Mobility impairments can affect quality of life. People with mobility impairments experience interruptions in their daily lives and routines depending on the type of limited mobility they have.
Many people with mobility impairments use manual wheelchairs to move around their neighborhoods and access public spaces. As the name suggests, a manual wheelchair is pushed by the user or their caregiver which can be a strenuous activity.
Propelling a wheelchair involves a lot of effort. So, it’s no wonder that many manual wheelchair users and their caregivers report feeling tired all the time and have low energy. Propelling a wheelchair can put more pressure on muscles, increasing the user’s or their caregiver’s risk of repetitive stress injuries.
Power wheelchairs address the shortcomings of manual wheelchairs because they are motorized! A power chair is propelled by an electrically based power source, typically a motor and battery. Studies associate power wheelchair use with improved mobility, decreased pain or discomfort, and improved quality of life.
Power chairs are very easy to operate as they can be controlled via a joystick. These days, electric wheelchairs are manufactured to have a small turning radius, which results in improved maneuverability. The center of gravity of a power chair is much lower than that of a manual wheelchair, which means it is less likely to tip over.
If you are looking for an electric wheelchair and are overwhelmed by the options, you have come to the right place. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of some things to consider when buying an electric wheelchair.
An inappropriately sized wheelchair can do more harm than good. It can add additional stress your back and shoulders which can lead to poor posture. Look for a wheelchair that supports your weight. When selecting an electric wheelchair, consider your body type. Take important measurements such as back height, seat width, and seat-to-floor ratio.
Opt for a compact wheelchair that can negotiate tight corners and narrow doorways. If you need assistance moving from one place to another in your home, go for a wheelchair designed for indoor use. Indoor wheelchairs have a small base size and can turn around in tight spaces.
Look for an adjustable height wheelchair so that you can adjust its height to fit your power wheelchair wherever it needs to go! With a height adjusting electric wheelchair, you can perform different household chores with ease.
If you spend too much time in an uncomfortable wheelchair, pressure sores can develop. Make sure the wheelchair you are considering has a memory foam padded high back seat that swivels for enhanced comfort. In addition, consider power chairs with height adjustable armrests so you can adjust their height to suit your personal needs. Invest in a wheelchair that utilizes moisture wicking fabric with tiny in-built capillaries so moisture can escape.
One of the most important parts of a power chair is its suspension. The suspension of a wheelchair affects its ride quality and can be the different between a comfortable or uncomfortable ride. Check the suspension of the wheelchair you are considering to make sure it is designed to make every ride a smooth one.
The battery is the heart of a power chair. When buying a power chair, consider the battery’s life span and range. If you need assistance getting from one place to another in your home, opt for a power chair with a regular battery. Users who plan to go on long rides regularly, will want to invest in power chairs with heavy duty batteries that are designed to last longer.
Mobility Masters is proud to carry a wide variety of power chairs from industry leading brands like Pride Mobility, Merits, and Golden Technologies. To talk to one of our product experts about your specific needs, call (800) 936-7006.