Motorised personal mobility aids (PMA) are an improved version of the manually-operated types and offer plenty of new benefits, such as better convenience and ease of use and far less effort required to operate. And while it may seem like these mobility aids are the best option for elderly users or disabled individuals, it is important to note that they are not without limitations.
Like regular PMAs such as wheelchairs, these motorised types also need the same accessibility features in buildings and other public infrastructure and avoid the same hazards to get to the users’ destination successfully. Before heading out somewhere, it is essential to check if these four accessibility features are available in the place you wish to go.
1. Low-slope ramps
Two of the most common motorised PMAs, namely mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs, move with wheels. This means that they are best suited for travelling on even terrain and are typically more than capable of handling slight inclines.
Given that most establishments are above street level, do check if your destination has low-slope ramps for mobility aid passage is essential. These ramps allow your motorised PMA to easily get around the stairs or steps that are too steep for them to pass over and let you enter and leave the premises independently.
2. Lifts or elevators
Lifts are just as crucial as ramps when it comes to accessibility features for mobility aids. With many buildings now multiple stories high, lifts help everyone traverse and reach different floors quickly and easily. Taking the stairs would typically be the only option in their absence. Still, they are usually not a problem if the building is only two or three levels tall. Nonetheless, elevator lifts are an absolute necessity for a PMA to reach beyond the ground floor.
3. Power-assisted doors
Power-assisted doors are simply motorised doors that can open and close automatically without human intervention. They rely on a variety of sensors to detect the presence of someone wanting to pass through, which sends a signal to the motors that allow for the opening and closing of the doors.
While these may not be all too important compared to the previous two, what with the presence of guards that could open them on your behalf, it is still crucial since such personnel may not always be present to lend a helping hand. With automatic doors in place, you will not have to open or close them manually, eliminating the risk of falling over and any other accidents when attempting to do so.
4. Accessible washrooms
If you intend to go out by yourself, making sure that your destination has accessible washrooms is crucial. Common washrooms are rarely ever created with PMA users in mind, being typically narrow and lacking enough space for more than a single able-bodied individual. Accessible restrooms come equipped with extra facilities that make it easier to do one’s business without help, such as handlebars and sufficient space for manoeuvring the PMA when entering and exiting.
Although motorised mobility aids offer greater mobility along with other quality of life improvements compared to non-motorised versions, they still require the same accessibility features to get around. Thus, whenever you wish to go out somewhere without a companion, it is crucial to do plenty of research on your destination and determine whether they have at least the first two on this list before heading there.
Suppose you are looking for a PMA, head down to our showroom to test for yourself some of the best range of motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters you can find in Singapore. For more information, head to https://www.falconmobility.com.sg/.