Power chairs are a great way to increase mobility and lead independent lives. Thanks to technology, current power chairs in the market are equipped with advanced features that offer increased comfort and portability to the user and ensure their limited capabilities do not hinder their active lifestyle. Power chairs are expensive, and if you want to buy power wheelchair, you need to research and analyze your needs and requirements, then make a decision accordingly.
This article will discuss the factors you need to consider when buying a power wheelchair for mobility needs. Let’s get started!
Your Needs and Budget
The first things you need to consider are your needs and budget. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How frequently do you travel?
- When and where will the power chair be used?
- How will you transport the wheelchair?
- What features do you want?
- What terrains will the wheelchair be traveling on?
- What’s your budget?
Answering these questions will give you direction and the right decision for your mobility needs. You also need to consider your living space. For instance, do you have carpet or a tiled floor? Will the power chair fit through the hallways and doors? What is the seat height compared to the bed? Etc. Next, determine your budget. Power chairs are expensive, and if you buy on the lower end, you will miss many useful features.
Power wheelchairs are operated by batteries and play a critical role when purchasing. You need a power chair that offers high mileage on a single charge. Generally, power wheelchairs for mobility needs offer ranges anywhere between 10 to 25 miles on a single charge. Some power chairs also offer additional batteries, which ensures you have a sufficient backup if needed. Moreover, the battery life of power chairs also depends on the user’s weight, the terrain traveled, and the battery age.
Three types of driving systems are available in power chairs for mobility needs; front-wheel, mid-wheel, or rear-wheel drive. Each has its pros and cons. For instance, front-wheel drive has a steep learning curve and is difficult to control. At the same time, the mid-wheel driving system is great for indoors and has a small turn radius, offering increased maneuverability.
In contrast, rear-wheel driving systems are perfect for the outdoors and easily handle rough terrains and fast speeds.
The weight capacity of a power chair affects its battery life and speed. Generally, standard power chairs can withstand up to 300 lbs. In contrast, heavy-duty power chairs can accommodate up to 700 lbs. Choosing a power chair according to your weight is important to benefit from its maximum potential.
Now that you know what to consider when you buy power wheelchair for mobility needs, we hope you make an informed decision. Always consider the power chair’s portability, comfort, and additional support, especially if you travel frequently or lead an active lifestyle. We hope this guide helped!