The $2.4 billion market for personal mobility products is expected to grow as the baby-boomer generation ages. The Fredonia Group, a market-research firm, forecasts mobility-device demand to rise some 5 percent annually through 2010.
For those who need a mobility device but are less than thrilled of using a wheelchair, the scooter is a happy alternative. Now with sporty and sophisticated designs, practical features such as CD players, beverage holders and shopping baskets, and fun and vibrant colors, it’s no wonder why scooters bypass any perceived stigma of power chairs and wheelchairs.
Here are some product options available to patients:
Traveling Light with the Travelmate
The Travelmate from Amigo Mobility International offers various safety features include electromagnetic braking with a manual release. It’s lightweight and easy to take-apart (the heaviest piece weighs only 23 pounds), and the compact structure has a stowed height of 19 inches. With a 250-pound weight capacity, the scooter features a fold-down seat with 360-degree full-swivel rotation. The Upside: The scooter can be easily stored in cars, RVs, SUVs, boats and planes.
High Concept Design in a Travel Scooter
The Golden Liteway from Golden Technologies features a new design with its rugged, anti-rust steel tube frame, under-seat cargo basket, a durable rubber floor mat and dual-throttle controls with thumb and finger levers. A dual-jockey wheel in the front ensures added stability, and twin 15 amp hour batteries offer a range of 7.5 miles. The Upside: The unique under-seat basket provides a large cargo area that’s safe and secure.
Twin Front Wheel Micro Electric Scooter
Merits Health Products’ Pioneer 5 S541 has twin front wheels with a spring-suspension system for stability during sharp turns. The compact design allows for narrow-space driving and can be easily disassembled, and the comfortable, adjustable tiller fits various individual postures. The Upside: Standard features include a front basket and a multi-function display console.
Strength and Maneuverability
Solo XT-550 from ConvaQuip accommodates riders weighing up to 550 pound and offers a a triple-reinforced frame, reinforced seat post and reinforced, nonskid, front fender foot rests. It’s power connections are broken by removing the batteries or separating the scooter’s front and back ends. The Upside: Even with a bariatric design, the heaviest component is only 43 pounds.
On the Go
Pride Mobility’s Go-Go Elite Traveller Plus offers increased legroom for a high degree of patient comfort, and delta tiller with wraparound handles. It’s standard 17 amp hour battery pack for enhanced range. The Upside: Feather-touch disassembly makes portability easy.
No Cables to Mess With
The Ranger Auto Plug System on Ranger’s Solo Ltd. and Safari Ltd. models eliminates having to physically disconnect the battery cables and power cable to the motor during disassembly. Simply lift the batteries out of the trays and the electrical connection is broken. Separate the two halves of the scooter and the connection for the power cable to the motor is broken. The Upside: Reduces disassembly/assembly times by an average of 50 percent.
High-Performance and Weight Capacity
Leisure-Lift’s Fusion 5 combines a 500-pound weight capacity with five wheels, a 33-and-a-half-inch turning radius and increased leg and seat room. It features an 8 degree RESNA incline stability/safety rating, a 110-amp controller and a four-pole, heavy-duty motor/transaxle for all-day range and hill-climbing power. While it sports an extra-wide seat, it uses Minimizer Ultra narrow arms for easy indoor use. The Upside: A five-wheeled scooter that zigs.