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Dad has mild memory loss (can’t work a washing machine or remember where he’s going), cataracts, poor hearing and is unsteady on his feet. He had his driving license taken off him 10 years ago. He’s now decided he wants a mobility scooter to cruise the narrow, steep roads with fast cars to go down to the shops. Very uneven pavements too. Should we discourage him? Do you need medical approval?

The everloving scooter lol. My FIL got one about 9 years ago-just to use here and there when in a bigger store because it was getting harder to use the walker for bigger trips. (grocery store, Walmart). Sigh....I wish that thing had never come into our lives. It was helpful to FIL....and then it was a problem. But because it honestly enabled him to LOSE his mobility. Fast forward, he can zip around (honestly irresponsibly) on that thing beeping his horn at people, but he can barely use his walker to get 3 feet anymore. There are multiple lifts installed in his house to get to the scooter, including a scooter lift on his car and two in his home....
Using a mobility scooter to get safely around is one thing. Using it to ride down busy streets, zipping through parking lots without paying attention to cars moving, backing up without checking behind you, racing down aisles in stores where people have to jump out of your way to avoid getting hit....
So...very long story short lol...if the only purpose of the mobility scooter is something dangerous.. I would discourage it. The tires aren't really road-rated, it isn't safe to ride in traffic, it  causes sightline problems for drivers, it is very dangerous. And unfortunately you may see an actual decrease in mobility if he becomes dependent on it for other things and stops walking on his own with the walker.
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Reply to BlueEyedGirl94
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jacobsonbob Oct 11, 2020
Excellent point about over-reliance on the scooter, BlueEyedGirl94!
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Ddefinitely NO
These are not road safe.
My Dad had 1 and after the second time, with the police bringing him back in a police van with the scooter we donated it to the VFW. He would get lost, go on the roads that speed limits were 55mph. He used his arm to signal lane changes 😱😱.
No No No
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Reply to beeje7623
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Yes, discourage him. Even though our township allows these scooters on the roadway, I think its dangerous. I really don't think they are suppose to be used on main highways and driven miles to get here and there. My husband says how else are they going to get around, I say Senior bussing. One of the low income apartments has a van for that purpose.

I have watched a man on a scooter riding on the sidewalk fall over almost in the road. This was from my office window. The sidewalk was uneven. TG a couple of people stopped immediately to help. After that he road in the road. We had a couple of clients who because of disabilities got them free. Only to find out that when the battery could no longer charge, it was $100 or more to buy a new battery. They could not afford it, so the scooter just sat.

If your Dad can't drive a car, he can't drive a scooter. I would also check the law in your area to see if they are allowed on roadways.
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Jewelly Oct 8, 2020
Thanks JoAnn, I agree that it’s basically unsafe for him and other road users or pedestrians.
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With your Dad’s memory issue I would recommend that you do not get him a scooter. But if he insists then take him to a mobility store so he can test drive various scooters. 
If he still wants one and you think he could use it at home, make sure the scooter is small enough to fit through doorways. Scooters are set at 4 or 5 MPH, and are not meant to be driven on the streets with auto traffic. They must be used on the sidewalk, unless you live in a very small community with light traffic and no sidewalks. A 4-wheel scooter is less likely to tip over than a 3-wheel scooter. To keep the batteries in good condition the scooter needs to be recharged at least every other day even if not used.
I’ve been using a scooter for 5 years and love my independence. My small town only has a post office, so I don’t travel far. It’s mostly used at home. Since Covid came along, I lost my housekeeper, and have had to learn to sweep, mop, and vacuum my home while on the scooter. I can still drive my car, but cannot walk. Transferring from car to scooter can be a challenge. Other times I can put it on the lift on my car and go to town and shop several stores or visit museums and other events. Senior transportation is another way to get to town with a scooter. 
Good luck. I know how your Dad feels.
There are many different scooters available. Prices start about $700.00 and up over $4000.00.  Pride and Golden are both good brands.
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Invisible Oct 12, 2020
Thank you for your comments. I wish I HAD gotten my Dad a scooter as I think he literally died from boredom and the scooter could have at least given him a little more independence. With the need to keep it charged, etc. it is unlikely that a person with memory issues will just take off on their own. But with a companion, at least you can ride/walk beside them instead of having them feel so much at the mercy of whomever is pushing the wheelchair.
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Very possibly Jewelty's sister won't take him shopping with her, because it is very time-consuming. I would have loved to have done my mother's shopping for her, but she refused. So it took hours and hours...
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JoAnn29 Oct 7, 2020
I don't like grocery shopping for me so never volunteer to do other peoples. When I shop, I want to get in and out. I don't browse.
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It is probably just a phase, he will most likely forget about this after awhile. I would play along with him and say, " oh yeah, that sounds fun" I would not go buy it, just wait it out. He will probably forget about it in 2 weeks. Change the subject, distract him with a new topic.
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Reply to lauramay
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According to your profile, your dad has mild memory loss, therefore your thinking that he shouldn’t be operating a scooter is very wise. He could have a very bad accident. You and your sister are being very logical to be concerned about him.

Are you speaking about the motorized scooter where the elderly person is seated and drives? They are very expensive without insurance. It’s difficult to get approved for insurance for these.

My mother’s neurologist said that people are turned down all of the time when trying to become approved for a scooter.

Best of luck to your dad. This must be so hard for you and your sister to witness.

I suppose that your dad wishes to be more involved in his life and feels like he has lost control of his life. That’s a tough position for him to be in.

Your sister probably only has so much time to devote to shopping and it’s hard for her too.

It’s frustrating for everyone. So sorry that you are dealing with this situation. Hope that you can find a viable solution soon. Best wishes to you and your family.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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JoAnn29 Oct 7, 2020
Sounds like she is from England. Socialized medicine, different from ours.
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You said he can't remember where he is going. He won't remember better on a scooter. That is a nightmare waiting to happen.

Why does your sister always have to take him? Is there any other family members close that could take him? Maybe he just needs to get out of the house. I can relate to that.

Could you or someone else devote a day to get him and take him for a ride somewhere? My daughter does that for her dad. She told me that after church today, she is taking him out for lunch and they are going to go to a nearby lake so he can take photos. He loves playing with cameras and videos. Then during the week he can play with the photos he took today. It gets him out of the AL and also gives him something to do during the week.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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You do NOT get a mobility scooter to do what he wants to do. It is for home use only - and that only if he can operate it properly. If he wants to go places, someone will have to take him. DO NOT GET HIM A SCOOTER - It will end in disaster if he runs around town.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Isthisrealyreal Oct 11, 2020
Riley, I see mobility scooters all over my city. They are not all for in home use only. Some are big 4 wheel drive things that can go faster than someone walking.

I live in a bike friendly city, so most roads have safe lanes for "pedestrian" traffic. It touches my heart when I see people that I know would otherwise be isolated in their homes. They do serve a good purpose, under the right conditions.
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Jewelly: Absolutely do NOT get him a scooter. That is an accident waiting to happen. Being unsteady on his feet is akin to being unsteady on a scooter. The answer that you're seeking is that he hasn't possessed a DL for a decade. It's a NO.
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