Whether because of injury, disease, or age, mobility impairments severely affect people’s quality of life. The interruptions experienced by people with mobility impairments affect their daily routines. Depending on their limited mobility, their need to carry on usually with their lives may rely on others.
Many people use manual wheelchairs to provide themselves with mobility. Depending on the extent of mobility impairment, a manual wheelchair can be propelled by the user or pushed by another person to help the user move around. However, because of the strenuous effort required to move manual wheelchairs around, users have limited independence.
Power wheelchairs provide the ideal mobility solutions for users. By providing some degree of independence, users can have an improved quality of life. Power wheelchairs overcome most of the shortcomings of manual wheelchairs. A power wheelchair or a motorized wheelchair is typically battery-powered and controlled with a joystick. Hence, a power wheelchair can also be called an electric wheelchair.
What Are the Different Types of PowerChairs?
Users have specific needs that different types of power chairs can address. If a user opts for a powerchair fit for indoors or an electric wheelchair optimized for outdoor use, there are specific designs that are ready to take on their demands.
Today, there are three primary types of electric wheelchairs:
Folding Electric Wheelchairs
If the user is looking for a lightweight powerchair that can be carried around without needing a wheelchair lift or a power chair for easy travel, a folding electric wheelchair, such as the Jazzy Passport Folding Power Chair is perfect for them. Its primary features are its ability to be folded, compact design, and its lightweight. Despite its compact design, a portable power wheelchair is comfortable for most users as its weight capacity is 250 lbs. It has a powerful motor that can run 3.6 mph up to 11 miles on a single charge for users weighing up to 200 lbs—allowing these motorized wheelchairs to fit most cars’ boot.
Mid Wheel Drive Powered Wheelchairs
If the user is looking for versatility indoors, power chairs driven by mid-wheel drive systems are viable options. These have three sets of wheels, whose pivot point is the biggest pair of wheels located under the seat. These are the most maneuverable because of their ability to turn with the tightest turning radius. Three pairs of wheels provide stability and balance even when running over uneven surfaces. Such designs are used for the Merits Vision Sport Power Chair and the Jazzy 614 Heavy Duty Power Wheelchairs. These motorized wheelchairs have comparatively heavier weight capacity, can be used outdoors, and provides unparalleled versatility for users. On the other hand, the Jazzy Air 2 Power Chair is a compact, motorized wheelchair optimized for indoor use. Despite its compact design, it can rise to 12″ seat height allowing users the sensation of standing up.
Rear Wheel Drive Power Wheelchairs
Rear-wheel drive systems are optimized for power because of the placement of the drive wheels, making them easier to propel forward, even on uneven surfaces. If the user is looking for the ideal power wheelchair for outdoor use, these are the best designed for the task. For instance, the Go-Chair power chairs are best for use on trips to the grocery or a walk (or roll) in the park. Most heavy-duty power wheelchair designs utilize rear-wheel drive systems because of being able to both solve the weight capacity and roll over rough terrain. A rear-wheel drive-powered wheelchair design is also ideal for travel wheelchairs because of the unexpected terrain once the user arrives at their destination.
Attributes of the Ideal Power Wheelchair
Now that you know the types of power wheelchairs available to you on the market, here are specific items you need to look for when looking for one perfect for your needs:
If you are looking for a power wheelchair that can turn tight corners, you can’t choose a rear-wheel drive wheelchair because of its larger turning radius. Instead, your best option is to select a mid-wheel drive power wheelchair.
When choosing a power wheelchair, ensure that these are appropriately sized for you. An inappropriately sized electric wheelchair will create additional stress on your shoulders and back, leading to poor posture. Hence, choosing the ideal wheelchair should consider the seat width, back height, seat-to-floor ratio, and weight capacity.
Wheelchairs with padded seats made of high-quality foams, such as those used by the Jazzy Elite ES Power Chair, are made for maximum comfort. Selecting a power wheelchair that isn’t comfortable may lead to pressure sores. Additionally, these power chairs have flip-up, removable, and adjustable armrests for enhanced comfort while being adapted for specific personal tasks. High-quality power wheelchairs, such as those made by Jazzy, have excellent shock-absorbing wheels to ensure that rides are comfortable.
Specialized power wheelchairs have adjustable height options if you require to perform additional household chores efficiently, such as those provided by the Jazzy Air power wheelchair.
Lastly, consider the battery capacity of the power wheelchair you select. Even at enhanced performance levels at higher weight capacity, the best power wheelchairs can run more than 10 miles per charge. On the other hand, specific battery types are allowed to be carried by air, typically available with Jazzy folding power chairs.
Takeaways: If You Are Looking for the Ideal Power Wheelchair, Call Power Mobility & Lifts
Power Mobility and Lifts provide the widest selection of power wheelchairs and mobility scooter options on the market today. If you are looking for a power wheelchair compatible with a vehicle lift, addressing maneuverability concerns when moving indoors or a versatile power wheelchair for outdoor use, we got one that is a perfect fit for you. We also offer power wheelchair rentals if you use one as a temporary medical necessity. To learn more about the mobility solutions, we can provide you, call us at (480) 471-8592 or request a quote by clicking on our Contact Us page.