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How Do I Choose a Power Wheelchair?

How Do I Choose a Power Wheelchair

A power or electric wheelchair is a reliable mobility device for those unable to walk due to stroke, injury, or other medical problems. It is a great mobility source that able you to move from one place to another without using body strength or someone else helps. We know that when buying a wheelchair, it becomes difficult to choose from plenty of options, and even most of the time, buyers are not well aware of how to select a power wheelchair. We describe a few essential things you must consider before choosing a wheelchair.

Choosing Wheelchair Type

There are different types of wheelchairs in the market. It’s better to know what kind of wheelchair you want, a portable, full-size, or heavy-duty wheelchair. You can choose the best option among these based on your needs.

Portable Power Wheelchair

A portable wheelchair will work for you if you frequently travel because it is simple to fold and can be kept in a car trunk. However, it is not optionable for heavy-weight individuals because it can only handle 200 to 250 lbs.

Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchair

For heavy-weight people, a full-size or heavy-duty wheelchair works best. These are loaded with extra features and specifications. These are not foldable wheelchairs; however, such wheelchairs are best for holding 300 lbs plus weighty person. You can use it to get around your house or visit nearby marketplaces. Moreover, these are durable and have long-lasting batteries back up to use for the day compared to portable wheelchairs. 

Controller

The wheelchair’s controller is the second thing to note. The electric wheelchair operates through Joystick or Keypad, which can easily use with your fingertip. 

Read More: How Does a Wheelchair Joystick Work?

Sometimes, the rider’s arms are not strong enough to use them. In this situation, an alternative controller replaces a traditional one. Knowing about the body strength of the users, you can accommodate the alternative operating system. 

Drive System

There are three types of wheelchairs by their drive system. Three drive systems are; the front-wheel, mid-wheel, and rear-wheel drive systems. You can choose either of these by considering where you will use a wheelchair. 

Front Wheel Drive System

The front-wheel drive system has two big wheels at the front and two smaller casters at the rear end. This system has a large turning radius but is good enough to use tight space areas. Although it provides good stability, turning around at high speed is risky.  

Mid Wheel Drive System

The mid-wheel drive system has two big wheels in the middle and four smaller casters at the front and back. It is the most stable drive system because the drive locates at the center. Its 360-degree turning radius makes it ideal for using very tight places such as lifts, apartments, or markets. Such wheelchairs are good enough to use on rough terrain. 

Rear Wheel Drive System

The rear-wheel drive system has two big wheels at the back end and two small casters at the front to make it easily maneuverable. Although it also has a large turning radius, it is not risky to take turns at high speed—further, its maneuvers well on rough, grassy, or uneven terrain. 

Batteries

Knowing how long you use a wheelchair or how far you want to take it is necessary. After determining your daily routines, you can choose how long-lasting a battery needs in a wheelchair. 

Typically the traveling range of a wheelchair is 10 to 30 Km per charge depending upon the battery system installed in it. Some wheelchairs companies also provide backup batteries for extra mileage. 

Choosing Seat Position

The last essential element in a wheelchair is its seating position because some people spend a big part of the day in the wheelchair. A soft and reliable seat is crucial for their health and comfort. In such cases, you can accommodate custom-made cushions and backrests to give extra support. Similarly, if the patient cannot transfer weight, you can add tilt-in-space and recline to promote blood flow or relieve pressure. The rider must properly fit into the wheelchair to avoid ailments such as pressure sores.

Conclusion 

So, all the above elements are essential to consider before choosing a wheelchair for yourself or your loved ones.