Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Biting the bullet - looking at mobility scooters

It's come to the point that my mobility issues have gotten bad enough that my walker just isn't working out when we go sightseeing on our weekend trips/vacations. So I'm looking at mobility scooters and I'm finding out that when you're a person of size, finding one that will support your weight, hold a charge for a reasonable amount of time, and be able to handle a variety of terrain - well, it's not easy and they don't come inexpensively.
I looked at the TravelScoot, but the information on their website leaves a lot to be desired. When I contacted them for more information, all they could say was to refer to their testimonials from satisfied customers. Yeah, I don't want hear how satisfied they are with their TraveleScoot, I want to know can the damned thing haul my fat ass for 10 miles of sightseeing over pavement/gravel/grass/up inclines, how long does the charge last, how easy is it to charge, how long does it take to charge it, how comfortable is it to ride for more than an hour or two, etc. I also asked if there was a dealer in Minnesota and that question was totally ignored. Yep, you really want my business (/sarcasm).

This is the TravelScoot and I just don't think it can be made strong enough to hold my weight, and I don't think it would be stable on rough ground. I could be wrong, but without having a store in Minnesota where I can go look at one and try it out, I'm just not willing to order it, only to have to return it if it doesn't work out. And it's $2,195, before it's beefed up to hold my weight (who knows how much extra that would cost).
Then I looked at the Hoveround, and the chair that would support me is just way out of my budget. Insurance won't pay for it unless you need it to get around inside your home, which I don't, yet. Insurance could care less if you can't get around outside your home without one, just stay confined to your house, you don't need to be able to go anywhere if you're disabled, after all (/sarcasm).

This is the Hoveround chair that would hold my weight, and it's $3,395 (cash or credit card). Hoveround also makes scooters, but their weight limit is just shy of being able to handle my weight, so those are out of the running.
The Hoveround is more than we can afford.
The one I'm really considering, and will be going to look at next week when we go to Rochester, is the Pride Victory 10 mobility scooter (this one). It comes in a 3 wheeled model as well as a 4 wheeled one, and it will hold my weight. It has a top speed of 5.25 mph, weighs 175 lbs, will fit in the back of my minivan without being taken apart, has a battery charge range of 15.5 miles, and can be had for less than $2,000 (which is less than half of what the comparable Hoveround chair would cost, and is less than the TravelScoot would cost).
Funny story about going to check it out in Rochester. We were there to see the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial and Mike's parents' graves. When we drove to the cemetery, we passed a medical supply company that had a huge model of the Pride Victory scooter on a platform display as advertisement. So when Mike and I were talking about checking into me getting a scooter, he said we should talk to them and I should do a search online to see if I could find out what medical supply company it was. So I did, and I found them, and emailed them to see if they had the scooters in their store in Faribault (they have stores in Faribault, Rochester, and Austin). I figured if they had them in Faribault, we could go there as it's closer. I was expecting an emailed response, but instead they called me. Yes, they do have the scooters in the store at the Faribault location. But we're going to check them out in Rochester anyway because Mike wants to go back there and get some better pictures of the veterans' memorial now that we have a better camera. If Med City Mobility can answer all my questions and the scooter suits, they'll probably be the ones who get my business - they bothered to call me back, they wanted to know what I was looking for in a scooter, what did I need to know, and how could they help me. That's good customer service, and I appreciate that. I also checked out their website, so I know they carry a variety of scooters and they have more than one that will handle my weight and that are in my price range.

This is the one I'm really considering, and it's only $1,829 (the 4 wheel version is only $1,929).
I do wish that health insurance thought that disabled people deserved to be mobile outside of their homes, not just inside them. Because not every place that I go has mobility carts available and if mobility carts aren't available, I'm not going to be shopping there, sightseeing there, spending money there. Not to mention that being confined to one's home most of the time definitely impacts one's quality of life, and not for the better.


  1. It stinks that you're having trouble getting around, but the scooter you're thinking about buying looks cute and sturdy. It's much better to do what you need to do rather than staying cooped up in the house.

    I wish I could get my dad to buy himself one of these. He's 76 and in poor health, and he can barely walk a block. He wants to go out and do things, but he just can't.

  2. My mom just got a motorized wheelchair and it has really changed her life for the better. Before this she was stuck in her house. However, it was very hard to fit her in one because she is around 300 pounds and very short (under 5 feet). Most of the chairs with high weight limits have seats too high for her to sit down in (her butt was way below the seat and she can'rt climb in). We finally found one.

    The one she has is great- it has a high weight limit (I think 450 pounds) and wheels that can go on many outdoor terrains and over bumps, etc. You may want to look into the company/line- it is called Jazzy. The thing is these are very expensive (I think around $5,000). But sometimes you can find them used at mobility stores or in the classifieds (a lot of people sell these after a relative passes away). Good luck to you.

  3. I second the idea of checking into used scooters (eBay, Craig's List, want ads, your local nursing homes, etc.). Many times relatives don't know what to do with these items when someone who used specialized equipment passes away, and they just give it away or sell it cheap. There is a market for this sort of thing, but often it's by word of mouth so you have to ask around.

    We were lucky; when my mother's mobility was decreasing due to Parkinson's, we were able to buy a used lift chair (one of those motorized ones that helps you get up) from another patient in her retirement home. After my mother passed, we had a friend of the family with Muscular Dystrophy who was pleased to get my mother's lift chair.

    You may have to do a little networking to find them, but used scooters ARE out there, and they can be an affordable way to get what you need.

  4. These look great! I've been looking around for a new mobility scooter to help my grandma out and I actually found this other really great site that has them at a great price to! http://www.cnymedpro.com/Power_Wheelchairs_Syracuse_NY.html


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