Tag archive for "Difference"

stairlifts

The Difference Between Mobility Scooters And Electric Wheelchairs

No Comments 11 September 2010

The Difference Between Mobility Scooters And Electric Wheelchairs

Living in a complicated, modern, technologically advanced and digitally revolutionised era, we have seen the more complex devices produced to the simplest of equipments improve in quality and functionality. From IPods to Mobile phones, through to stair lifts and electric wheelchairs we have certainly made things much easier for ourselves in terms of communication, entertainment and mobility. It is no surprise that those less physical able to move around independently have seen vast improvements in mobility devices and aids.


One of the more common and still modern mobility equipments is the mobility scooter, wheel chairs and electric scooter, which is not only a device for easy manoeuvring but also a good device for playing sports. Of course, you cannot play basketball or tennis with large mobility scooters; however, you can take part in many major sporting activities using a manual wheelchair. Top Paralympics athletes have shown impressive techniques to using a wheelchair when playing things like basketball, tennis and racing.


Mobility scooters should not be mistaken with electric wheelchairs, as they are two of different equipments. The only similarity is their ability to aid in manoeuvrability, however one is used more for internal use and the other is best used outside and for long distance travelling. These are not suitable for major sports and are only used for the sole purpose of migrating from one area to another.


Mobility scooters, although used only for moving and travelling long distances, are much slower and are good for people with weak upper body strength and physical disabilities in the legs. It is useful for people to use these for low key sporting activities such as golf, that require very little in mobility strength and is a light form of exercise. High impact sports is unsuitable mobility scooter users.


Wheelchair sports has grown to a massive scale, holding Paralympics sporting competitions and seeing wheelchair basketball champions begin to steal the limelight of world sports. The first wheelchair basketball game was founded in the USA of 1944, which was taken part by World War II veterans. This then spread across the globe with thousands of people taking part and spotting. This was also very quickly incorporated with the Paralympics, which was established at the same time by Ludwig Guttmann in England.


Wheelchair tennis was a sport that developed also in the USA and was founded around the late 1970s. This was not an easy development and required much more experimenting with optimising the wheelchair with playing tennis. The founder of wheelchair tennis was a young man named Brad Parks, who upon making a warm up jump on acrobatic skiing, injured himself and was made paraplegic.


Being a wheelchair user he experimented with playing tennis from his wheelchair upon hearing that athlete Jeff Minnenbraker had been playing tennis from a wheelchair. This sparked a strong interest for Parks and on his next rehabilitation session coincidently his therapist was Minnenbraker. They discussed playing tennis and this ensued with Minnenbraker providing Parks with tennis lessons. It became quickly obvious to Parks that a lightweight wheelchair was needed to play tennis and so they began developing design ideas.


Though this was a process, which took time, it soon gained much popularity and attracted fellow wheelchair users to take part. Eventually this became a global activity with the National Foundation of Wheelchair Tennis being founded in 1980. Since then this has become a popular sporting event, with competitions held every year. The International Wheelchair Tennis Federation was founded in 1989 with Brad Parks as the President of the project.


Sporting events such as these have made it possible for people with physical disabilities to feel more in control and independent.

Anna Stenning is an expert on mobility scooters, having helped people buy the right scooter and helped out in wheelchair sporting events.

Changing the battery on the Rover mobility scooter.

stairlifts

What is the Difference Between a Mobility Scooter and a Powerchair?

No Comments 11 August 2010

What is the Difference Between a Mobility Scooter and a Powerchair?

What Is the Difference Between a Mobility Scooter and a Powerchair?

Mobility scooters and powerchairs are often grouped together to differentiate them from traditional self-propelled, or pushed manual wheelchairs. There are however some fundamental differences between a mobility scooter and a powerchair.

Mobility scooters have three or four wheels and are steered using a bicycle style handlebar (or tiller) which requires two hands, and are designed to travel up to 35 miles. They are often used by people with limited mobility, or those who tire easily when walking. Depending on the model and type of mobility scooter, the scooter may dissemble into easy to manage components so that it can be easily transported in a car, or stored at home.

Powerchairs usually look more like traditional wheelchairs, and some models even look just like a traditional wheelchair with batteries and a motor attached to each wheel. The powerchair is driven using one hand by a joystick controller on the arm of the powerchair. Powerchair users tend to spend more time in their chairs than scooter users spend on their scooters. Because of this, powerchairs are usually more adaptable than disabled scooters and some models can have specialist seats and controllers fitted to suit the individual requirements of the user. For example, the powerchair can be controlled by hand, by a chin controller, or even using a sip and puff pipe operated with the mouth. The footrests can be specific to the user’s needs and can include swing away or articulating footrests. Powerchairs are also more likely to be used inside although some powerchairs are equally capable indoors and outdoors. Mobility scooters are more likely to be used outdoors, although some of the smaller ones can be used indoors.

Electric scooters usually have one motor to drive the rear wheels whilst powerchairs have two motors to individually drive the rear wheels. This gives the powerchair a smaller turning circle which is ideal for indoor use, and provides a lot of traction and control. Some powerchairs even have the option of an electrically operated hydraulic seat so that the user can reach traditionally unreachable places like cupboards and shelves. Disabled scooters tend to be less configurable than powerchairs, and have fewer optional extras.

Disability scooters tend to be less expensive than powerchairs. Powerchairs have two motors, and better, more supportive seating as users often spend a lot of time in the powerchair. Powerchair users may not be able to support themselves, or be able to walk at all, and so their requirements are different from mobility scooter users.

Traditionally, powerchairs were not as easy to dismantle as mobility scooters, but this is changing and most of the powerchair manufacturers offer powerchairs that will fit into a car boot. Designs are constantly changing and improving, and powerchairs are becoming as easy to dismantle and as rugged as mobility scooters. Some powerchairs have six wheels for added stability, and some are front wheel drive for added indoor maneuverability.

Now that you have found out more about the differences between mobility scooters and powerchairs, you can decide which will best suit your needs.

For more information about mobility scooters and powerchairs, please visit www.scootamart.com


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