What to look out for in an electric wheelchair
Accidents are inevitable and it’s unfortunate and painful, especially when it renders parts of your body non-functional. When these accidents happen, depending on the damage, you may require specialized equipment to assist you in your daily activities.
One such equipment is an electric wheelchair. This machine is able to move you from point A to point B with relative ease. However, choosing an electric wheelchair can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look out for.
No worries because this article will take you through 8 fundamental areas you should consider if you want to buy the best electric wheelchair.
Body weight is a critical factor when selecting a wheelchair since they come with weight limitations. The average chair can support a maximum of 300 pounds, but this will vary from one model to another.
Nevertheless, heavy-duty chairs can support users with more weight and size. For example, The Pride Mobility Quantum 6 can support up to 450 pounds.
The Chair’s Dimensions
Your size comes into consideration here. With the chair’s dimensions, you can estimate and find out whether your body can fit. In addition, you must consider common hallways and doors although a majority of wheelchairs fit through them.
If your home has narrow corridors, then you need to consider that. The seat width should also be able to accommodate your body size.
The Chair’s Speed
Speed is a critical factor, especially if you’re a busy person or travel a lot over long distances. If this is you, then consider selecting a wheelchair with a rear power drive to achieve maximum speed. These types of wheelchairs can go as fast as 8.5 mph.
The Sunrise Medical Quickie Xplore is an example of rear power drive wheelchairs which can achieve the stated speed.
You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of town when running your errands because your battery ran out of juice. As such, when choosing a wheelchair, consider the battery life.
Most models come with batteries which can run for 10 to 25 miles after one charge, although this will vary from one manufacturer to another.
Besides the manufacturer, other factors will influence the battery life. For example, the user’s weight, the terrain traveled and the batteries’ life.
First off, you must know that wheelchairs come with driving wheels. These wheels may be at the front, middle or back. For the latter, you’ll achieve great speeds. With the middle wheels, you have better maneuverability while front wheels perform better in uneven terrain, but rank as the slowest among the three.
Another factor to consider in the wheels is the size of the non-drive wheels, also known as caster wheels. Bumpy and uneven surfaces pose a challenge to smaller caster wheels. In addition, wheels may be air-filled or solid.
You won’t always be in a wheelchair. Sometimes you need to rest on a bed or sit on a different chair. This means your wheelchair must be portable for easier movement. The Pride Mobility Go-Chair allows you to disassemble and reassemble the chair.
This refers to the available space required for the chair to make a 360-degree turn in either direction. However, space isn’t the only factor which affects the turning radius. The seat size, the angle and footrest type, and the frame length also affect the turning radius.
Therefore, if your home and workspace have tight spaces and corners, a front and mid-wheel drive chair is perfect. These chairs only need up to 30 inches to make a complete turn while rear-drive chairs need 40 or more inches.
Some chairs come with extra capabilities and add-ons which allow you to tilt, elevate the chair for better comfort and recline. Some go as far as including standing capabilities. In these models, you can operate the chair while standing or sitting.
Furthermore, these models have physiological and psychological benefits such as preventing pressure sores, improving the cardiovascular system and overall life-quality.
An electric wheelchair is a handy machine either for you or your loved one. They restore mobility while enhancing the quality of life since one is able to do most of the things they did before the unfortunate happened.