5 Signs You May Be Ready for a Mobility Scooter
There comes a time in everyone’s life when moving around becomes more difficult. Maybe you’re dealing with chronic pain from an injury or a condition like arthritis. Maybe something like COPD makes it difficult to be as active as you once were. Whatever your situation, it’s frustrating when your body makes it hard for you to enjoy the activities you once loved. Small lifestyle changes can help you regain control over your life and make the most of your golden years.
One potential change is investing in a mobility scooter. If you’re considering this, but aren’t sure if it’s the right move for you, we can help. Here are five signs it may be time for a travel scooter, and how to choose the right one for your lifestyle.
Signs You May Be Ready for a Mobility Scooter
For some people, the decision to invest in a mobility scooter is easy. For others, it takes some time to decide if it’s worth the investment. Here are five signs that it may be time to seriously consider a mobility scooter.
Sign 1: You’re Struggling to Keep Your Balance
Everyone falls sometimes. In fact, the CDC reports that 1 in 4 people have had a fall in the past year. But even though everyone can fall, it’s not something you should take lightly. Falls can have serious consequences, especially as you get older.
As you age, your bones lose density and become more brittle. This means that older patients are more likely to break bones during falls and may have a harder time recovering from a fall. In fact, each year over 800,000 patients are hospitalized after falling.
How do you know if your balance is normal or if it’s becoming a problem? Your balance may be problematic if:
- You’ve started stumbling on flat surfaces like the floor in your home
- You get dizzy or feel like the floor is tipping
- You stumble on walks more often than you used to
- You have a hard time seeing small depth changes, such as cracks in the sidewalk
- You’ve had a fall in the past year
A one-time investment in a power wheelchair or travel scooter can prevent injury, pain, and medical complications.
Sign 2: You Miss Out on Events Because of Your Mobility
Picture this: it’s a warm day, and a friend calls and invites you out for the day. A few years ago, you wouldn’t have hesitated to say “yes.” Now, you worry you won’t be able to keep up with them. You don’t want to hold them back, so you politely decline.
If that sounds like you, it may be time for a travel scooter.
No one likes to admit that they’re limited by muscle aches, pain, or fatigue. But you shouldn’t have to cut trips short or only do a portion of your errands because you’re too tired to enjoy the day. You want to be able to enjoy your golden years. You want to see your grandkids’ reactions to the magic of Disney or to enjoy a day shopping with your friends. If you’re shying away from these types of activities because you’re afraid they’ll tire you out, it’s time to make a change. A travel scooter can help you reclaim your freedom and independence.
Sign 3: You’re Recovering from a Surgery
For some people, mobility scooters aren’t forever. If you’re recovering from something like a hip or knee replacement, a mobility scooter can help. Instead of feeling trapped while recovering, you can continue to enjoy your normal lifestyle.
After a major surgery, a mobility scooter may be preferable to a traditional wheelchair. Unlike a traditional wheelchair, you can direct a travel scooter yourself. You don’t have to rely on someone else to push you. This may encourage you to spend more time out and about, which can speed up your recovery.
Additionally, old injuries or surgery sites may develop arthritis as time goes on. Some insurances limit the number of mobility devices you can buy in a certain period of time. Thinking ahead can save you money and frustration down the road if this happens. If your surgery site begins to hurt, you’ll already have a scooter you can use.
Sign 4: Your Bones and Muscles Hurt
Even if you accomplish everything you want to in a day, if your whole body hurts, it may be time for a mobility scooter. It's normal to not want to admit you've reached a certain stage in your health or that you may need more help than you used to. But if your body hurts all the time, it’s a sign that you’re pushing yourself too hard.
Investing in a mobility scooter can make you feel significantly better in the long run. When you stop putting such a strain on your body, it can take a break. This means less pain, more energy, and more enjoyment in life.
Sign 5: Someone You Love Suggested a Mobility Scooter
Sometimes, we miss signs that the people around us notice. If someone you love recently suggested you need a mobility scooter, it’s worth thinking about it. They may be noticing something you're not. Maybe they see that you're breathing heavier on long walks than you used to. Maybe they notice that you're moving slower than you once did. Or perhaps you've stopped doing activities you once loved.
We're not saying that your loved ones know more about your lifestyle than you do. But there is a degree of separation for them which may allow them to be more objective about the situation. So, if they're saying they think you need a scooter, it's a good idea to at least consider their advice.
Considerations When Choosing a Mobility Scooter
Once you’ve decided to invest in a mobility scooter, the next thing to consider is which one to buy. There are so many choices, from heavy duty scooters to compact folding scooters. The right type of scooter for you depends on a number of different lifestyle factors.
Who is Using the Scooter?
If you’re the only person using your scooter, then your needs are the only ones you need to think about. But if you plan to share it with a spouse, then you’ll need to take both of your needs into consideration. You may even choose to invest in a 2-person mobility scooter that you can both use simultaneously.
Where Are You Using the Scooter?
Some people specifically use travel scooters when they’re out and about. If you want to take your scooter to the park, on walking paths, and on rounds of golf, you might need a heavy-duty scooter that can handle different terrains.
On the other hand, if you plan to use your scooter most or all of the time, you might want something lighter. A very lightweight mobility scooter will be easier to transport from place to place. And the narrow frame of many lighter models will be easier to maneuver in your home.
Do You Do a Lot of Traveling?
Consider your next five to ten years. Will you stay in your home state the whole time, or will you spend time traveling? If your traveling days are behind you — or you were never one to hop on a plane — then you don’t need a vacation-friendly scooter. You can get whatever scooter fits best into your daily lifestyle.
But if part of the reason you want a mobility scooter is so you can travel, you have other considerations. Folding scooters or airplane scooters are best for people who want to vacation. They allow you to travel with your scooter. A compact folding scooter is especially good if you want to take cabs or rent cars at your vacation destination. You don’t have to wonder if there will be room for your scooter; you’ll know it can accommodate smaller spaces.
Hoping to travel sometimes, but also want a heavy duty scooter for your day-to-day life? Plenty of people in these circumstances purchase two scooters — one for when they’re home, and another to bring on vacations.
Do You Need to Carry a Lot?
Some mobility scooters have no space on them for anything but your body. Others come with a small basket attachment on the handlebars — about the space you’d need to carry a purse or a small bag of groceries. And still others have large baskets to carry multiple bags while shopping or tools while out and about.
Consider how often you need to carry items while on your scooter. If you just want to enjoy walks in the park with your family, you may not need storage space. But if you want to take your scooter grocery shopping, you probably need a basket. It's almost impossible to push a cart and ride a scooter at the same time. Even carrying a basket in your lap can be cumbersome.
Ready to Take the Next Step? We Can Help
If you’ve read the signs that you may be ready for a mobility scooter and they itched of familiarity, we’re here to help. We know that choosing your first scooter is a big step in your life. It can be emotional to realize that your body isn’t performing as well as it once did.But choosing a mobility scooter can also be an empowering experience. It can free you up to spend more time with your family and enjoy more activities. Contact us today to learn more about the makes of mobility scooters, including Pride, Drive Medical, EWheels, and EV Rider. We can help you determine which one is the perfect match for your unique lifestyle.
- Caitlin Carter