The decision to purchase a mobility scooter is not an easy one. When considering the types of mobility scooters, different features, important functions, and of course the cost, it is important to spend the time doing research, thinking through the options, and testing out some of the models that might be the most appropriate for you or your loved one.
Overall, mobility scooters will help people in Melbourne increase their quality of life by providing extra help to go about their life quicker and easier.
People who have purchased mobility scooters report two main benefits:
1.Increased levels of freedom. People who purchase mobility scooters in Australia are often reliant on others to get around. Scooters give them independence without needing to rely on someone or pay for a taxi in order to leave the house.
2. Decreased social isolation. When people are able to leave the house during the day to socialise and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, run errands and spend more time with others they will feel less depressed and isolated.
Mobility scooters provide an effective method of transportation for people who have trouble walking for short to medium distances around Melbourne due to old age or an injury but have the mental and physical capacity to operate a small vehicle.
An effective replacement for wheelchairs, mobility scooters do not rely on someone else to navigate and are also a great option for people who are no longer able to drive and still require an efficient and effective mode of transportation. However, having basic mobility and agility is still important to operate the scooter effectively.
In many cases, mobility scooters are a better method of transport than cars for short distances because you can sit on them without needing to climb any steps. You do not require the same agility as you would need to drive a car because there are no pedals on these devices.
Mobility scooters are powered by batteries and require charging. Therefore, they are able to travel a certain distance before they need to be recharged and used again. Over the past number of years, they have become more popular due to their increased battery life which enables them to travel further distances.
Injury- While no one foresees an injury happening, sustaining an injury can leave someone feeling frustrated and upset because they are no longer able to accomplish daily tasks in the way that they previously could. Purchasing a mobility scooter is one method of increasing the speed of getting back into a normal routine. Or, if you foresee a shorter-term requirement for the scooter, mobility scooters are available to be hired by the day to assist you during your recovery.
Disability- There are a number of different conditions that people are born with or develop throughout life that make it difficult to walk for a prolonged period of time. These make it difficult for people to get around. Mobility scooters are able to help these people overcome many of the challenges others might face and live as normal a life as possible.
Increased Quality of Life- For many people, as old age approaches, their bodies slow down and mobility becomes more difficult. Even with the use of other mobility aids such as walking sticks, walkers, or wheelchairs, it is challenging to move at a pace that allows them to accomplish their daily goals and activities. Buying a mobility scooter can increase someone’s quality of life by providing them with a faster and easier way of getting around that increases independence because it does not require assistance from anyone else.
Just like cars, there are a number of different mobility scooters ranging from the basics to the luxury versions. When choosing a product, it is important to understand the different features in order to make an educated decision on which are “need to have” and which are “nice to have.”
Distance- A major difference between the different types of scooters is the distance that they are able to travel. Before purchasing a scooter, it is important to think about what you will be using the scooter for. Will it be mainly to manoeuvre around your house? Or, will it be to travel around the neighbourhood and run errands nearby? Depending on how you are planning on using it will be a primary factor in determining the most appropriate size. For example, smaller scooters can often run up to 20km whereas large ones may be able to travel up to 50km.
Disassembly- This again depends on how and where you are planning to use your scooter. Will you be using it at home? Or packing it away in the car to use while out? Some scooters can be easily disassembled to be packed in the boot of a car, while others are much more complicated or even impossible to pack into a car.
Size- While bigger might seem better, this is not always the case with mobility scooters. Do you need to access narrow hallways or small rooms? If you want your scooter to be able to fit in various parts of your house, purchasing a smaller scooter might be a better choice.
Suspension- The suspension varies across different types of scooters. This will impact how bumpy your ride will be. Again, this may be a factor depending on where you planning to ride. Will you be using the scooter mainly on flat surfaces in your home? Or will you be using it along the bumpy pavement or other uneven surfaces? Thinking about these factors will help determine the quality of the suspension that is best for you.
