Many seniors and elderly people have trouble deciding between an electric scooter and a motorized wheelchair. They both help disabled people enjoy more freedom and mobility. However, one choice or the other might be better for different people.
Choosing A Motorized Wheelchair
These chairs may have four or six wheels and offer many features. Very often, they can be operated with a simple joystick. This makes them stable and versatile. People who might have balance issues, need to adjust their seat position, or impaired eyesight might find that a wheel chair is a safer choice than the scooter.
For example, many have seats that can adjust to different seating positions. The chairs may even recline and adjust into a standing position. This makes them good for long-term use, particularly for disabled people who need extra assistance and really rely upon their device for mobility.
Most of these wheel chairs are pretty large and heavy. Few models fold up to fit inside of the storage space in a car. However, they can sit inside modified vans and actually serve as a chair.
The size might be an issue for storage too. Many electric scooters fit into very tight spaces, but electric wheelchairs might not. They need to be considered more like a piece of furniture.
One advantage of these chairs is that they can usually handle a diverse variety of different terrains. They can be used inside and outside, depending upon the capability of the rider. They are made to be very stable, and that might not be so true for all scooters.
When To Consider An Alternative Mobility Solution
There are a couple of drawbacks to these wheelchairs when compared to scooters:
- Wheelchairs are usually pretty heavy
- Most aren’t really portable and don’t fold up
- In comparison, many electric scooters cost less
People who are still somewhat mobile, have decent eyesight, and don’t have major balance issues, might be happier with a scooter. They are more likely to be portable, lightweight, and more versatile. They are also usually cheaper.
Electric Wheelchair Prices
One big issue is the price of good electric wheelchairs. Some models can cost up to $15,000. On the other hand, many scooters are easy to find for $1,000 or even less. Because they are smaller and lighter, scooters may require smaller and cheaper batteries than wheelchairs, and this might be another consideration. With some battery wheelchairs, the battery costs as much as an entire scooter and a battery.
It might be possible to find a good used wheelchair for a cheaper price. They do tend to depreciate just like cars do, so a buyer might save thousands on a model that is only a couple of years old.
On the other hand, a battery-powered wheelchair should be a good choice for a person who may not have the balance, reflexes, or vision for a scooter. It might be helpful to try out a few different models of each to find the right solution.