If you are looking to upgrade from a manual wheelchair to a powerchair, you are probably interested in the benefits electric wheelchairs have on offer. Or if you are looking for your first chair, we will look at some of the reasons you may want to opt for a powered chair over a manual model. Below are some of the best features you can find on motorised wheelchairs.
Whilst it may seem obvious, one of the main benefits of electric wheelchairs over manual chairs is that they feature small motors. This makes moving the chair easier, as it does not require any upper body strength and is perfect for users with limited hand/arm movement. Instead of manually pushing the wheels for propulsion and steering, you have a conveniently place joystick that will enable the user to move forwards, backwards and side to side.
One drawback is that the batteries will need a charge from time to time, as they generally only last 10-20 miles. Charging often takes around 8 hours, and battery levels are normally indicated on the control panel.
Easy to Manoeuvre
Compared to a self-propelled wheelchair, most electric wheelchairs offer users better maneuverability. With a tighter turning circle, users can easily navigate through small areas, such as indoors or narrow paths. Powerchairs make it far easier for users to navigate around obstacles, both indoors and outdoors.
Difficult Terrain and Inclines
If you are likely to be tackling rougher terrain, a motorised wheelchair designed for outdoor exploring may be your best option. With larger tyres and enough power to get you over small hurdles, outdoor models will allow users to venture over most tracks. An added bonus is suspension, which makes for a smoother ride than on manual chairs.
Manual wheelchairs become increasingly difficult to use when encountering a hill or incline. Not only do they require substantial upper body strength to climb, but inclines also present the risk of the chair rolling backwards. Powerchairs are designed to overcome these problems, and the electric motor will take the hard work out of hills and slopes.
One of the biggest restrictions of manual wheelchairs is that you are always at the same height. Whether you want to reach a higher shelf in the supermarket, or need to sit lower at your dining table, many motorised chairs enable users to change their height at the push of a button.
Ideal for Children
As children have reduced upper body strength and shorter arms, using a manual wheelchair can be difficult. Powered wheelchairs enable children to easily move about, without added strain on their body. They can also be superior to manual wheelchairs as they allow a child to sit higher than they would in a manual model.
Feeling supported in your chair is extremely important. As less movement is required to control electric chairs, there is better comfort and support for your arms, legs, body and head. Being supported not only ensures you are safe, but also provides better comfort.
Do you have any other benefits of Electric Wheelchairs? Let us know in the comments below!