Mobility Scooters vs Electric Wheelchairs - A Comparison Guide
November 16, 20225 min read
In general, both mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs serve the same function. Both are made to transport people who suffer from some sort of mobility impairment, from point A to point B. However,
Mobility scooters tend to be popular with people who mobility challenges but still able to use both their hands and have no, or minimal problems with their motor skills.
On the other hand, electric wheelchairs are preferred by people with very limited to no mobility function in their lower body and/or with limited function in one of their arms.
What Is A Mobility Scooter?
A mobility scooter is a mobility device that is powered by a battery. Mobility scooters are not considered to be medical equipment but rather a consumer product. They come as a 3 or 4-wheeler with a basic swivel seat and a tiller to steer. It requires the user to be able to use their hands and to have arm strength, trunk control and fine motor control.
What Are The Benefits Of A Mobility Scooter?
- Standard mobility scooters provide the freedom to complete daily tasks. With a mobility scooter you will be able to run errands in your local area, attend events, use it in and around the house, as well as take it with on vacations.
- Mobility scooters are easy to use and very user friendly. They tend to have simplified controls, have average top speeds between 4 and 5 mph, as well as have a driving range between 12 and 20 miles.
Mobility scooters do not offer many design modifications, therefore they may not be ideal for people with extreme disabilities, as it cannot be customized to meet their physical needs.
Generally, this device is meant to help someone who can’t walk long distances get around. It is therefore great for people who still have upper body strength. As long as you are able to twist your torso and sit up straight without help, you will be able to operate a mobility scooter.
What Is An Electric Wheelchair?
An electric wheelchair is used by people who have a mobility impairment that prevents them from walking on their own. These individuals generally are not able to operate a manual wheelchair and need the electric controls of an electric wheelchair to propel themselves forward.
Electric wheelchairs are designed with the user in mind. They can be customized in such a way that they serve the needs of the individual. An electric wheelchair’s design is made up of the seat, the wheelbase and the driving mechanism.
The three most common types of wheelbases are the rear wheel, mid wheel and front wheel drive.
- Rear wheel drive:This type of wheelchair base has a large wheel at the rear of the chair which connects to the motor. Rear wheel drive makes driving easier since the wheels turn from the rear, which causes the user to travel in a straight line.
- Mid wheel drive: This base has two caster wheels on the front, two at the back, with a large drive wheel in the middle. This setup is great for maneuvering indoors, especially in small spaces, due to the tight turning radius.
- Front wheel drive: This type of wheelbase is located at the front of the wheelchair, with casters at the back. It provides better suspension, as the large wheels at the front powerfully pull the chair over objects.
- Electric wheelchairs are quite versatile. They come in various designs and features, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Some models can be operated on rough terrain, while others are customized for use in sports.
- Since wheelchairs are considered to be medical devices, most models are fully customizable. Some electric wheelchairs come with gravity assisted positioning for people who suffer from cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and muscular dystrophy. This helps with postural support.
With the help of a retailer like Everlasting Mobility, you will be able to get the right dimensions and accessories for your needs.
Who Should Use An Electric Wheelchair?
Electric wheelchairs are ideal for people who struggle with mild to severe mobility issues due to a disability. They offer full support, since they are such detailed devices and have the torque to transport the user all day. Electric wheelchairs range in price from $1200 to $15000.
Tips For Making The Right Choice
Purchasing a power wheelchair or mobility scooter is no small feat. These power operated mobility devices can be very expensive, and therefore choosing one that will meet your needs is important. If you choose and buy wrong, it could cost you more or even increase the risk of injury.
Assess Your Needs
Deciding between an electric wheelchair and a mobility scooter primarily depends on your needs and your abilities. If you do not have upper body strength, lack coordination and fine motor skills, then you should consider an electric wheelchair.
Where Will You Use It?
Do you want to use it indoors or outdoors? Both can be used indoors and outdoors, and there are many different options to choose from in both categories.
How Much Space Do You Have?
If you would like to use your mobility device indoors, make sure you have enough space. The turning radius of an average mobility scooter in 4-inches. The smaller the turning radius the more maneuverable the device.
Are there financing options available?
Yes, most of the mobility scooters in our online store are eligible for financing through our partnership with Klarna, which offers 0% interest rates and great terms for those who qualify! This makes it easy and affordable to get the mobility device that you need to stay independent and connected as you age or deal with a disability.
Whether you need help covering the cost of your initial purchase or simply want to make monthly payments, mobility scooters are accessible for most budgets.
So, if you're looking for an electric scooter or wheelchair that can help you maintain your independence, be sure to explore the financing options available for each model. At the top of each product page, you’ll find a financing button. Simply click on it to learn more and prequalify!
To talk to our friendly team of experts, simply call: 800-498-2560