel uncomfortable on a large scooter. If you are tall, you want lots of leg room.
4. Where will you be riding the scooter?
If you need a scooter for around the house then the biggest challenge is having enough room to turn. 3-wheel mobility scooters and power wheelchairs have the smallest turning radius.
If you can get around the house with a cane or walker but need the scooter to run errands then a compact travel scooter that comes apart for easy transport may work best.
If you are planning on romping through parks or travelling long distances then you will need the stability, comfort and battery range of a heavy-duty scooter.
5. How will you store and transport the scooter?
If you are planning to carry the scooter in your car then the compact travel scooters will suit best. You need to consider whether the vehicle has sufficient space and whether you or your carer has sufficient strength to assemble and disassemble the scooter.
6. Will I buy new or second hand?
If you need the scooter for a limited period of time, are trying out a scooter to see how it works or are on a tight budget then you may want to consider a second hand scooter. We recommend that you consider all of the above factors and understand the options available before deciding on second hand. As with buying a car, you want to ask plenty of questions about previous usage and the condition of the vehicle.
The staff at Willaid are available to help you in choosing wisely.
Give us a call on 02 6651 7900 or come see us at 16 Isles Drive, Coffs Harbour.