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 to ensure it remains comfortable, safe and reliable. Therefore, it is important to watch out for common problems that can help prevent breakdowns during the winter months that may leave you stranded in poor weather conditions.
We have gathered some tips on mobility scooter care and ideas to make your winter trips less stressful.
Know your mobility scooter and relevant contact details
Let’s start with things that make life easier when you go outdoors for shopping or appointments etc. 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 your equipment manual, along with a list of suppliers and phone numbers that you can rely on for insurance, repairs, parts and maintenance. Also, following Covid-19 safety recommendations you may choose to also keep hand sanitiser and a face covering close to hand, as the government still expects and recommends that members of the public continue to wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces.
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 to go meet a friend or 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.