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Mobility Scooter Types and Features

Jul 29, 2008
It can be very difficult for some people with arthritis or neuromuscular diseases to move around the house and other areas. Arthritis is a joint disorder that often affects people over 65 and can make walking painful and difficult. For these people who are mobility challenged, a mobility scooter can be a great way to restore independence and freedom.

A mobility scooter is a type of mobility aid that is very similar to a wheelchair. These scooters are designed to be used indoors and out. While similar to wheelchairs, they have a seating and control system that varies slightly. These models all use an electric motor that is battery powered. This is the reason that they are safe for indoor use and unlike gasoline engines, electric scooters do not put off as much heat. Most non-travel scooters have ranges that are greater than 20 miles per charge.

Mobility scooters come with either 3 or 4 wheels. 4 wheeled scooters are very stable and can typically support larger weights. The increased stability makes them great for outdoor use. 3 wheeled scooters have slightly decreased stability, but have a very small turning radius. This extra maneuverability makes 3 wheeled scooters better suited for indoor areas that have tight corners.

One interesting and popular type of mobility scooter is the travel scooter. These electric scooters are easily disassembled and some use special latches that can be opened using only one hand. The individual pieces of a travel scooter can be placed into the trunk of a car or placed on a plane. While most scooters are designed to be taken apart, the pieces of a travel scooter weigh much less. For instance usually the heaviest piece of a mobility scooter is around 30 pounds, which is at least 50% lighter than most other scooters.

While travel scooters can be taken apart and transported with ease, they tend to have fewer features than other scooters. In order to cut the weight of the scooter many features are removed. Travel scooters are also not as well suited to be used outdoors. Frequently they use a 3 wheeled configuration, which is extremely maneuverable at the expense of stability.

On the other end of the scooter spectrum is the heavy duty scooter. A heavy duty scooter has an increased weight capacity and improved suspension. They also typically have larger wheels, a higher ground clearance, and improved seating. These types of scooters can be used over most types of terrains and are intended for outdoor use. They are of course much heavier though and have a larger turning radius. There are a few 3 wheeled heavy duty scooters and while these models do have a smaller turning radius, it is still larger than other non-heavy duty scooters. This makes these scooters not as well suited for indoor use.

There are plenty of mobility scooters available that fall in between travel scooters and heavy duty scooters. They typically have a much improved range, more features, and an increased range when compared to travel scooters, but considerably less when compared to a heavy duty scooter.

A mobility scooter is a device that can be easily used to improve the life of many people who have difficulty walking.
About the Author
Brad Brubaker, a technical writer, has had experience using and maintaining many types of home medical equipment. If you would like to learn more about Mobility Scooters or their relative the power chair visit or call the friendly folks at US Medical Supplies.
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