Seat Padding- Different scooters have different amounts of padding on their seats. Choosing the best option will often depend on how much time you will be spending on the seat. Will you be using your scooter all day to get around? Or is it only for short trips of distances that you cannot manage? Thinking about this will help decide how much padding is required on the seat.
Rearview Mirrors- Like in cars, rearview mirrors are definitely a safety feature of your mobility scooter. They are important because they provide you with greater visibility of any pedestrians or obstacles behind or beside you.
Other Features- There are many other features that scooters can have to enhance the look, feel, safety, or performance of the scooter. Some common features to look out for are LED lighting systems, indicators, and a hydraulic braking system. Each of these can enhance the functioning of the scooter to ensure it has everything that you need.
With the keys to increased mobility and freedom, it is important to know how to use your scooter safely and effectively.
Set-up and Practice - In order to do this, it is a good idea to practice using it on a flat, open area with no traffic to understand how each of the features works. You can try visiting a local park in Brighton East to do this. Make sure that you know where the hand controls are, adjust the seat so that you can reach the pedals, and ensure that you are able to balance properly.
Once the scooter is set up, it is a good idea to practice a variety of maneuvers such as starting, stopping, and turning left and right. It is also helpful to practice getting on and off to make sure that you are comfortable doing that alone.
Charging- Charging mobility scooters take between 8 and 10 hours depending on the type of scooter, so it is important to plan ahead and make sure your scooter is charged before using it. In order to charge, ensure that the power is switched off, connect the charger to the charging point. When charging, the charging light will turn red. When the light turns green, disconnect the charger as that indicates that the charging is complete.
Safety- To use a mobility scooter safely, it is important that you can turn your head enough to see pedestrians or traffic coming from different directions, have strong hearing and vision to be aware of the environment around you, and be able to be alert and respond quickly if anything suddenly crosses the path in front of you.
Road Rules- Since mobility scooters are not allowed to legally be driven on the road, it is important to stay on the footpath, except when crossing the road or if no footpath is present. Usually, mobility scooters are allowed on public transportation, but it is a good idea to check in advance to see if there are accessible services on the specific route you are planning to travel on.
Like your favourite handbag usually helps you accessorise and carry important items, there are a number of accessories and attachments that can help accessorise your scooter as well as provide you with additional functionality. Here are our most popular ones:
Cup Holder- This attachment provides a sturdy and stable place to keep a drink while you are using your mobility scooter
Mobility Scooter Full Rear Carrier- This device allows you to attach and carry a larger device, such as a walker to the back of the scooter.
Mobility Scooter Oxygen Bottle Carrier- This protects and carries an oxygen cylinder and masks on a mobility scooter.
Mobility Scooter Rear Bag- This can be easily attached to the back of the scooter and can be used to carry small items. It is an essential purchase if you are buying the Oxygen Bottle Carrier.
Mobility Scooter Safety Flag- This tall safety flag is able to warn people in the area that someone on a mobility scooter is approaching so that they can move out of the way.
Afterpay- Statewide Home Health Care has recently partnered with Afterpay which gives you the option of paying for your mobility scooter in four instalments if upfront payment is too difficult.
NDIS- Depending on your individual circumstances, there might be funding assistance available through the NDIS- The National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is a good idea to contact your local NDIS provider to find out if you are eligible for this type of benefit.
Insurance- Purchasing insurance for your scooter is something that you should consider. This can help protect you if your scooter breaks or gets damaged in the future.
Annual Servicing- Make sure you get your scooter serviced every year to ensure that everything is working properly. Like cars and other motorised vehicles, you do not always know if there is something wrong with your device until a professional has checked it. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
We understand that every person’s situation and needs are different when considering the purchase of a mobility scooter. While you are doing your research, you can try a mobility scooter for an hour or two to ensure that it is a perfect choice. Our dedicated team at Statewide Home Health Care in Brighton East can be contacted by phone, email, or in-person to understand your needs and help you choose the best scooter for your needs and circumstances. We are always here to help you “live your best life!”