While electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are both mobility aids, they are very different. Learn about the key differences in these aids now.
There are various mobility aids for people with various mobility needs. Mobility aids are an important part of helping people live their best life. Sometimes, people are unsure which mobility aid is best for their body and lifestyle. Some who only need occasional or light assistance only need rollator walkers. Some who need more consistent, full-body assistance need electric wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Keep reading to learn about the differences between these two full-body electric mobility aids.
What Is an Electric Wheelchair?
An electric wheelchair or a power wheelchair is a motorized version of a standard manual wheelchair. They feature many of the same design elements as a manual wheelchair, such as a footstool and a back. However, they include additional features such as armrests and a headrest. These additional features make electric wheelchairs capable of continuous use. While some can get into and out of wheelchairs themselves, many who need an electric wheelchair do not have the body strength to do so. They need constant support to achieve mobility. Electric wheelchairs require little body strength, as they are easy to control, often with a simple joystick.
What Is a Mobility Scooter?
Like electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters are also full-body electric mobility aids. They also don’t require the body strength one needs to operate a manual wheelchair. However, mobility scooters do require the rider to have more upper body strength and mobility than someone who needs the support of an electric wheelchair. Mobility scooters have comfortable seats and power steering but do not feature the armrests or headrests that electric wheelchairs have. Riders must have some upper body strength to hold themselves up. They must also have enough strength and mobility to guide the scooter with two hands. Most people who use mobility scooters do not use them continuously, only to aid their mobility for long distances.
Which Do You Need?
A medical professional can help you determine whether your body, strength, and lifestyle require an electric wheelchair or a mobility scooter. However, it is most common for people to use an electric wheelchair if they cannot walk or can only walk for short periods. People commonly use mobility scooters to cross long distances but can walk in other situations, often for longer than those who need electric wheelchairs. They may need other types of assistance for these walks, such as a rollator walker, but they can walk longer and better than someone who needs consistent full-body support.
Electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters are both excellent full-body mobility aids. Your choice between them will depend on your walking ability and lifestyle. If you purchase electric wheelchairs, Rice Village Medical Supply can help you find the right one. We also provide other mobility aids to help you on your mobility journey.
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