What Is the Difference Between an Electric Wheelchair & a Mobility Scooter?

Because of genetic issues, injury or aging, people sometimes have limited mobility and rely on wheeled devices to get around. These individuals have to choose between an electric wheelchair and a mobility scooter. Both of these devices will get a person where he needs to go in most cases, but there are big differences in areas such as functionality, transport and control method. These differences usually determine which device a person picks.
          • Electric wheelchairs are much heavier than mobility scooters because they are designed to give more support and handle more use over many different terrains. This can be advantageous in terms of stability. However, the lightness of mobility scooters may be advantageous if the scooter needs to be moved frequently.
Functionality and Comfort
          • Electric wheelchairs are designed for people to sit in most (if not all) of the day. By contrast, mobility scooters are designed as temporary assistants. People who use mobility scooters generally still have some mobility but may need limited assistance such as when symptoms flare or they tire. Consequently, mobility scooters don’t have as many functions as electric wheelchairs do in terms of postural support. This makes a big difference in overall comfort.
          • Breakdown and Transport
          Because mobility scooters don’t have as many functions, they’re easier to break down for transport or storage compared to electric wheelchairs. However, electric wheelchairs more often have securing points, which makes them safer to move if the user needs to sit in the chair while in a vehicle.
          Users control electric wheelchairs via a programmed joystick. Users control mobility scooters with a steering tiller similar to bicycle handlebars. This means that the person who uses a mobility scooter has to have more range of motion with at least one arm than a person who uses an electric wheelchair.
Choosing a Mobility Aid
          If a person has to choose between an electric wheelchair and a mobility aid with similar features, the choice of which mobility aid to use is determined by how a person intends to live, the cost of the mobility aid and the environment. For example, if a person likes being outside, then an electric wheelchair is better because it can handle more terrains. Some insurance companies don’t cover mobility scooters, and electric wheelchairs almost always are more expensive due to their increased functions. Tight corners may make some models of both types of aids unreasonable.

Post time: Dec-18-2014

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