Why mobility scooters are needed
There are many reasons why a person may start using a mobility scooter later in life. In many ways, disability is an issue that older generations confront on a regular basis, as its prevalence has a tendency to rise with age. Around 45% of adults over the State Pension age are disabled.
A loss of mobility, meanwhile, might be caused by anything from hip fractures, muscle weakness, neurological difficulties, strokes or the aftermath of an operation, all of which are health problems that commonly affect older people.
According to government statistics, over a quarter of disabled people feel that they do not have choice and control over their daily lives.
Despite the able-bodied population seemingly having endless bugbears with mobility scooters and their users, these machines give someone suffering with a loss of mobility their life back. Or at least, they should.
For mobility scooter users, there are many activities that once formed a huge part of their daily lives that they haven’t been able to access since losing their mobility. After all, being independent is about more than just being able to go down the shops on your own – given, of course that the weather is good, otherwise most mobility vehicles leave you stuck indoors. It’s about being able to enjoy everything your younger, able-bodied counterparts do, if in a slightly altered way.
Why are mobility scooters so unattractive?
Also known as: why can’t we have nice things? Think about the thought that goes into buying a really nice car. In essence, a car serves the same functional purpose of getting you from one location to another that a mobility scooter fulfils later down the road. But when we’re choosing our next motor vehicle, we look at more than just its certification and price, don’t we? We pick the features that are most adapted to our lifestyle, the colours that suit our personality and the level of comfort that we need.
Despite being as integral to the lives of their users as a car is to an able-bodied person, mobility scooters don’t offer quite as much variety in terms of style.
While a lot of people might not want anything fancy, it would surely feel a lot less like a concession if those who had to use mobility aids had the option of choosing something that replicated the look and feel of a luxury car, a model that they felt at home with and, to be blunt, a vehicle that they actually liked.
Why do mobility scooters have to be so boring?
Aside from simply being visually unappealing, most mobility scooter companies are utterly failing to honour their supposed mission, which is to allow disabled people to lead fulfilling, independent lives.
Older people with disabilities haven’t lived their whole lives devoid of interests and hobbies. Over time, they’ve enjoyed everything from camping to fishing to country walks and so much more.
It’s a common misconception that as aging occurs and getting about becomes more difficult that people simply lose interest in these activities. They just don’t have the tools required to enjoy them.
To a certain degree, it’s a little ageist to assume that everybody wants a so-called “granny scooter”. Despite the mobility scooter market apparently booming , few older people are having their needs fully met by the vehicles on offer. Manufacturers need to do a better job of understanding their customers, rather than telling them what they need.
Josh Coles is marketing manager of Wild and Wacky Mobility , a leading supplier of industry-leading mobility scooters based in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Have you been affected by these issues?
If you have been affected by any of the issues described in this blog, or simply need someone to reach out to, you can call Independent Age’s freephone helpline for information and advice on 0800 319 6789.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Independent Age.