Finding the Right Motorized Wheelchair for You: A Guide
When it comes to finding the right motorized wheelchair for you, it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions. Not all electric wheelchairs are created equal, and there are a lot of factors you’ll need to consider before making your purchase.
For instance, what is your budget? What is your weight and height? What kind of activities do you enjoy? What is your terrain preference? Do you need a transportable wheelchair or one that’s foldable?
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to motorized wheelchairs. This guide will help you understand the different types of electric wheelchairs available as well as the pros and cons of each option. So, whether you’re just starting your research or you’re almost ready to buy, we’ve got you covered.
What to Consider When Looking for a Motorized Wheelchair
There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a motorized wheelchair.
First, you need to think about what you’ll be using your wheelchair for. Are you looking for something to help you get around your home? Do you need something that will allow you to travel? Are you looking for a wheelchair that can be used both indoors and outdoors?
Once you have an idea of what you need, you’ll need to start thinking about your budget. How much can you afford to spend? Are there any grants or assistance programs available to help cover the cost?
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to start testing out different wheelchairs. Visit your local medical supply store and sit in a few different models. See which ones are the most comfortable and easy to maneuver.
Types of Mobility Devices
There are many different types of mobility devices on the market, and it can be daunting trying to figure out which one is right for you. So let’s start with the basics:
There are two types of mobility devices: manual and motorized. As the name suggests, manual devices require you to use your own strength to move them, while motorized devices are powered by a motor.
Within the category of motorized devices, there are three main types: standard power chairs, scooters and lift chairs. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Different Types of Motorized Wheelchairs
There are different types of motorized wheelchairs to choose from, and it can be overwhelming to try and figure out which one is right for you. Here’s a breakdown of the most common types:
- Manual: These wheelchairs are controlled by the user through a set of levers at the armrests.
- Power: These wheelchairs are powered by a motor, and can be either self-propelled or pushed by a caregiver.
- Electric: As the name suggests, these wheelchairs are powered by electricity. They often have more features and options than power wheelchairs.
- Mobility scooters: Mobility scooters are not technically wheelchairs, but they serve a similar purpose and are often used as an alternative to them. They typically have three or four wheels, and are steered using a handlebar. Know more about Lightweight motorized wheelchair here.
The best way to figure out which type of wheelchair is right for you is to talk to your doctor or care coordinator. They’ll be able to assess your needs and recommend the best option for you.
The Cost of a Motorized Wheelchair
The cost of a motorized wheelchair will vary depending on the features and accessories you choose, but it’s important to factor in your financial situation. A quality power chair can be an expensive purchase, but if you decide to lease one, you’ll still need to come up with a down payment and make sure the monthly payments fit within your budget.
When it comes to costs, most motorized wheelchairs come in three categories:
- Low end: Below $1,000
- Middle ground: $1,000–$2,000
- High end: Above $2,000.
Depending on your needs, you may find that it’s more budget-friendly to go with a low-end option since it won’t have all the bells and whistles that come with a high-end model. Just remember that when it comes to mobility equipment, shopping smartly doesn’t mean skimping on quality.
Safety Features to Look for in a Motorized Wheelchair
When you’re shopping for a motorized wheelchair, safety features should be your top priority. It’s important to have features that will keep you safe and secure when you’re out and about. Here are some key ones to look for:
- Seatbelt: A seatbelt will keep you safe in case of a sudden stop or movement.
- Antilock brakes: In case of an emergency, these brakes will be able to stop the wheelchair quickly and safely.
- Anti-tip wheels: These wheels won’t tilt unexpectedly and can help you remain upright and stable when seated in the chair.
- Footrests and armrests: Armrests offer extra stability and footrests help provide support while seated.
- Reflective strips: These will help improve visibility while out in low light conditions, such as at night or on cloudy days.
These features are worth investing in, as they can make all the difference when it comes to your safety on the road.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Used Motorized Wheelchair
When it comes to finding the right used motorized wheelchair, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, consider how much you’re willing to spend on your chair. You’ll want to take into account both the purchase price and any repairs or maintenance that may be required over the lifetime of the wheelchair.
Second, think about your specific needs. Does your chair need extra features like a reclining back or adjustable foot supports? Is it important for the wheelchair to be able to maneuver in tight spaces? These are all important questions to consider when looking for a used electric wheelchair.
Finally, make sure you get an independent medical assessment before making any purchase decisions. An experienced professional can help you decide on what type of motorized wheelchair is best for your body type and lifestyle, so it’s important that you consult with someone before making a final decision.
So, if you’re in the market for a motorized wheelchair, now you know what to look for. Keep in mind that what’s important to you may not be important to someone else, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice or recommendations from your friends, family, or healthcare professionals. With a little bit of research, you’re sure to find the perfect wheelchair for you.