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Mobility Jargon: 3 Key Terms Explained

Mobility Jargon: 3 Key Terms Explained

At Scooters 'N Chairs, we want to make sure your mobility equipment search is hassle-free. The most annoying part of the search for most people is the jargon. Being in the industry, we have a good understanding of what each term means. However, for many elderly people, some of it will not make any sense.

In this quick guide, we want to list some of the most used jargon in the mobility equipment industry and their meanings.

Mobility Jargon For Elders 

Here, we will discuss popular terms used in the mobility industry, from the basic ones down to the most complex.

Mobility Scooters 

mobility scooter jargon

First of all, let us discuss mobility vehicles, also known as handicap scooters. Mobility units are electric mobility equipment where the steering is done from the steering column, otherwise known as a 'tiller' which is located in front of the user. It is quite different from traditional or power wheelchairs, which are steered using a joystick.

They come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. You can buy folding models which are easier to travel with. You can also get heavy-duty units, 3-wheel scooters, and even 4-wheel designs. Off-road models are perfect for people who love the outdoors.

Power Wheelchairs 

mobility jargon - power chair

Power wheelchairs, otherwise known as electric wheelchairs, are a great choice for comfort, maneuverability, and travel. Some may argue that they provide more flexibility than others. Power vehicles offer options like adjusting height, tilt, seat recline, and leg space. In some cases, boarding a bus train or other type of public transport is much easier in a power unit because of its compact size

Mobility Jargon and Key Terms

Here are some useful explanations for key mobility terms.

Turning Radius 

turning radius

The turning radius, or turning path for mobility and power devices can be described as the smallest circular turn that your mobility equipment can make. Another way to think of the turning radius is to evaluate it in terms of how easy it is to make a U-turn in your unit. While some people will not be too concerned with this, it is very important if you are buying an indoor model. If you live in a small apartment, enjoy going out to crowded restaurants or often traverse narrow hallways, among other cramped spaces, a scooter or chair with a tight turning radius will suit you.


Most mobility equipment is battery-powered. The type of scooter or chair you choose will depend on your usage. If you will be traveling long distances on a single charge, look for extended range models. Why do you need one anyway? Let’s say you’re headed to a friend’s home who lives a couple of minutes away. There, you meet more friends, who at the spur of the moment, decide to take a road trip and ask you to come along. Now, of course, we’re assuming that all your friends are power scooter users as well.

It’s moments like these you’ll never have to worry about: “What if my battery conks out in the middle of the highway” or “What if I have to be in that embarrassing situation where I’m flashing my thumb in the air, hoping to have myself and my scooter picked up by a stranger?”

Ground Clearance 

Do you prefer off-roading over comfort? If so, recreational models are perfect for you. That's because they tend to have higher ground clearance. Ground clearance sometimes referred to as ride height, describes the minimum distance from the bottom of your device, and the road. A higher ground clearance offers better off-roading capabilities while a lower ground clearance provides increased comfort and better handling.

Understanding Mobility Equipment Terms

Most people who are new to the world of mobility equipment get bombarded with industry-specific terms that make the process of finding the best equipment difficult. At Scooters N' Chairs, we want to simplify this process. Give our mobility experts a call or chat with us and we can help you find the best solution to suit your needs.

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