Why Mobility Scooters Improve the Quality of Life of Seniors in Assisted Living & How to Choose the Right Style
If you have an elderly loved one who is soon making the move to assisted living, then whether you realize it or not, they are likely facing one of the largest milestones of their lives. Whether they have lived in the same home for the past 50 years or moved around a bit during their lives, the move to assisted living reminds them that their life is in its later stages, which can be a difficult fact to face. As their adult child or other loved one, you can help make this move a positive one by ensuring they can get around their new facility to engage in fun activities and meet new friends by providing them with a mobility scooter.
Why a Mobility Scooters Are Great Assets to Seniors in Assisted Living Facilities
Most seniors have at least mild mobility issues, and even if your loved one is not confined to a wheelchair or even uses a walker to get around the house, they will likely have a difficult time getting from their room or small apartment to the common areas of the assisted living facility. While that facility you chose on sprawling acres of beautiful grounds may sound like a dream to someone who has no trouble walking for long periods of time, an elderly person with arthritis, breathing issues, or any other problem that prevents them from walking as far and as long as they would like to won't be able to enjoy those beautiful grounds without a little help.
If your loved one does use a wheelchair to get around their home, remember that wheelchairs are really not built to spend long periods of time outdoors, and their parts can wear out or become damaged quickly when they are used outdoors too often. Manual wheelchairs will also exhaust a senior's arm strength and are especially difficult to use if they have even a bit of arm or hand arthritis or shoulder pain.
A great gift to any senior moving to assisted living is a power mobility scooter. These scooters are made of materials that can withstand the harsh outdoor elements without becoming damaged and help your senior enjoy traveling along the walkways of their new facility to get to all of the fun activities they couldn't get to otherwise. The schooter will be like their own little "car" that gets them to the facility activity room, dining centers, and even to the units or apartments of other seniors they meet at gatherings and become great friends with.
Mobility scooters are available in a wide variety of styles and at various price points, and you can find one that is perfect for your senior and their surroundings at the facility. There are even new all-terrain mobility scooter innovations for seniors who once loved hiking in the woods. While an all-terrain scooter may be a little intimidating for a new mobility scooter user and take a little too much room to store, that is just one example of the fun ways mobility scooters are being used to help people with mobility issues perform their favorite activities again. Check into your senior's health-insurance policy, because these scooters can be fully or partially covered with the approval of a physician.
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Scooter
The first choice you will make for your loved one's scooter is whether a 3-wheel or 4-wheel scooter is best for them. When choosing between a 3-wheel and 4-wheel mobility scooter, keep the following in mind:
- Their weight and height. While petite riders may love sleeker 3-wheel scooter options that allow them to make tight turns and that take up less space in their apartments or units, 4-wheel scooters are often better choices for heavier or taller riders due to the extra stability and weight support they provide. Always look for the weight range a scooter accommodates so you don't choose one too large or too small for your loved one.
- The terrain they will be riding on. Check out the facility's walkways between buildings and consider whether your senior may opt to take shortcuts through the grass. Three-wheeled units are made for relatively smooth, even terrain, so they are good for well-maintained, smooth walkways without much traction. If the walkway has pavers with small gaps between them or is not completely even, then a 4-wheel unit is best. If your senior is a bit of a daredevil and will likely ride on the grass, even if the pavement is smooth, then a 4-wheeler is also better for them.
Always ensure that the scooter you purchase is labeled for indoor and outdoor use. Also, look for good-quality wheels with good traction, a comfortable seat, and arm-rests.
If your favorite senior is making the move to assisted living, then realize that even if they can get around their home relatively fine, it will help improve their life at the facility if they have a mobility scooter to hop on and ride around the facility, attend events, and visit friends. Your senior can then enjoy an even more active life at the facility than they did before the move. Speak with a representative from a company like Corner Home Medical to learn more about the mobility scooters available.