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As we get older, we often find ourselves getting less and less mobile, and finding it more difficult to get around. It can be particularly jarring to watch a formerly active parent or grandparent struggling to keep up with daily activities and social outings.
For seniors who are finding it harder to get around, a mobility scooter might just be the ideal solution. Buying motorized scooters for seniors represents a fairly large purchase, and there is a lot of choice on the market.
To help make the shopping process easier, here is a look at what’s available at some of the top mobility scooter retailers, followed by a comprehensive guide to mobility scooters.
There are many scooters on the market today. To help you find the right one for you, we’ve highlighted some of the popular retailers and the range available from each of them. Please note that each retailer offers several models and the ranges stated cover the main models on each site. The complement of features varies from model to model.
About: Pride Mobility is a recognized leader in the mobility scooter industry. Not only do they manufacture high-quality scooters for seniors and people with limited mobility, but they also have a wide selection of electric wheelchairs (power chairs), lift chairs, and mobility lifts.
Scooter weight range: 120-254lbs. without batteries
User weight range: 250-500lbs.
Cost range: $829 for a Go-Go Ultra 3-Wheel up to $3999 for the tough Pride Pursuit XL 4-Wheel Scooter
Speed range: From 4 mph up to 14 mph
Travel distance range: 8.1 miles up to 19 miles per charge
About: Golden Technologies is known for its luxury products without the “luxury” price tag. A family run company since 1985, Golden produces a large number of mobility scooters, power wheelchairs, and lift chairs.
User weight range: 251-500lbs.
Cost range: $1295 for the LiteRider 3-Wheel Scooter up to $3500 for the Patriot 4-Wheel Scooter
Speed range: From 4 mph up to 7 mph
Travel distance range: 10.1 miles up to 20.9 miles per charge
About: Drive Medical is the newest company to the mobility scooter industry, but don’t let that dissuade you. The folks at Drive Medical understand mobility and safety issues and create a variety of products to keep people safe. In addition to mobility scooters, Drive Medical also sells bathroom safety equipment, specialty beds, respiratory equipment and more.
User weight range: 325-450lbs.
Cost range: $1249 for the Scout DST 3-wheel up to $5249 for the popular King Cobra
Speed range: From 4 mph up to 11 mph
Travel distance range: 10.1 miles up to 35 miles per charge
About: ScootersNChairs is our top pick for the best scooters for seniors. Not only do they offer a large variety of scooter options, they pride themselves in the care and customer service ingrained in the company. If you visit their website, (ScootersNChairs.com) make sure to check out their handy product finder tool that will help you narrow down the best scooter for your home and budget.
Scooter weight: Starting at a lightweight 46lbs (after seat and battery removal) for the EV Rider: Transport Plus Foldable and up to 363lbs for the heavyweight Drive Medical King Cobra.
User weight: Starting at 220lbs up to 600lbs for the sturdiest models.
Cost: Scooters range from $779 for the Drive Medical Spitfire EX 3 and up to $7200 for the completely enclosed Shoprider Flagship Model!
Speed: From 4 mph up to 20 mph.
Travel distance: From 6 – 45 miles per charge, depending on the model.
About: 1800 Wheelchair offers an impressive range of scooters, including 3 and 4 wheel, travel, and indoor and outdoor.
Scooter weight: Starting at just 100 for some of the travel models, ranging to 300lbs for some of the heavy duty ones.
User weight: Starting at 250lbs for the foldable models, up to 500lbs for some of the three and four wheelers.
Cost: You’ll find a range for most budgets here, starting at $699 for basic models and ranging all the way up to $7999 for the highest spec options.
Speed: From 4.8 mph all the way up to 8 mph.
Travel distance: From 5.6 – 18 miles per charge, depending on model.
About: Walgreens offers a small but surprisingly varied range of mobility scooters, including three or four-wheel, and foldable models. Although the site doesn’t specify if they’re suitable for use on highways, at first glance most models look like indoor and sidewalk models.
Scooter weight: Starting at just 59lbs for their foldable model, ranging to 94 lbs for some of the heavy duty ones.
User weight: Starting at 200lbs for the foldable model, up to 275lbs for some of the three and four wheelers.
Cost: From $549.99 – $1799
Speed: All models are around the 3.8 – 4 mph mark.
