An electric wheelchair, also known as a power or motorized chair, enables people with mobility challenges to regain their independence and get around with ease.
Selecting the right power chair can be a daunting task because there are so many styles and designs available
Before purchasing an electric chair, discuss options and recommendations with your healthcare provider, as well as your occupational and/or physical therapists.
Suitability for a powered mobility chair is based on health condition, extent of mobility, age, body type, and endurance.
There are several factors to consider when selecting a power chair. First, determine whether you will primarily be using the wheel chair indoors, outdoors or both since not all mobility chairs are fit for both indoor and outdoor use.
Power wheelchairs can be heavy and difficult to transport without properly equipped vehicles and ramp access. Therefore, where and how often you will be transporting your motorized chair, the type of vehicle you have, and related accessibility equipment are key purchase considerations.
It's essential to find a wheelchair that fits your body size and has the required weight capacity. For those who want to operate their motorized chairs at relatively high speeds, models with speeds of up to around 6.5 mph are available.
Most importantly, the power chair must be comfortable and the controls easily maneuverable.
Different seating styles for motorized wheelchairs include sling seats, captain’s, and solid pan, with different back heights and cushioning.
There are also a variety of leg rests and arm rests from which to choose, based on your needs and comfort requirements.
After you’ve assessed your requirements and received a professional opinion, start shopping and trying out a variety of electric wheel chairs, if possible, until you find one that best suits you.
For information on the different types of electric wheel chairs, please click here.
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