There is a lot of marketing material out there (online AND in radio/TV/print) telling us about scooters for seniors, and how easy it is to acquire one. The fact is that scooters for seniors ARE easy to get your hands on… especially if you have $800-$2,900 to spend today! Given that we’ve had great feedback on our posts entitled “Medical Alert Systems – The Top 10 Questions you Should Ask Before Buying” and our post entitled “Senior Friendly Cell Phones – What You Need To Know Today“, we thought we’d come up with another Top 10 List… This one focused on “The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Scooters for Seniors“.
Remember, there’s a lot to get to know before purchasing a mobility scooter, and this should only be used as an initial list of questions to consider. Scooters aren’t for everybody, and some of them can be downright dangerous (even the simplest to operate). In a subsequent article, we’ll showcase many of the more popular scooter models available today, and the features/benefits of each.
The Top 10 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Scooters for Seniors
10. Will the mobility scooter be used primarily indoors, outdoors or both? There is a lot to this question, and understanding where the user needs mobility-assistance will determine many factors about the models to consider. For example, a scooter for (primarily) indoor use doesn’t need to be as durable as many of the outdoor models. Most of the indoor models can get away with 3 wheels (one leading and two trailing). A single leading wheel makes the scooter easier to steer, and lighter too. Outdoor scooters are usually heavier, more sturdy, have more “range” under the hood (ok in the box), and can be a bit more expensive.
9. Are you paying cash for the mobility scooter, or are you hoping Medicare will pick up the cost? Many manufacturers and marketers tout that mobility scooters for seniors can be paid for by Medicare (if you qualify for Medicare). There are stipulations to this strategy however. In most cases, your physician will need to “prescribe” and/or recommend a mobility aid/scooter for you with appropriate documentations.
8. Do you require a new model OR would a used (reconditioned) scooter do the job? There are great discounts to be had on used and/or reconditioned mobility scooters. A scan of “mobility scooters” in Craigs List showed over 20 scooters for sale in the Portland, Oregon area in the first 2 weeks of January alone! Scooters are usually well maintained by their owner/operators, which makes buying a used scooter a wise choice if you’re spending your own money.
7. Do you (or someone you know) have the means to transport your scooter if you intend on using it outside the home? The larger grocery chains usually have mobility scooters available for people that need assistance, but some do not. If you plan on taking your scooter with you, you need ample space in your vehicle (like a mini-van) AND someone to muscle it in and out for you. Van lifts are obviously the best alternative, but you need to think about transport as it relates to using a scooter away from home.
6. How much do you plan on spending on your mobility scooter? For reasons mentioned above, there is a wide range in prices for mobility scooters for seniors. Pricing for a new mobility scooter ranges from $750 on the low end up to $4,500 on the high end. Features, durability, and quality raise the price points considerably.
5. Have you found any ratings and reviews for mobility scooters? Here at The Senior List we plan on showcasing many of the popular models, so that our users can provide feedback on senior-friendly-scooters. Until then, you can check out Amazon.com on many popular models today. You can also check with the manufacturers, or the sales outlet (but you might not be getting unbiased feedback. Just keep that in mind.)
4. Is the scooter comfortable to sit in? Now this may seem obvious, but if you plan on purchasing online, make sure you find that model locally and take it for a spin. Mobility Scooters are designed to be comfortable, but I can tell you from experience that people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes! Leg room is a big consideration when evaluating the comfort of a mobility scooter. Another consideration is that we all sit a bit differently! My posture isn’t perfect so I may sit differently than the next person. Test drive your mobility scooter… you’ll be glad you did.
3. What is the maximum load weight? Load weight refers to all of the weight-bearing-stress being placed on (or in) the scooter and any one time. Individuals that are overweight, or need to carry heavy objects with them need to understand and answer these questions when evaluating mobility options.
2. What safety features and/or accessories come standard with my purchase? You don’t want to spend $2,000 on a new scooter only to find out you need to purchase arm rests as accessories… (enough said).
1. What kind of warranty comes with my purchase? Make sure you understand the warranty inside and out. Service can be expensive on mobility devices (not to mention a pain in the posterior). Know your rights upfront.