Mobility scooters are becoming more common and can be found in many different places. You have probably seen them, or even rented one, in a shopping mall, grocery store or big box department store. You know that they can be invaluable when trying to get around while carrying numerous items. You may be having moments when you are considering buying one, but should you purchase your own? After all, you don’t always have a pile of items to move around and it isn’t as if you can’t walk. Purchasing a scooter may be a wise idea. There are more reasons to consider getting a scooter than just shopping and more people who could benefit from owning one than just the walking disabled.

Mobility scooters have been around since the 50s. The original models, sold by Sears, were bulky and unpopular. Not until Allan Thieme, who redesigned the scooter in 1968 for a family member with multiple sclerosis, did the idea of the “wheelchair but not a wheelchair” begin to catch on. In the past 10 years, there has been more and more acceptance of the mobility scooter as something for people with mobility issues, rather than disabilities. This has led to even better designs and more options for the consumer.

Diminished mobility and stamina are the major reasons people choose a scooter. As we get older, the drive to maintain our independence becomes stronger and that independence is often defined by your mobility. Despite keeping yourself in good health, you may be finding it harder to do the things you want that require long-periods of walking or even, found that keeping up with those around you has become difficult. Mobility problems are not always dramatically obvious. Aging causes a loss in muscle elasticity that can make long periods of walking, or even walking at a reasonable clip exhausting. A scooter lets you keep up and keep going without exhaustion.

People with arthritis, obesity or a variety of systemic conditions that can make breathing difficult can also benefit from the assistance of a scooter. For these people, walking is not an issue – exertion is, their circulation or lung capacity may not be able to withstand long periods of exercise. As long as you can sit upright, without support, and maneuver the controls, you can use a scooter. Unlike the conventional wheelchair, a scooter also does not require upper body/arm/shoulder flexibility. If you have had a stroke and are having difficulty with arm/shoulder movement, a scooter will allow you to maintain your independence better than a wheelchair because you will be able to drive and control it with one arm.

Scooters come in a variety of designs that are each suited to different environments. Folding scooters are ideal for someone who only needs it on the occasional outing. Three-wheel scooters are designed for home use, as the wheelbase allows for a tighter turn radius. There are even scooters that border on an “off-road” design, so you can still enjoy going on walking paths.

There are numerous options and considerations involved in the purchase of a scooter. A good dealer will help you sort out what battery range you need, weight capacity and turn radius. Many insurances, including Medicare, will also cover the cost of a scooter under certain circumstances.

Mobility scooters are defined as “assistive” devices and that is how you should think of them when considering a purchase. Owning a scooter does not mean you are going to use it instead of walking, but you should use it to help yourself stay walking. By preventing muscle strain and exhaustion, a scooter can keep you involved in all the activities you want. You can use these scooters to get to places where you can then exercise – like the community pool or park. They are not meant to replace your mobility. A scooter can help you stay mobile by preventing you from becoming exhausted before you get to the place where you will walk by yourself.

These scooters help to maintain your independence and allow you to keep up with your grandkids and friends when out. Using one can also help you stay active. Mobility scooters can allow you to move around your home with ease and, a scooter can help keep you involved in the world outside.