Many people struggle with mobility issues which can have a huge negative impact on their quality of life, happiness and independence. Mobility can be affected due to a large number of health or medical reasons. For some people it might be a result of arthritis where bones and joints become sore when walking or for others it might be COPD or a related respiratory condition where the lungs are not working as they should be and as a result walking can be a real struggle.
Thankfully there are more and more medical and mobility products which can help people with these types of mobility issues and the one we are going to talk about today is the mobility scooter.
Mobility scooters are usually 4 wheeled mobility products powered by either lead-acid or lithium batteries. They usually feature a padded seat with foldable arm-rests and they are typically controlled by a lever which can be operated using your hand to drive the scooter forward or backwards. Generally speaking they are safe, very easy to use and drive.
As mentioned above mobility can be affected due to a number of reasons and now we are going to take a closer look at some specific reasons and how a mobility scooter can be of benefit.
Stroke is a very common medical emergency where blood supply to part of the brain is cut off which often can leave a person with significant mobility issues due to loss of power and control of one or more limbs. Sometimes this is temporary but usually it will be permanent.
Thankfully a mobility scooter can help people recovering from a stroke especially when their ability to walk is limited. The person will be able to travel on their mobility scooter at ease and with minimal pain or discomfort. They will be able to do things like travel to the shop, meet friends and spend time with family.
Sometimes people who have suffered a stroke are concerned that a mobility scooter might not be suitable for them so it’s worth mentioning that if for example the person has lost power of their right hand the controls of the mobility scooter can be adjusted so the person can drive the mobility scooter by just using their left hand or vice versa.
COPD (chronic inflammatory lung disease) or other respiratory types of conditions are very common and affect as many as 1.2 million people in the UK and as many as 15 million people in the US. These types of diseases and conditions typically affect the respiratory system which can make breathing difficult and which then has a knock on effect with the person’s mobility, especially their ability to walk.
Oftentimes a person with COPD will need to carry supplementary oxygen and most mobility scooters have the ability to carry an oxygen tank or pack on the back of the scooter.
Another very common condition which affects as much as 20% of the adult population is arthritis. Arthritis is the swelling and tenderness of one or more joints and the main symptoms include joint pain, stiffness and a decreased or limited range of movement. Arthritis typically affects people as they age and while there is no cure there are products like mobility scooters which can help.
Mobility scooters can help people with arthritis as they can travel large distances with ease with no pain or discomfort. Arthritis can oftentimes affect a person’s hand grip and while you do need to be able to use your hand to grip the lever which controls the mobility scooter the
amount of strength required is minimal and on some mobility scooters this can be adjusted making it even easier to use.
Also, most mobility scooters have a lever under the seat which allows the seat to swivel around. This will make getting in and out of the scooter much easier and safer. For example you could use your frame or rollator and position yourself beside the scooter, turn the seat around, transfer into the seat and then turn the seat around so you can drive the scooter.
Obesity is a complex health condition and involves excessive amounts of body fat which in turn has a negative impact on a person’s health. In most countries obesity is a leading factor in developing chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Oftentimes obesity will also affect a person’s mobility in a range of ways including walking. Mobility scooters can work very well with someone with obesity as they are comfortable, easy to use with minimal strain on the body. The person will still be able to get out, travel from a-b along with maintaining their independence.
Important to note that every mobility scooter will have a rated weight capacity and this refers to the amount of weight the mobility scooter can safely take. Typically, the larger the mobility scooter the greater the weight capacity. As a guideline, most small/travel mobility scooters will have a weight capacity of 136kg/21.4 stone/300lbs while larger mobility scooters can have a weight capacity of up to 181kg/28 stone/400lbs. It’s important when buying a mobility scooter that you choose one suitable for your individual needs and requirements.
It can’t be understated the impact that limited or reduced mobility can have on a person’s quality of life. Most of us want to be as independent as possible and do as much for ourselves as we can but mobility issues can get in the way. We are also social creatures and tend to be family-oriented so for most of us spending quality time with our family and friends is very important to us but again mobility issues can affect this. It’s not uncommon for people with mobility issues to spend long periods of time on their own due to pain or discomfort while missing out on social events and family gatherings.
It’s important to bear in mind that new products like mobility scooters and treatments for mobility are being made available all the time so if you are struggling with your mobility it’s recommended to consult with your healthcare provider or professional to see what is out there that may help.
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