Are you or a loved one in need of a mobility scooter? With the mobility devices market in the UK valued at over £570 million and an estimated 24% of the population identifying as disabled, it's no wonder that the demand for mobility solutions is on the rise. According to Google Trends, online searches for mobility scooters have surged by an impressive 75% from 2020 to 2022, with a further 6% increase in 2023. This growing interest is driven by the convenience of online shopping and the availability of cheaper options with home delivery.
However, before you click that "buy now" button on a mobility scooter, there are some crucial considerations you should keep in mind. While online shopping may seem like a cost-effective solution, it can have negative consequences on your health and mobility in the long run. Mobility needs vary greatly among individuals, and one-size-fits-all solutions may not be suitable for everyone. That's why it's important to seek professional guidance from reputable suppliers when making such an important decision.
The Pitfalls of Online Purchases
One common mistake many people make is purchasing a "lightweight" and foldable scooter online without proper assessment. These scooters may be advertised as convenient and portable, but they can weigh as much as 25 kilograms, making them impossible for some individuals to use independently. This often leads to either a second purchase of a more suitable scooter or costly modifications to vehicles to accommodate the initially bought equipment.
We absolutely understand the temptation for people to buy their mobility aids online. The potential savings and the convenience of having your purchase delivered to you can feel like an easy win. However, we have seen an increase in customers coming in with power chairs and scooters that don't fit their lifestyles or needs and then have to buy twice or seek help to correct problems ill-fitting equipment can cause. We always recommend you go to a reputable showroom to properly discuss your needs with trained staff and leave with something that increases your independence, not hinders it.
Tailored Solutions for Your Unique Needs
Every individual has unique mobility needs, which is why purchasing from a reputable supplier is essential. These suppliers have expert assessors and rehabilitation engineers who can provide personalised recommendations based on your lifestyle, living environment, level of independent movement, and available support. This tailored approach ensures that you acquire equipment that enhances your comfort and quality of life.
Before making a decision, consider questions that experts would ask, such as whether a fold-down scooter is truly necessary or if a power chair could better increase your independence. Reputable suppliers often offer confidence-boosting "test drives" to help you get accustomed to the equipment before taking it home, ensuring that a significant purchase isn't left unused.
Prioritise Your Long-Term Well-being
In light of the surge in mobility scooter searches and the pitfalls of online purchases, consumers are encouraged to prioritise their long-term well-being and mobility. Seek professional guidance from reputable suppliers who can assist you in making informed decisions tailored to your unique needs.
At Wheelfreedom, we're here to help you navigate the world of mobility solutions. Don't let the allure of online savings overshadow the importance of choosing the right equipment for your independence. Visit our showroom, discuss your needs with our trained staff, and leave with the confidence that your mobility needs are met. Your independence is worth the investment in the right mobility solution.
Enhancing Accessibility and Flexibility
For manual wheelchair users, navigating uneven terrain can be a considerable challenge. While powered wheelchairs offer enhanced outdoor performance, they may not always align with an individual's lifestyle. The heavier wheelbases of powered chairs can hinder transport in unmodified vehicles, limiting mobility further. In response, powered add-on technology has emerged as a dynamic solution within the realm of mobility equipment.
Powered add-ons serve as a bridge, enabling users to harness the benefits of their lightweight and compact manual wheelchairs while seamlessly transitioning to powered assistance when necessary. These ingenious devices can be attached to the front, back, or even integrated within the drive wheels themselves. They offer a transformative advantage when encountering troublesome terrains, such as gravel paths or grassy areas.
Unleashing the Potential of Powered Add-ons
Front-mounted powered add-ons ingeniously raise the caster wheels off the ground and incorporate a larger motorised front wheel. This design prevents sinking into soft ground or getting caught in rough surfaces. The integrated motors effortlessly assist in tackling steep inclines and navigating challenging terrains, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable outdoor experience.
Empowering Musculoskeletal Health
Among the wheelchair community, musculoskeletal difficulties are not uncommon, particularly among manual wheelchair users. These individuals face an elevated risk of rotator cuff and wrist injuries, often leading them to limit their daily activities to preserve energy and prevent injury. The emergence of motorised wheels, such as the WheelDrives or E-Motion Duo, has brought a transformational shift.
These innovative motorised wheels replace standard drive wheels and offer powered assistance with each push. Equipped with embedded sensors under the push rim, they introduce a form of cruise control, enabling occupants to cover impressive distances without the need for a full circular push. With battery ranges starting from 10 miles, users can confidently embrace outdoor activities without the fear of pushing fatigue.
Customised Solutions for Diverse Needs
For individuals with reduced hand dexterity, Rehasense's Power Assisted Wheelchair System (PAWS) handbike and Blumill handbike offer a seamless solution. These innovative devices automatically connect to the wheelbase with the simple push of a button. Alternatively, joystick-controlled options like the Benoit Light Drive or E-Fix provide a user-friendly interface for those seeking precise control over their mobility.
Transforming Lives and Redefining Independence
A 2020 study highlighted the remarkable impact of powered add-on devices on daily activity and social engagement. Users reported increased confidence in their chairs' performance, leading to higher levels of participation in hobbies and activities. These powered add-ons are not just accessories; they are catalysts for empowerment, enabling individuals to reclaim their independence and elevate their quality of life.
The Future of Mobility
Advancements in power add-on technology are ushering in a new era of independence and inclusivity. These innovative solutions are not merely addressing physical barriers; they are breaking down emotional and psychological boundaries, allowing individuals to embrace life's full spectrum. As these technologies continue to evolve, the accessibility gap is shrinking, and a brighter, more inclusive future for all is on the horizon.
If you or a loved one are living with reduced mobility and wish to find out more about the mobility products and seating assessments we offer, get in touch with us to speak to a specialist.
Staying in the same position for a long period of time can lead to pressure ulcers and it is important you get the right equipment.
At Wheelfreedom, we are trusted, knowledgeable, impartial, dependable and progressive. With thousands of 5 star reviews, feel reassured that you will receive a service that is tailored to your individual needs.
To get the most out of your visit to our Chessington showroom, we strongly recommend that you call us on 0800 025 8005 to book an appointment. This ensures that one of our product specialists is on-hand to advise you, and that you have the space to browse and try products at your leisure.
Our team are also on hand at the end of the phone to answer any questions you may have, whether it be about our products or service, or youcan send us a message at your own convenience.