Power chairs and mobility scooters are electronic devices designed to help individuals with mobility impairments move around more easily and independently. Power chairs, also known as electric wheelchairs, are propelled by electric motors, and controlled by the user through a joystick or other means of input. They are often larger and more stable than manual wheelchairs and are suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.
Mobility scooters are designed like an electric scooter and are operated using a tiller handle requiring both hands to steer and control. Both power chairs and mobility scooters require a battery to operate and can be charged by plugging them into an electrical outlet. Both types of devices can be customized with various features and accessories to meet your individual needs and preferences. We are going to go over some of the different types of both power chairs and mobility scooters, that way you have a better idea of which one might be right for you.
Types of Power Wheelchairs
There are several different types of power chairs, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Here is a brief overview of some common types of power chairs:
Rear-wheel drive power chairs
These power chairs are propelled by motors located in the rear wheels, which provides a smooth and stable ride. They have two smaller front castors – to aid stability and maneuverability. They are well-suited for outdoor use and can easily navigate rough terrain. However, they do have one major problem. The turning radius is much bigger than front/mid-wheel models. That means they aren’t the best if you want to go out to shops and cafes where you may need to turn in small spaces.
Front-wheel drive power chairs
These power chairs are propelled by motors located in the two, larger front wheels, which allows for greater maneuverability in tight spaces. Also, due to larger front wheels, front-wheel power chairs are also great for climbing obstacles. One thing to be aware of, front-wheel chairs have a larger 360 degree turning radius than mid-wheel models. This can slightly reduce maneuverability for individuals who spend lots of time at home and benefit from that full range of movement.
Mid-drive Power Chairs
Mid-wheel power chairs have six wheels that give traction when driving. This keeps the user’s center of gravity directly over the drive wheels. Because of this, mid-drives have a great 360 degree turn radius. However, due to their being 6 wheels, the user may feel the bumps more than a front or rear wheel drive.
Types of Mobility Scooters
Three Wheel Scooters
These mobility scooters have three wheels and are typically smaller and more lightweight than four-wheeled scooters. They are well-suited for indoor use and are highly maneuverable, making them a good choice for navigating tight spaces.
Four Wheel Scooters
These mobility scooters have four wheels and are typically larger and more stable than three-wheeled scooters. The 4-wheel scooter has a larger turn radius, but the added wheel gives more security when traveling over uneven terrain or inclines making them well-suited for outdoor use. Because of their size, they are perfect if you would like a lot more leg room as well.
Travel or Portable Scooter
These mobility scooters are designed to be easily disassembled and transported in a car trunk or other small space. They are perfect for anyone who wants to take their scooter on the go but do not want to install a lift on the back of their car or rely solely on the bus. They have airline safe, non-spillable batteries and despite being in the smaller family of scooters, they can accommodate someone up to 330 lbs. Keep in mind, this type of mobility scooter is all about portability, so it’s not going to be the most comfortable scooter out there.
Accessories for Mobility Scooters and Power Wheelchairs
Mobility scooters and power wheelchairs can come with some great accessories in order to improve your life. Some mobility scooters can include baskets in order to help you carry objects. You can also include lights in order to see objects in the way better. Some power wheelchairs and scooters can have the cushion in the seat upgraded for better comfort. When you are considering a power wheelchair or mobility scooter, talk to your medical supply store associate about what comforts you want, and they will be glad to help you.
Whether you are looking for a power wheelchair or mobility scooter, both can help you find and keep a sense of independence. If you are in the Pasadena or Southeast Houston area, Bayshore Medical Supply has a large selection of Golden Technology power wheelchairs and mobility scooters for you to choose from. Our sales associates are very knowledgeable and can help match you up with the perfect mobility solution for you.