When shopping for a mobility device it’s important to understand the difference between a mobility scooter and an electric wheelchair. Both are great solutions to improve your ability to get around, so how do you know which will work best for you? Here are some of the major differences between our two most popular mobility devices:
|Mobility Scooter||Electic Wheelchair|
Scooters require two hands to grip the device’s handlebars (also known as the tiller) to manually steer. Control is easy to learn and feels similar to driving.
Power wheelchairs use an electronic input. This input can be controlled by hand using a left- or right-mounted joystick, or it can be customized for foot, mouth, or eye control. This allows for hands free operation and can be used by anyone regardless of mobility challenges.
|Challenging in small spaces
Due to their handlebar control, power scooters have limited maneuverability that makes it difficult to turn around in the opposite direction and therefore are best suited to larger spaces.
|Ideal for confined spaces
Electric wheelchairs are powered by two motors that independently operate its left and right wheels; this means they are capable of spinning 90 degrees or even 360 degrees in place, and are ideal for use in smaller more confined spaces.
|Better for long distance and outdoor travel
These devices are usually equipped with headlights, turning signals and larger wheels to provide a safer, more comfortable ride outdoors.
|Less suitable for rugged terrain
The additional motors and battery power, makes wheelchairs heavier and they usually have less ground clearance making them less suitable for rugged terrain.
|Temporary aid with storage
Many of these devices offer a swivel seat and fold-back armrests that allow users to easily get out and stand up. The handlebars serve as an ideal place to hang bags or baskets. Meant to be used as a temporary mobility aid for people with non-debilitating mobility challenges.
Some feature reclining option. Also built to accommodate special seating cushions and custom backrests that include different pressure redistributing cushions. Lacks storage space but because there is nothing at the front inhibiting the wheelchair, users can pull wheelchair right up to a table.