Approximately 1.7 million Americans rely on wheelchairs or mobility scooters to continue working, spending time with their families, and enjoying an independent life. If you’re considering purchasing a mobility scooter or your doctor has written a prescription for a unit, it’s important to know which type of scooter will meet your needs and how to care for it properly.
The following are a few simple tips to help you shop for and maintain a mobility scooter.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Purchasing a Scooter
Choosing the right mobility scooter that meets your needs and budget can be difficult, especially when you consider how many models are available. Here are a few important questions you need to ask yourself while shopping for a mobility scooter:
- How much do you weigh? If you weigh more than 250 to 300 pounds, you will need a scooter that can support more weight. Also consider how much you will be carrying on your scooter, such as in a basket.
- Do you need a more rugged model? If you plan to enjoy the great outdoors and use your scooter throughout most days, consider a four-wheeled model, as these are sturdier and more powerful.
- Do you need a more space-saving model? A three-wheeled mobility scooter is a good option if your space is limited or you are only using your scooter for running errands and getting around your home.
- How will you transport the scooter? Consider a scooter that can be folded or disassembled if you are transporting it in a trunk or small vehicle.
One last element to consider is the color of the scooter. Most three and four-wheeled scooter models are available in a variety of colors.
Consider These Mobility Scooter Features
Now that you’ve narrowed down the basics, you can choose certain features that make your life easier and more comfortable. The following are a few common features and upgrades to consider when coming to a final decision about which scooter you will purchase:
- Upgraded seat. The seat that comes equipped with your scooter is often sufficient if you are of average height and will only use your scooter occasionally or for short periods. Adjustable seats are available if you are taller. If you’ll be spending a lot of time riding your scooter, consider a seat with extra padding.
- Headlights. If you plan to use your scooter at night, you will benefit from headlights.
- Larger battery. Fitting your scooter with a larger battery will allow you to ride it longer between charges. However, it will also add weight to your scooter.
Mobility scooters are available in left- and right-handed drives, as well.
You can view or even test drive several models of scooters at our retail locations, or see all models available on our website.
Clean and Maintain Your Mobility Scooter
Caring for your mobility scooter properly will protect your investment and ensure that the scooter is ready to go and that it doesn’t suffer an unexpected breakdown while you’re out and about. Read the manual before operating or maintaining your scooter and especially before charging the battery. Undercharging or overcharging the battery could affect its lifespan.
Wipe down the body of the scooter with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. For a more thorough cleaning, use lukewarm water, dish soap, and a rag. Clean away any debris that accumulates around the battery terminals and the bottom and tires.
Check the tires periodically. Most mobility scooter are available with either foam-filled tires or tires that are pressurized with air. If you have foam-filled tires, you might not notice if they are damaged because they won’t deflate. That is why you need to check for tears or holes often.
Keep your scooter out of the rain. If it is exposed to moisture, wipe it down immediately to avoid any damage to the battery. Store your scooter in a cool, dry, and secure place. Don’t forget to remove the keys before parking your scooter for the night.
Care for Your Mobility Scooter’s Battery
In addition to charging your scooter’s battery properly and according to the manufacturer’s manual, the following are a few things you can do to protect the battery and extend its use:
- Remove and store the battery. If you’re not using your scooter for an extended period — for example, during the winter — remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry spot. Extreme cold and heat can severely damage the battery.
- Clean the battery. Wipe down the battery with a dry cloth to remove any grease, dirt, or dust. Grease the terminals according to the manufacturer’s suggestions to help maintain a better connection.
- Extend the battery’s life. Maintaining the tire’s pressure, charging the battery fully before heading out, and avoiding overloading the scooter can all help keep your battery strong.
Schedule a yearly inspection of the scooter and battery to pinpoint any minor issues before they become expensive problems.
Considering your needs and learning how to maintain your mobility scooter can help greatly improve your quality of life. If you have any more questions, contact Corner Home Medical.