Mobility is inseparably linked to the quality of life. Mobility becomes even more essential for the elderly.
Aging increases mobility impairments. In addition to aging, environmental factors and individual vulnerabilities (genes, for instance) increase the risk of mobility decline.
Without effective support, the quality of life of those with mobility impairment can further diminish.
Given the increasing population of older adults (65 years and above) in the US, it is vital to provide a safe mobility assistive device for those experiencing mobility decline.
Older adults in the US particularly love cars. We simply love to drive them. Cars give us the independence to go wherever we want to go and to go whenever we want to. No wonder many of older adults do not want to give up driving. Many elderly Americans though cannot anymore drive a car.
A growing number of older adults are opting for scooters.
Here are the top reasons why a mobility scooter is an ideal alternative to a car for the elderly:
- Health requirements
The health requirements for using this assistive device are less compared to driving a car. This device is suitable for people who can do or capable of the following:
- Walk even for just a short distance;
- Sit down and stand up from a chair safety and without assistance;
- Have enough coordination and strength; and
- Have a good balance and good trunk control when sitting.
- Travel to longer distances
This assistive technology allows users to travel to longer distances on their own. The Prowler 3-wheel mobility scooter, for instance, can travel up to 23 miles with a maximum cruising range of 7 miles per hour. In addition, this assistive tool also comes with safety features such as a headlight, anti-tip wheels, turn signals and rearview mirrors.
- Increase activity
A study by May et al. found that users for this type of assistive device mostly used it for getting to and from shops and visiting family and friends. The study revealed that scooters are used three to five times each week. The study further showed users travelled between two and five kilometers from their home using this device.
Another study by Fomiatti et al. demonstrated a strong positive effect on the individual’s activity from using this assistive technology.
The U.S. Department of Justice categorizes scooters under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as “other power-driven mobility device” (OPDMD). Under the new regulations implementing ADA, the Department of Justice states that “Covered entities must also allow people with disabilities who use other types of power-driven mobility devices into their facilities, unless a particular type of device cannot be accommodated because of legitimate safety requirements.”