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Why it’s “Cool” for Grandma to Use a Mobility Scooter

When we were young, we strived to live independently. This desire to live independently still tops the wish-list of many older adults (65 years old and above).

But this desire to live independently is often challenged by nature. For various reasons, many adults find themselves walking less far and taking more frequent rest breaks during walking.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States is an ageing society. The CDC reported that since January 1, 2011, and each and every day for the next 20 years, approximately 10,000 Americans will celebrate their 65th birthdays.

Mobility Scooter

Independence can still be achieved even if one walks less far and takes more frequent rest breaks.

In many suburban streets, mobility scooters are a common sight. Scooters are 3 or 4-wheeled power-operated vehicles that are controlled via a mechanical tiller system. These assistive devices are increasingly popular among older adults due to the following reasons:

  1. No Social Stigma
    Many elderly do not use wheelchairs due to the stigma attached to them. Stigma still affects many people. It changes the way they perceive and treat people. For instance, this stigma makes people take pity on the mobility aid user. This stigma also leads some to treat a mobility aid user as less mentally capable and in some instances, excludes the person from certain activities.

    There is no such stigma attached to mobility scooters. In fact, these devices are not just used by the elderly population but by young people as well. They are seen as hip – as cool by the younger generation. An elderly using such device is, therefore, not seen as “old” but one as hip and cool.

  2. Increases Independence
    A study by May et al. showed that scooters were predominantly used for and from shops, visiting friends and family, and to go for rides.
    A study by Löfqvist et al. found that outdoor and indoor independence increased as a result of scooter interventions after 4-months and 1-year use.

    A study by Löfqvist et al. found that outdoor and indoor independence increased as a result of scooter interventions after 4-months and 1-year use.

  3. Travel Longer Distance
    With the Prowler 4-wheel mobility scooter, for instance, a user can travel up to 7 miles per hour and a top range of 23 miles. A study by May et al. found that mobility scooters were used by their owners 3 to 5 times each week and travelled between 2 and 5 kilometers from their home.

    For a safe use, this assistive technology must only be used by one who is:

    -Able to sit down and stand up safely and independently;
    -Has sufficient strength and coordination in the arms to operate the equipment’s tiller steering mechanism; and
    -Has good balance and good trunk control when sitting.

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