Winter care tips for your mobility scooteredit
During the colder, darker months you may need to rely on your mobility scooter more than ever. However, the winter is also a time it needs some extra care and attention. On top of this, you currently have the issue of COVID-19 restrictions to consider when getting out and about. That too can impact on the usage of your mobility scooter in the coming weeks.
We have gathered some tips on mobility scooter care and ideas to make your winter trips less stressful.
Going out during COVID restrictions
Let’s start with things that make life easier when you go outdoors for essential shopping or appointments. It’s worth keeping all the items you need ready and waiting in your scooter basket or an alternative storage area. These are things like a spare mask or your exemption proof, and a bottle of hand sanitiser, as well as your own reusable shopping bags.
Despite national lockdown and regional restrictions that may apply afterwards, you may still find local shopping streets and supermarkets are fairly busy. This makes it a great idea to head out to grab essentials first thing when the pavements and roads tend to be quieter. Many of the big retailers have introduced priority shopping periods for those with disabilities, the elderly, and keyworkers. This too is often the first hour of trading each day, when you will be encouraged to shop with a good level of social distancing.
Word of warning – untreated surfaces can be especially slippery before everyone else has driven or walked over them! So, proceed with care.
Limited use could mean a flat battery
You may choose to have shopping delivered and only use your mobility scooter for fresh air and to go somewhere nice for gentle outdoor exercise. Regular short trips can help keep your battery powered up.
If you do put this vital independence equipment away for now, then keep a check on your battery levels. When you do need to rely on it – for a doctor’s appointment for example – you don’t want to find your battery is flat or that it cuts out while you are away from home.
Checking mobility scooter tyres and lights
We have already mentioned that you will have to navigate icy surfaces with your mobility scooter, but even decaying leaves and lots of water on pavements and roads can present some winter challenges. So, one of the most important pre-winter checks for mobility scooters is tyre health and pressure. Look for signs of wear and tear, or softness, that could make winter journeys especially hazardous.
Also, don’t assume your lights are working to full effect. Inspect them to make sure they make it possible for you to see, and been seen, if you’re intending to get out and about in dark conditions.
Control panel matters
Mobility scooter tyres are made to offer good traction even in the winter, but your mobility scooter control panel is a little more delicate. It can cope badly if it gets overly wet. In fact, moisture in the mechanisms can shorten the life of your mobility scooter. This makes it vital to protect it with a mobility scooter control panel cover.
Keep your scooter inside a dry building when not in use, preferably somewhere reasonably warm too. Even a shed or garage can get cold and damp in winter, impacting negatively on your scooter’s reliability and lifespan. This would be the perfect time to invest in a removable canopy or to replace one that’s past its best!
When you go out on your mobility scooter in winter, it inevitably means splashes of mud and water, but also salt residue from where pavements and roads have been gritted. It is important to wipe all of this off before leaving your mobility scooter to stand for any length of time. Regularly sanitising places you touch makes sense too, as part of your COVID-19 safety measures.
The driver’s care
The last winter tip for mobility scooters involves keeping you warm and dry! There is a real fear that getting even a common cold, or worse still flu, can make people especially vulnerable to coronavirus. So please wrap up well, in waterproof clothing, when you venture out on your mobility scooter. Even if there is a burst of beguiling winter sunshine, there can still be a chill in the air.
Also, as the daylight hours are so sparse, wearing reflective clothing or a reflective vest when out on your mobility scooter keeps you safer for your essential trips.
Lastly, be seen, be safe but do try to take some socially distanced trips out to boost your mental health.