March 2016

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power wheelchair

How to Choose a Power Wheelchair

There are many factors to consider when choosing a power wheelchair. After all, a wheelchair is the main method of transport for anyone who has reduced or no mobility. Therefore, the choice of appropriate wheelchair has to be taken seriously.

Of course, the first factor to consider is where the wheelchair primarily will be used. So is it just for indoor use, or is it for both indoors and outdoors?

Powered wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes. All have a rechargeable battery and most are maneuvered by a joystick.

Choosing wheelchairs for indoor use

If the power wheelchair is only for indoor use, then the best type is a mid-wheel wheelchair. These have 3 sets of wheels - 2 smaller ones front and back, and large powered wheels in the middle. These provide excellent maneuverability, which is essential for using powerchairs indoors.

Some indoor wheelchairs are also fitted with elevating seats. These can assist in reaching cupboards and higher places, not normally accessible to those with reduced mobility. These wheelchairs are not portable and don't fold. This makes transportation of them more difficult.

These are best not to be used outdoors because of stability issues. But, for indoor only use, they are the best choice.

Choosing wheelchairs for outdoor use

If the wheelchair is to be used both indoors and outdoors, then the best option is a rear-wheel powered wheelchair. These have two sets of wheels and are powered by the rear ones. These types of wheelchairs provide much more stability than mid-wheel powered chairs.

When choosing these types of wheelchairs, factors like range, and speed should be taken into consideration. A person should also think about where this will be used outside. For example, will the wheelchair have to climb curbs? Are there steep slopes to drive on? If this is to be used indoors, are doors wide enough?

Whatever your reduced mobility circumstances are, you will be able to find a powered wheelchair to suit you. All wheelchairs can be customized. If you speak with a medical equipment supply company, they will advise on your specific needs

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