The inability to walk at all or not being able to walk long distance can leave one feeling dependent on other for every little task. Nobody loves to live their life in that fashion and this is where wheelchairs come as a ray of hope.
Manual chairs were most commonly used for several years, however, the introduction of electric wheelchairs has further aided in better mobility for the disabled. There is an increase in the use of electric wheelchairs in homes, nursing homes, senior communities and more. Electric wheelchairs are operated by two motors that essentially are responsible for powering the main drive wheels. The user has to merely use the attached joystick so as to enjoy comfortable mobility.
There are different designs of electric wheelchairs that are available in the market. The style may vary in terms of power base and the size of the electric wheelchairs. The power base is the most important component of electric wheel chairs and you choose from the following styles-
Front wheel drive – Front wheels are the most popular and have its drive wheels attached at the front. A front wheel drive electric wheelchair is extremely stable and can be comfortably driven over hard surfaces as well as soft grounds such as grass patches. However, since a large position of the chair is in the back, it can be difficult to judge the clearance and turn the chair around.
Rear wheel drive – Electric wheelchairs with a rear wheel drive have the most traditional looking setup. People who have used manual wheelchairs in the past are more likely to feel comfortable while using a rear wheel drive. It is suitable for every kind of terrain and works at fast speeds.
Mid wheel drive – In the case of a Mid wheel drive, the wheels are placed in the middle of the electric wheelchair. Since the wheels are placed in the center it allows for easy driving because it mimics the position of the feet. A mid wheel drive is good if you are planning to drive the wheelchair indoors. A big drawback is that on outer and uneven terrains, a person may find it difficult to control the wheelchair.
When considering the size of electric wheelchairs, do consider the height and weight of the user. Carefully demonstrate the size of seat evaluate if there is enough leg room.
Also, before buying an electric wheelchair, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor as to whether it is safe for you to drive one and which is the most suitable.