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The Difference Between Power Chairs And Mobility Scooters

Mobility scooters provide a valuable service to many people who are elderly, suffer from arthritis, or are otherwise mobility challenged. Mobility scooters are not mini-motorcycles, but are more like motorized chairs. They are very similar to power chairs, or motorized wheelchairs, with several distinct differences. A good deal of the differences between these two mobility products arises from the sitting arrangements of the respective units.

Power chairs, or as they are often referred to 'electric wheelchairs', provide services to their users that are very similar to that of an electric mobility scooter. They are, however, different in many ways as well. Power chairs are made with people who are wheelchair bound in mind. That does not mean that you have to be wheelchair bound to use one or to own one, but the features are geared towards making someone in that situation more comfortable in their everyday living. Generally, the seats in power chairs offer extra support for the back and head. Of course this is not true of all power chairs, but the majority of power chairs either offer head support or have higher backs than a mobility scooter. In addition the seats usually recline as well. Your average mobility scooter however has a seat that does not go up as high on the back, and usually does not recline. Most mobility scooters have what is referred to as a medium back chair, that is, in design anyway, similar to that of a straight backed kitchen chair.

The difference in the types of seats found in mobility scooters and power chairs can be attributed to 2 main reasons. A large part of this is due to the difference in the location of the controls on these two mobility products. A power chair is controlled by a joystick that can be configured to be on the left or right arm rest. This makes it very natural to be in a more laid back position. A mobility scooter, however, is controlled by a tiller that has a set of handle bars attached to it. The tiller is in essence an arm that extends from the front of the unit and in many mobility scooters can be adjusted to move closer or farther from the seated individual. The location of the controls on a mobility scooter make it necessary to be in a more straight position, similar to when you are eating dinner at the dinner table.

The other major difference in power chairs and mobility scooters is that a power chair has for the most part no front end. That is to say that a power chair is designed so that it can very easily be wheeled up to a table or desk. A mobility scooter on the other hand is much longer and in order to eat from a table or to use a computer desk you would have to pull parallel to the surface and swivel the chair.

While the services provided from power chairs and mobility scooters are very similar, their intended user base is what necessitates the difference between these two mobility products. While many different people use both of these products, generally power chairs are designed for people who use and rely on wheelchairs on a daily basis, and are intended as a replacement for such.

Submitted by:

Brad Brubaker

Brad Brubaker is a technical writer for www.usmedicalsupplies.com. Deciding on whether to get a mobility scooter or to get a power chair is an important decision. The folks at US Medical Supplies are dedicated to finding you the best deal and the best product, so visit their site or give them a call.




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