An electric wheelchair, which is also called as a power or motorized chair could be an attractive mobility solution for differently abled individuals who do not have the upper body strength or arm functionality to operate a wheelchair manually.
An electric wheelchair might also ease the burden of the caregiver or even eliminate the need of one to push a manual wheelchair. Electric wheelchairs operate on batteries. They are available for both indoor and outdoor use. Electric wheelchairs come in a variety of sizes and configurations.
Electric wheelchairs include customizable features that let you match the type of seating, power, control and other accessories that meet your specific needs.
Today’s electric wheelchairs are even designed are even foldable for easy transport. Electric wheelchairs come in three types of wheel drives: front, mid and rear wheel drive.
For stability and all-around use, consider a rear wheel drive electric wheelchair. This rear-wheel drive moves at higher speeds and has the largest turning radius of types of wheelchairs. Apart from this, these wheelchairs are able to handle more weight and can more easily go up inclines.
If the user does not frequent outdoors, then consider buying a mid-wheel electric wheelchair. These are exclusively made for indoor use. This wheelchair usually has 6 wheels (2 large wheels affixed to the base surrounded by 4 smaller wheels). They are small as compared to other electric wheelchairs as they are useful in apartments and other indoor living facilities. Larger models are also available for indoor as well as outdoor use.
If you want a wheelchair with good maneuverability, consider a front wheel drive. Front wheel drive electric wheelchairs are excellent for outdoors. Be cautious to use them at high speeds as their turning radius. These wheelchairs are able to traverse through tougher terrains, thanks to the large wheels mounted in front of the seating.
Another thing to consider is the power controls. Unlike a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchairs are controlled with a joystick or a specialty switch called a sip or a puff device. These might be usually located on the armrest. Consult your healthcare provider to know which control is right for you.
It is important to consider the overall health condition of the individual who will be using the chair. This is an important condition prior to purchasing any electric wheelchair.
The individual must be aware of all the control and steering techniques and have an adequate vision with depth perception so that they can properly judge driving distance and widths while operating electric wheelchairs.