Travel distance: From 6 – 10 miles per charge.
About: As you can imagine, Amazon offers a huge range of mobility scooters! Our initial search found many 3 and 4 wheeler models, and some highway worthy models, plus travel scooters. Amazon offers 100 plus listings – the specs below are from some of the top searches.
Scooter weight: Starting at just 82lbs for some of the travel models, ranging to over 200lbs for some of the heavy duty ones.
User weight: From 200lbs – 400lbs.
Cost: We found some models around the $679 mark, ranging all the way to $2000 plus.
Speed: Most of the models we found were around the 4 – 5 mph mark.
Travel distance: From 6.3 – 18 miles per charge, depending on the model.
About: You’ll find a huge range of scooters here, including three and four-wheel, foldable, heavy duty, and several covered canopy models. As well as mid-price models they also offer very high-spec and heavy duty scooters, suitable for use on many types of terrain.
Scooter weight: Starting at just 62lbs for their foldable model, ranging to 233 lbs for some of the heavy duty ones.
User weight: Starting at 250lbs for the foldable model, up to 500lbs for some of the three and four wheelers.
Cost: You’ll find a range for most budgets here, starting at $779 for basic models and ranging all the way up to $8995 for the highest spec options.
Speed: From 3.8 mph all the way up to 8 mph.
Travel distance: From 5.6 – 32 miles per charge, depending on the model.
About: Medical Supply Depot offers the full range of scooters, including indoor, outdoor, travel, and both 3 and 4 wheel models.
Scooter weight: Starting at just 70lbs for some of the travel models, ranging to over 300lbs for some of the heavy duty ones.
User weight: Starting at 250lbs for the foldable models, up to 500lbs for some of the three and four wheelers.
Cost: You’ll find a range for most budgets here, starting at $795 for basic models and ranging all the way up to $5712.99 for the highest spec options.
Speed: From 3.8 mph all the way up to 11 mph.
Travel distance: From 8 – 35 miles per charge, depending on the model.
Mobility scooters are small motorized vehicles. They can be front, rear or four wheel drive. The user sits on them in a similar seated position to sitting in any chair and steers them by way of handlebars (much like a bicycle.)
Scooters run on integrated batteries and need regular charging. Each model differs slightly, but in general, you can expect around 6 to 8 miles of use from each charge for a standard model, though some heavy duty models go as far as 30 miles per charge.
Models suitable for road use run at up to 8 mph, while indoors and sidewalk suitable models max out around 4 mph.
A motorized scooter for seniors is a mobility aid designed to make it much easier to get around. Some seniors use their mobility scooter in place of walking, taking public transit, or relying on a lift from another person, to get around their local area with minimal trouble. Others use their scooter to get around the home if walking is difficult.
There are four types of mobility scooters:
Some three and four-wheel models also come with a canopy to protect the user from the elements.
When choosing a mobility scooter, it’s important to be aware of its class:
Always be clear on whether the scooter will need to be used on roads or highways, and if so, make sure to purchase a class 3 scooter.
For many seniors, loss of mobility is a distressing part of getting older. When it becomes hard to walk around the home or to get to church, the library, the shops or for meetups with friends, a mobility scooter can be a wonderful piece of equipment. Using a mobility scooter gives many seniors their independence back, which is good for their confidence, and helps them keep up with their social life and stay active.
The most important thing when it comes to choosing a mobility scooter is to be very clear about when, where and how the senior will use it. This will dictate which model you need and whether it should be class 2 or class 3.
It’s also important to take into account the weight and overall health of the scooter driver, so you can buy a heavy duty, extra comfortable, or adjustable model if necessary.
With so many mobility scooters on the market, you are sure to find one to suit your needs and budget. We recommend getting clear on what specs you need and making a list before you start shopping, to be sure the scooter you choose is the ideal one for your loved one.
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!
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.
1. 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.
2. 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 documentation.
3. 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” on a local sale by owner website shows over 20 scooters for sale in the Portland, Oregon area most of the time! 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.
4. 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.
5. How much do you plan on spending on your mobility scooter? For the 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.
6. 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.)
7. 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!
Legroom 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.
8. 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.
9. 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 armrests as accessories… (enough said).
10. 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.