Power wheelchairs greatly restore independence and mobility to anyone who depends on a wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are powerful, versatile, and capable of going just about anywhere.
Unlike traditional wheelchairs, power wheelchairs run on battery power and require no propulsion from the user. They are operated by use of a joystick, requiring little physical movement. This makes power wheelchairs practical choices for people recovering from injuries, for those with limited upper body strength, and even for people who have had a stroke or other injury to the upper body.
Many power wheelchairs are designed to be your main mode of transportation. You’ll find that some power wheelchairs are created for both indoor and outdoor use, while others are built strictly for outdoor use and travel. Each power wheelchair tends to have different features, from the style of the seat to the travel range and top speed.
Power wheelchairs are built to be durable and sturdy, ready for regular use and up to the task of covering lots of ground. They tend to be significantly heavier than the smaller power scooters, and because of this, you may need to buy a vehicle lift in order to transport the power wheelchair. Some portable power wheelchairs are designed to be easy to disassemble for travel, but the individual pieces can still be heavy.
Power wheelchairs improve your mobility, especially if you have upper body weakness or injuries which restricts your ability to self propel a traditional wheelchair. They are ideal for use when traveling outdoors, and make traveling up hills and inclines far easier than it is with a traditional wheelchair. Power wheelchairs give you a chance to save your strength so that you can apply it to the activities that matter the most.
Consider Your Intended Use
The type of power wheelchair that is right for you will partially depend on what you plan on using the chair for. Are you looking for a power wheelchair to get you to work or for running errands around town? Then a power wheelchair intended for outdoor use is likely the best option for you. On the other hand, if you need a power wheelchair to navigate throughout your home and to run errands with, then a more compact power wheelchair will best suit your needs.
Plan Ahead for Transportation
When buying a power wheelchair, plan out how you will transport the chair. Some power wheelchairs disassemble into pieces which can be loaded into a vehicle. Other power wheelchairs require the use of a vehicle lift, so you will need to factor the cost of the lift and its installation into your budget.
Find an Ideal Fit
Because you will likely spend a good amount of time in your power wheelchair, it’s important to choose a wheelchair which is comfortable and which fits you well. Take the time to measure yourself for a wheelchair to make sure that the power wheelchair will fit you correctly. You will also want to pay attention to the orientation of the control joystick – many wheelchairs come with the option to place the joystick on your preferred side for better control and comfort.