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Does Your Parent Need Training to Use a Mobility Scooter?

by Jeff Reynolds

If your parent suddenly announces that they are going to buy a mobility scooter, then your relief at the thought that they'll get around more easily may be tinged with trepidation that they could hurt themselves or somebody else when they ride around. This may be really worrying you if your parent hasn't operated such equipment before or shows all the road sense of a headless chicken. Mobility scooter training may make your parent a safer user and make you feel a little better.

Is Mobility Scooter Training Compulsory?

People can ride scooters without a license or without taking any kind of training. So, you can't force your parent to learn how to use a scooter before taking it out. However, while training isn't compulsory, you may be able to persuade your parent that it will be useful. Your parent may not see the point of training, especially if they used to drive a car; however, it's worth pointing out to them that controlling a mobility scooter isn't anything like driving a regular vehicle. The controls may be easier, but your parent will be riding in different places, such as pavements, footpaths and the sides of roads. They'll need to learn different skills to control the scooter and they'll be dealing with pedestrians and vehicles in new ways.

Where Can You Get Mobility Training?

You'll often find that the shop that sells your parent a scooter will offer some kind of training as part of their sales package. Some stores will just offer a basic explanation of controls; others will take customers out on a scooter to give them a chance to know what it's like to ride one. If you can, try to get training that covers safe riding and a test-ride. This at least gives your parent some experience of controlling the scooter and riding it safely before they start using it regularly on their own.

You may also find that the scooter's manual is a useful source of safety information and tips on how to use the scooter. For example, manuals may help your parents understand how to negotiate hills, ramps, corners and kerbs. Obviously, your parent will need practice to get all this right, but it helps to know the basics before they give it a go.

If you want more advice on how to turn your parent into a safe mobility scooter driver, then ask your local mobility scooter store if they have any tips or if they can take your parent out for a few rides to help them get used to this kind of driving.