Walking impairments can disrupt both emotional and physical well-being. Handicap scooters are ideal for everyone who has walking difficulties.
For many people, the act of walking is taken for granted. Walking though is central to daily life. It gets us to work, doing errands, visiting friends and family, and for self-care.
A study by Iezzoni et al. showed that nearly 10% of Americans reported some mobility difficulty. The study showed that the average age of those who reported mobility problems ranged from 59 to 67 years. The study also found that people with major mobility difficulties reported being frequently depressed or anxious.
A growing number of people with walking difficulty are using handicap scooters. These devices can transport a single occupant. Some are designed with 3 wheels; others have 4 wheels.
Handicap scooters are classified as “other power-driven mobility device” (OPDMD) under the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. OPDMD is defined as any mobility devices powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines that are used by individuals with mobility disabilities.
Both public and private establishments, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, are required to allow people with mobility disabilities who use these devices into their facilities. The exception to this rule is when a specific type of device cannot be accommodated because of legitimate safety reasons.
Despite their walking difficulties, users of handicap scooters have been able to lead an active and independent life. A study by May et al. found that handicap scooters were used mostly for visiting family and friends. They were also used for getting to and from shops. The May study also found that handicap scooters were used 3 to 5 times each week. The study further showed that these assistive devices travelled between 2 to 5 kilometers each week.
For the safe use of this mobility vehicle, the user must be able to meet these physical requirements:
-Can walk even for very short distance;
-Can independently sit down and stand up from a chair;
-Can operate the machine with good arms and hands; and
-Have good balance and trunk control while sitting.