When a person’s mobility begins to degenerate one of the first things to suffer is their social life.
Buying a mobility scooter can change that, no longer do walks in the park, brunch dates in town or trips to the Zoo with the grandkids have to be a thing of a thing of the past.
Having a mobility scooter to hand removes the isolation that usually comes with limited mobility.
The benefits are therefore limitless, but what about a folding mobility scooter specifically?
Social isolation is a state or process in which persons, groups, or cultures lose or do not have communication or cooperation with one another. In the context of a person who is less ambulant this means that they have or are becoming withdrawn from their social environment. The impact of social isolation on mental health is well documented.
Social interaction or engagement is therefore the ability to freely communicate with the world without restriction, actively participating in meaningful activity away from the home environment.
The question is how does a folding mobility scooter support this interaction?
A main consideration when purchasing a mobility scooter is where you plan to keep it when not in use. Often this means outside storage in a shed, garage or purpose built unit. Folding mobility scooters however can often be stored indoors due the significant space saving gained.
The ability to fold and store the folding mobility scooter in far smaller spaces provides numerous additional options within vehicle transport. Models can be easily put into the boot/storage compartment or a car which allows the user to not only widen their range of mobility and accessibility but does so without the need for large adapted vehicles or ramped access.
The folding mobility scooter is also ideal for storing in the hold of an aircraft
There are many different models of folding mobility scooter on the market with some variations of folding style. However, most fall into 3 categories:
- Manual fold – These scooters require the user or carer to physically fold the scooter, usually like the scissor system on a deck chair or sun lounger. This is not particularly challenging in terms of weight or effort but you still need the physical ability to do it.
- Automatic fold – The scooter folds much like the above models although without physical effort. They are often operated by the push of a button on a key fob or similar remote control.
- Models like the Invacare Calibri allow the scooter to be broken down into smaller component parts therefore reducing the weight and making it easier for the user to place in the boot of a car for example. This model requires no tools and is very simple to operate.
The ease in which the scooter folds, both if selecting manual or automatic models, encourages the user to use the functions actively rather than using it as a fixed frame model.
All mobility scooters offer the user greater access to their environment but for someone who has limited space, uses a car regularly or travels regularly and frequently then the folding mobility scooter may be unrivalled in supporting your continued engagement and social interaction.
Written by Kate Sheehan