For some people, regular lightweight wheelchairs may not be enough for a busy lifestyle, especially those who may need or want to travel long distances on their own. Self-propelled wheelchairs can be tough on the hands and upper body, and if you are not strong enough, then it can be nearly impossible. Powered wheelchairs offer a fantastic solution.
How do powered wheelchairs work?
Powered wheelchairs work by using a battery-powered motor to propel the wheelchair along. Powered wheelchairs will use a sealed lead acid battery, or SLA, and which can be either dry or wet cell batteries. The benefit of these batteries is that they can produce an incredible amount of power yet be charged from your own home, adding a great convenience to your daily life.
Things to consider before buying a powered wheelchair
Powered wheelchairs can be expensive, so it is important to consider whether they are right for you or not.
Firstly, you need to consider whether it is necessary for you or not, and whether you could cope with a regular wheelchair. Powered wheelchairs can be a bulky thing to store, so if you do not have the room, then it may not be the best option. The powered wheelchair may not fit through certain parts of your house, and amendments may be required in order to adjust your living space. The turning radius of the chair may also be something to consider. In your home, you might not be able to turn the chair around which could cause some inconvenience.
Secondly, you need to consider what the wheelchair is for, and purchase accordingly. If you are thinking about spending a lot of time outside, then you may need to consider a chair with specific outdoor wheels. Or, if you are looking for a chair that is more suitable for an office or working environment, then indoor wheels may need to be considered.
Lastly, how much time will you be spending in your wheelchair? If some considerable time, you may want to think about the seating and cushion for your chair, and perhaps look for extra support if you think you may be spending a very long time it.
Are there any other ways to find out more?
Powered wheelchairs are available to hire from many places, so if you are not accustomed to a powered wheelchair, you can try one out and see if it fits your day to day life. This can be a great way to encounter any issues that may arise from using one that you can then avoid once you come to purchase your own chair. Another way to determine whether a powered wheelchair might be right for you, is to ask other users about their experiences, and whether they have found any pitfalls or difficulties.
The main thing is that you choose the wheelchair that is right for you, and gives you the most amount of freedom and comfort. Wheelchairs are about independence, and powered wheelchairs offer this in its purest form.