Mobility scooters vs wheelchairs – what’s the difference

There is a diverse range of mobility aids available in Sydney today, from manual mobility chairs, motorised chairs and mobility scooters, they come in many shapes and sizes, designs and looks. Some are portable and easy to travel with while others are best suitable for indoor use.  Both are essential tools for those living with limited mobility, and offer you independence and autonomy. But exactly what is the difference between the two, and which is the best fit for you? Let’s take a look.

Mobility Scooters 

Mobility scooters are usually intended for outdoor usage, and can travel long distances. They provide a level of autonomy, as you don’t need to rely on a carer or a car to run errands or head out for the day. They tend to be cheaper than a mobility chair and cost less to maintain and repair. They can also travel relatively faster than a mobility chair.

However mobility scooters tend to be a touch less ergonomic than chairs, so if you have posture difficulties, then a scooter may not be the best bet for you. They also sacrifice some comfort too, so it is not wise to spend a whole day in one.

Mobility Chairs 

Mobility chairs are another device that provide you with a level of independence and allow you to get about. They can be powered, manually driven, or pushed. They are best suited for those with less mobility, and offer the support that a scooter may not.

They are very easy to manoeuvre, and can more easily fit around corners and tighter spaces – making them ideal for use at home or in a care facility. That being said, they can also be used outdoors if the need arises.

Power chairs are usually driven using a joystick, or other control device for those without the use of their arms, while manual chairs are typically operated by pushing the wheels – or being pushed.

They are easier to get into than a scooter, and as mentioned above, provide a level of back support and comfort that a scooter cannot. They are also more customisable and adjustable than a scooter, and are therefore suited to those with more unique needs. 

In Conclusion 

To sum it up, a power scooter is the best bet for those of you who may wish to travel longer distances outdoors, and are generally more affordable. Meanwhile power chairs and manual chairs have the advantage of being utilised indoors and in tighter spaces, and provide a better level of comfort and postural support than a scooter can. 

Total Mobility are experts at getting you moving and independent. We have a range of different mobility chairs and scooters. Please feel free to get in touch with us or call 02 9520 1866 for any enquiries. We’re more than happy to help.