Are Mobility Devices only for Disabled People?
- 19 Jul, 2021
Are Mobility Devices only for Disabled People?
If you’ve noticed an increased number of mobility scooter users around you, you might be wondering whether they are all disabled people or not. While most people think mobility devices are only for disabled people, this couldn't be further away from the truth. If you’re looking into personal mobility devices, chances are that either you or someone close to you is thinking about incorporating one into their daily life for ease of mobility.
Mobility devices can be incredibly beneficial and potentially life-changing to a wide range of people, not just those living with a disability. Personal mobility devices are key in providing users with a sense of freedom and independence that was previously unattainable, allowing them to live their lives without being overly dependent on those around them. Moreover, they can provide more freedom to caretakers as well, improving the personal relationships of those with limited mobility.
There are unfortunately many reasons that might cause someone to suffer from limited mobility. Some might be sudden and permanent, though others can be sporadic or progressive. People recovering from an accident or experiencing a debilitating or degenerative illness might be able to walk, but still have a hard time running their daily errands without getting exhausted. Some elderlies are more than capable of standing unassisted, but struggle to participate in activities that bring them a sense of personal fulfillment for fear of becoming a burden to those around them. All of these reasons are valid: people have a right to live the most comfortable, independent and pain-free life they can, and to choose the type of device or aid that will help them do so.
Personal mobility devices provide people with disabilities and those living with other types of mobility restrictions with an improved sense of freedom and independence that cannot be overstated. Everyone should have a right to choose the aid they require to live the best life available to them. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available and specifically designed to fulfill every type of need.
Mobility Device Definition
Mobility devices are a form of assistive technology that provides solutions to users that are unable or struggle to walk. Assistive technology aims to help those experiencing difficulties in conducting activities of daily living (ADL) independently to live a more fulfilling and confident life that’s less dependent on others. Their use has been linked to increased social interaction and participation, improved living conditions for both the user and their family or caretakers, and a higher sense of control and freedom over one’s life. They can effectively allow someone to move without depending on a caretaker, reduce the dependence on carers, and help navigate daily life experiencing less pain and risk of injury due to falling.
There are various types of personal mobility devices both people with disabilities and other mobility impairments can use, from wheelchairs to scooters.
What Is the Best Personal Mobility Device for Disabled People?
Wheelchairs for Disabled People
Finding the right type of personal mobility device is key for both disabled people and those experiencing limited mobility. Wheelchairs are one of the most common personal mobility devices used by those who are paralyzed and unable to walk or those who should not put weight on their legs. While the latter might manage with a walker or crutches in their daily life, they can also find wheelchairs helpful when traveling over longer distances.
It is crucial that users find a wheelchair model that suits their needs and expectations. Limited mobility does not have to mean limited exploration of the outside world. Wheelchairs like the Jazzy Passport Power Chair have been designed specifically to provide alternatives to travelers and explorers. It comes with a lithium-ion travel battery that makes it safe to transport on a plane and underseat storage, and the 3-inch ground clearance means users can explore uneven terrains with ease and independence. With a maximum rater slope of 6° and a 1.5’’ maximum obstacle climbing ability, both ascending and descending, it is perfect for active users looking to participate in outdoor activities without feeling restricted.
Of course, some might be looking for an easy to carry around wheelchair that can easily fit in the car and is easy to dismantle. The Shoprider Jimmie has been explicitly designed for consumers and shoppers on the go, and is extremely lightweight. This is a particularly helpful wheelchair for disabled and non-disabled people alike, as many who might be able to walk on their own struggle to do their grocery shopping.
Most wheelchair users are unfortunately quick to discover that many businesses and places have not fully adapted to people with limited mobility, which can prevent them from taking part in social activities. Going out for dinner with friends, exploring the local bookshop or dancing the night away with a date can prove to be difficult due to space constraints that can be hard to navigate with traditional wheelchairs. The Whill Model Ci2 Power Chair has been created to navigate this type of circumstances. With a short wheelbase, narrow frame and responsive controls it is extremely adaptable to small spaces and tight turns. It has an electromagnetic braking system, a built-in horn and a 2’’ obstacle and ground clearance capability.
Disability Mobility Scooters
Disability Mobility Scooters are similar to wheelchairs, and are typically battery powered. They can be extremely beneficial for those without the upper body strength or mobility that is required to use a more conventional manual wheelchair. It should be noted that they may take some basic training to navigate and that the rules for their use on public spaces such as sidewalks and roads might vary from place to place.
There are plenty of options for users looking to buy a mobility scooter for disabled that prioritizes portability. The Drive ZooMe Auto-Flex Folding Scooter has been designed for people that need to integrate it with other modes of mobility. It is lightweight, collapsible and easily transportable, and can be folded and unfolded in 15 seconds. An extremely versatile mobility scooter, it can be easily fit in a car or taken on planes thanks to its airline-safe lithium battery. Despite being only 60 lbs heavy, it can safely carry up to 300 lbs, and it’s a great addition to those hoping to easily go from home to parks, shopping centers, restaurants and family outings.
Others might not be so concerned about portability, but rather about finding a heavy duty scooter that’s able to carry higher weight and comfortably fit large users in a safe and stable manner. The AfiScooter C4 Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter was created to put these concerns at ease. It has a carrying capacity of 400 lbs and an 18’’ seating width. The captain seat is extremely comfortable and its powerful motor makes it the perfect scooter for both indoor and outdoor activities. Thanks to its 4-inch tires it can easily go over bumpers, pebbled or uneven terrain without creating any sort of discomfort. This is the type of mobility scooter that’s perfect for someone hoping for an independent life with a device that can easily take them from home to whatever they need to do and back.
A high price point is unfortunately a deterrent to people that could greatly benefit from a mobility scooter, but it doesn’t have to be so. There are plenty of options that are both affordable and extremely efficient. The Pride Go-Go ES2 3-Wheel Scooter doesn’t just rely on its low price as a selling point: with a 250 lbs weight capacity, foldable and compact frame, and modular design for easy serviceability, it provides a great introduction into the world of mobility scooters and is sure to satisfy the needs of most users.
At an only slightly higher price point, the Drive Spitfire Scout 4-Wheel Travel Mobility Scooter has enhanced stability and legroom. With an overall weight of only 94 pounds, it is a great option for those living in constrained environments like small apartments or hoping to use their mobility scooter to go out to restaurants or visit friends. It’s 21.5-inch width overall makes it a fantastic scooter to navigate tight spaces that can’t fit larger devices. While a single charge can travel up to nine miles, there is the option of an extended upgrade that increases it to 15 miles per charge, allowing for extra independence and opportunities of outside mobility.
Can Anyone use a Personal Mobility Device?
As we’ve seen in this article, the answer is a resounding yes, you can definitely use one regardless of whether or not you have any disabilities.
While some people believe mobility devices are only for disabled people, the truth is that different individuals might choose to use them depending on their specific circumstances. Moreover, some might choose to buy a personal mobility device for periodic use. They might, for example, be of great use when fetching correspondence from the mailbox at the end of the yard or garden, going to the mall with energetic grandchildren or running nearby errands without having to depend on friends or family.
These devices can make life infinitely easier for people with disabilities, mature users, or those experiencing illnesses that affect their mobility. Personal mobility devices can provide a type of independence that would be impossible without them, allowing users to live their life to the fullest of their capacities.