May 23 2011

What is the difference between a power wheelchair and a power scooter?

Category: Medical Supplies


Power WheelchairsThere are many differences between a power chair and a motorized scooter. The major differences involve indoor vs. outdoor use and the degree of body strength, posture integrity, and walking ability experienced by the user. Price should also be included in the comparison since most power wheelchairs are more expensive than scooters. Power wheelchairs are also more likely to be covered by Medicare and scooters are usually not.

A power wheelchair or electric wheelchair is best used in the home for routine activities of daily living and for getting around from room to room. A power chair is ideal for someone who has very limited mobility and, without the power wheelchair, would not be able to move around without someone helping them most of the time.

A mobility scooter can be used in the home, but it is better for outdoor use, since scooters are usually too large and difficult to maneuver through narrow rooms and small areas. Also, the person who uses a power scooter must be able to support their own body for a long time and be able to steer a handlebar. Scooters are usually for people who have just a slight problem with walking for long periods of time.

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One Response to “What is the difference between a power wheelchair and a power scooter?”

  1. Angela H. says:

    Nice definition, but I have one caveat.
    A Medicare beneficiary may be eligible to receive a portion of their money back from Medicare when they purchase a scooter. But, in order to qualify, they must have Medicare Part B coverage and they must meet certain medical coverage criteria as determined by their doctor. So, sometimes, a power scooter will be covered by Medicare. It all depends on the individual’s needs, the doctor’s diagnosis, and Medicare’s specific guidelines.

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