It is quite common for seniors to have less mobility as they age. This can be due to medical conditions, or just from general tiredness and weakness. However, it should not mean that they cannot lead an active life if they want to. Many devices can help those who do not have the same mobility they used to. One of these is the mobility scooter.
Mobility scooters come in many types depending on the use they are meant for. Regardless, they bring ease to everyday life and can add to the independence of your loved one.
In this article, we will discuss a few of the best mobility scooters you can buy, weighing the pros and the cons.
How to Choose a Mobility Scooter
There are many choices for mobility scooters. You can buy three-wheeled models, four-wheeled models, lightweight models, scooters only for the home, etc.
It is important to note that because a mobility scooter is a large machine that can be dangerous if not used properly or in the wrong situation, consulting a doctor beforehand is always highly recommended.
Things to Consider
- Consider where you will be using the scooter; at home, outdoors, or in public spaces
- Check with a physician and insurance company to be aware of what costs can be covered, as well as how eligible you are to use a mobility scooter
- Portability. Many people would like to travel, which can be difficult if mobility problems are stopping them from doing so. Having a portable scooter can make a huge difference, as it can be taken in cars, buses, or even planes if need be, ready to use once you arrive at your destination.
- Speed. Not everyone needs a fast scooter, especially if it’s being used around the house.
- Does your house have stairs? If so, the scooter might only be usable if there is a home elevator large enough to fit the scooter.
- Check how long the battery life is. As scooters are powered by batteries, they need to be recharged. If you plan to use the scooter for long distances, a scooter with long battery life is a priority.
- Comfort. Certain medical conditions can cause pain and other issues in the muscles in joints. Your mobility scooter should be comfortable enough to minimize any discomfort. Scooters should also be comfortable for large, tall, or overweight users, by providing enough legroom and large seats.
- Terrain. If your loved one lives in an area that does not have smooth terrain or where there are steep hills, a heavy-duty scooter that can handle those things can become necessary.
- Functionality. Many scooters come with headlights, bells. You can also buy accessories later on.
Types of Mobility Scooters
These are great if your loved one plans to travel often, as the scooter can be disassembled or folded to fit into vehicles. Many modern ones are foldable, so there isn’t even any disassembly required. These scooters tend to be more lightweight, and small enough to fit into the back of a car or checked into a plane.
Long-range and heavy-duty scooters
Long-range scooters have longer battery life, so one can travel for a longer period of time without worry. This is useful if you are running errands with the scooter or going to work. Heavy-duty scooters may or may not have long battery life, but they will be equipped to handle different terrains and steep hills, as well as overweight users.
Three-wheel and four-wheel scooters
Three-wheel scooters can make tighter turns than four-wheelers and they are often more compact, so they can be used in homes easily. However, they may have a lower weight capacity because of this and feel less stable overall. But it is still a good option if you are using it indoors most of the time. 4-wheel scooters handle higher weight capacities. They are also better choices overall for long-range use, and outdoor environments. They are more stable and can feel safer to use. They may not be as easy to maneuver as 3-wheeled scooters, however.
Best Mobility Scooters
Pride Revo 4-Wheeled Mobility Scooter – Best Overall
4-wheeled options often give you the best value for your money because they are stable and usable in many circumstances. This particular scooter has many great features and functionality making it a great option for most people.
- 52” turning radius
- Can handle most kinds of terrain
- 400-pound weight capacity
- 5 mph speed, which is not very fast, but satisfies most people
- Add-ons such as LED headlights and under-seat storage
- 17.8 miles per charge for 200-pound weight, 12.4 for 400-pound weight
- Comfortable seat
- Comes in stylish, modern colors
- Phone charging port
The price is listed as $1,699
You can find their official website with information about the product here.
Travel Pro Premium 3 Wheel Mobility Scooter – Best for Portability
This scooter is one of the portable kinds, with a compact design that makes it easy to maneuver in tight places.
- Forward and reverse controls
- Can be used in tight spaces
- Top speed of 4 mph
- Drive range of 6.3 miles
- Weight capacity of 275 pounds, which is not as high as it would be for other scooters, but as this is a 3 wheel, portable scooter, it is a good capacity
- The heaviest piece of the scooter is only 27.5 pounds
This scooter goes for $599.
