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There are a variety of reasons a senior may need help getting around. From the general weakness that comes with age to advanced bone disorders to accidents, mobility issues can either end up as temporary problems – or ones that require a long-term, trusted solution.
There are plenty of considerations for any family to make when it comes to developing disability products for seniors, and addressing various mobility issues, from small-scale to advanced. While a more temporary solution may be better equipped with a manually operated wheelchair, a motorized wheelchair can be a fantastic disability aid option for seniors who require help getting around.
For starters, traditional wheelchairs come with restrictive sidewalls that will keep a person safe in the chair. This is a good thing – but for larger people, can be restrictive. Larger wheelchairs, though foldable, may be more difficult to tote around – and sideburn and discomfort are possible when the friction on the side of the wheelchair creates heat against the body.
Most modern motorized scooters have adjustable armrests or eliminate the armrests entirely, leaving plenty of space for a senior to get comfortable and move around without much trouble.
Two other key issues are fatigue and body strength. Take, for instance, Norma, a senior who’s been using a disability aid for the last 15 years. Norma tells us,
“No one really warns you of how tired you can get trying to move yourself around – and then you end up having to ask someone you love to do it for you. While it’s fine for someone to push you around in public and not really something to worry about, I felt bad constantly asking my husband to get me from Point A to Point B in our large home because I was too tired.”
“We didn’t want to give up our home – and we certainly didn’t want to get to a point where I was losing my freedom completely because the wheelchair was inhibitive. A motorized scooter really changed the game for my family. We were able to get me a scooter I could easily get in and out of and use around the house. If we had to go somewhere, I could operate the scooter to the garage, get in the car – then we’d find another scooter while shopping, etc. If we were going somewhere and knew mobility issues might be a problem, we simply took our fold-up wheelchair with us.”
“You don’t know how much easier life is until you’re put into a situation where you’re not exerting so much energy trying to do the everyday tasks you used to be able to do. Motorized was a lifesaver for us.”
Especially when facing body weakness or a serious injury, using a motorized scooter can be a godsend. Whereas traditional wheelchairs and other mobility aids take strength, dexterity, and stamina to operate for long periods of time, a motorized scooter only requires a flick of the wrist. Some even have remotes that can be used to easily direct the scooter wherever it needs to go. No energy exertion, no stress, no worry.
What About the Upkeep of My Disability Aid?
Maintaining a motorized scooter doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Most repair services or medical supply facilities will either come repair or exchange a scooter on site. Most seniors who use motorized scooters tend to keep their previous mobility asset around just in case an accident or damage happens – but for the most part, scooters are low maintenance and easy to care for. The occasional dusting – charging for battery operated scooters and wiping down the seat every once in a while will do the trick.
Many worry that upkeep of a motorized scooter will be quite the hassle compared to a manually operated wheelchair – then are pleasantly surprised when they learn the workload is not intense. You should always make sure your scooter is warrantied, that a medical supply company or Medicaid numbers are handy in case there’s an incident and the scooter needs to be repaired – and of course, that you maintain your scooter in-home with the best care possible.
Another attractive reason for purchasing a motorized scooter as a disability aid is the variety of styles, colors, and functionalities. Scooters – unlike traditional wheelchairs – come with magazine pockets, cup holders, and over time are more and more mobile-friendly. For those without portable scooters, adjustable hair ramps, staircase chairlifts and vehicle chair holders are sometimes covered by Medicaid or private insurance depending on the situation. This means that no matter your situation and no matter where you want to go, you’re covered – and without the hassle of operating a manual wheelchair. Today’s lifts and car or home disability aids are well equipped to handle the weight and trim of a battery-operated scooter, so there’s no reason to pass then by – particularly for those seniors who don’t want to give up quality of life. And who does?
Can a Motorized Scooter Change a Family Member’s or My Life for the Better?
These questions are best answered by seniors who have found they can move around again, become mobile again and get where they need to be. Many seniors have children they’d love to visit (and grandchildren!) and pets who need exercise. Using a motorized scooter as your disability aid of choice can truly change the equation when it comes to how well one can get around.
The freedom to enjoy things like public parks, shopping malls and taking care of basic activities and functions matters. Modern movie theaters and restaurants are typically equipped to handle the needs of people who are immobile for any reason, including those who need a disability aid like a motorized scooter. If this sounds like you, there’s no better time to enjoy life again and consider the possibility of how a motorized scooter can redefine your future.
Motorized Scooters: Safety Aids
Modern disability aids like motorized scooters come with a variety of safety equipment we’ve never seen before. It’s almost as if these scooters are getting more vehicle-like as time goes on. Many scooters are equipped with back up lights and audio signals – something you’ll never find in a manual wheelchair. These signals are helpful for safety so that a person knows when you’re backing up or turning around, without accidentally flattening a stranger’s foot in public.
Modern scooters often come with hazard or bumper lights that reflect in the dark – meaning, if you need to be outside for any reason when it’s night time, you don’t have to worry about lack of safety on public roads, or not being seen by someone.
Auto-Off is another handy feature. If for any reason, you have a difficult time operating your motorized scooter, a loved one can quickly turn the scooter off and eliminate any moving hazard that’s happening while you need to get out of the chair. This can be very handy in situations where a senior fears having a seizure, stroke or suffering from any condition that might make sudden inoperability of the chair a potential safety hazard.
Another important safety feature has to do with the motorized scooter’s tires. Safety grips and specially made tires help the scooter grip onto the floor or land. While we don’t recommend operating a scooter on an incline, the tires can prevent accidents from happening in surprised areas where the ground may unexpectedly lack level. It’s important, regardless of these features, to work with your medical device company or doctor to understand and regularly utilize all the safety features the scooter comes with, as well as how to get repairs or maintenance done.
Many seniors in and outside the United States rely on motorized scooters as their aid of preference when it comes to managing various disabilities. While every senior is different and every affliction affects a senior in different ways, switching to motorized mobility is a dramatic and long term answer for many seniors. Whether the difficulty is short term or long term, and even though adjusting to any kind of mobility issue is difficult, seniors can continue to rely on emerging technology and motorized scooters to advance their mobility and continuously improve quality of life.
If you have any questions about the right disability aid for seniors, we’d be happy to answer. Understanding how disabilities affect our seniors is the first step in knowing the right solution, and approaching each individual senior’s issue with a customized plan is key to make sure quality of life is on par with expectations. No senior should have to move away from their home or isolate themselves from friends, family, and social activities due to a mobility issue. Motorized scooters ensure this misfortune won’t happen by harnessing the latest technology – and creating solidly-built solutions that can accommodate seniors with any condition, of any size and with any specific personal need.
It can truly be said that as a disability aid, scooters are game-changing – and certainly can improve a senior’s life for the better.