You can read more about the product here.
EV Rider Vita Monster – Best for Outdoor, All-Terrain
If you plan to use your scooter outdoors a lot, then a mobility scooter should be able to handle that much activity and different kinds of terrain. This scooter works on all kinds of terrain and has a compact and sleek design. It has a rear-wheel-drive to manage bumps or hills.
- 350-pound weight capacity
- 900-watt motor
- Can travel up to 28 miles
- LCD control panel display
- 53” turning radius
- Comes with add-ons such as cup holders, cane holder, safety flag, etc.
This is one of the more expensive options on the list at $4999.
You can find the product here.
Lexis Light Scooter – Best for Stability
Many people may have a fear of falling over when using a scooter. This particular scooter is meant for stability in different terrains and inclines. It has four wheels but is also lightweight at only 54 pounds. It can also be maneuvered very easily.
- Total weight capacity of 250 pounds
- A max speed of 4.8 mph
- Turning radius of 29”
- Four-point design
This stable scooter goes for $1379
Find out more about the product here.
Medicare Coverage and Alternative Options
Medicare Part B considers scooters to be a part of the DME category, or ‘Durable Medical Equipment’ so you can get coverage for the costs if you have a plan with Medicare. You are eligible for the coverage if your doctor has submitted a written order that you have a medical need for a mobility scooter in your home.
If you have limited mobility and meet the following conditions, Medicare can cover a large part of the costs:
- You have a health condition that causes significant difficulty in getting around the home
- You’re unable to do a lot of daily activities even with a cane or walker.
- You are able to safely use a wheelchair or scooter, or have someone with you to help, such as a family caregiver
- Your doctor and supplier are both enrolled in Medicare
- You have enough space to use it in your home, and go through doorways
Different plans can also have their own conditions or coverage, so you can find information in this document.
Where to Rent Mobility Scooters
Additionally, you can consider renting a mobility scooter from places like Scoot Around, where the price is around $27/day; a price that can vary depending on where you live. For example, in New York, the price can go up to $52/day. This is a great option if you do not plan to own the scooter or use it in your home, but rather for a specific purpose, like staying in a different city for a few days.
Used Mobility Scooters
You can also purchase a used mobility scooter for a more affordable price. The fastest way to do this is by contacting the closest mobility retailer in your area and inquiring whether they sell used scooters. If they do then here are a few things to keep in mind when buying a used scooter:
- Appearance and condition: Check the seat and wheel axles.
- Condition of battery: Make sure the battery indicator is working properly, as it is very important for safety. Make sure there is no rust or corrosion near the battery parts.
- Inquire about how the previous user used the scooter: If the previous owner used it very often on a daily basis, this may mean that the parts could be worn, and you may have to take it for repair work very soon after purchasing.
- Price: if the price is very cheap this usually indicates that the scooter is not in good condition and requires costly repairs
If your local retailer does not sell used mobility scooters, then you can look online on sites like eBay or Craigslist for more options.
Mobility scooters can drastically improve daily life, by providing new freedom for your loved one to lead the lifestyle they want, so that their mobility issues don’t inhibit them like before. A scooter makes travel and errands feel safer and allows your loved one to do activities by themselves.
There are many scooters that cater to every kind of need you have on the market, be it rough terrains, outdoor errand use, air travel, or indoor activities. These kinds of devices are also more accessible than ever as they are considered durable medical equipment by most insurance providers, and are therefore often covered by Medicare or other health insurance plans.
Now that you are equipped with knowledge about mobility scooters, it can be easier to make the choice of whether you would like to add these mobility scooters to your loved one’s daily life.
- Scooter Direct, EV Rider Vita Monster, https://www.scooterdirect.com/ev-rider-vita-monster.html
- Pride Mobility, Pride Mobility Scooters, https://www.pridemobility.com/pride-mobility-scooters/revo-2.0-4-wheel/
- Medicare, Medicare Wheelchair Scooter, https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11046-Medicare-Wheelchair-Scooter.pdf
- Best Mobility Scooters, Retirement Living, https://www.retirementliving.com/best-mobility-scooters