Caring for Your Electric Wheelchair
Finding the Right Electric Wheelchair
When looking for an electric wheelchair, there are multiple
factors which need to be taken into account. This is a process you should go through with your doctor or physical
therapist, and you should take the time to make the right decision. These products are fairly expensive, and if
you’re not satisfied with your new wheelchair you can’t just take it back, and if Medicare or your insurance is
paying for the chair, they will not pay for a replacement for several years or unless your condition
Is a Electric Wheelchair Right for You?
Talk with your doctor about whether a electric wheelchair
is the right choice for your physical impairment. If you are strong enough to push your own manual wheelchair
without any trouble, you may not be eligible for insurance or Medicare coverage for the cost of a power wheelchair.
If you need to navigate in an environment with low accessibility for a normal wheelchair, a power wheelchair may
help you. Some models are equipped to pass over thresholds of between one and three inches.
If you have limited mobility but can walk using a cane, you may not need
a electric wheelchair. If you can get around your own home comfortably with a cane, but need
a more convenient way to travel outside, you may prefer a power scooter. Power scooters are more economical,
although they are larger and harder to navigate in small areas. Heavy duty scooters are available with a weight
capacity of up to 500 pounds.
A good candidate for a power wheelchair is anyone who has a serious medical
problem affecting mobility in a manner which is permanent or which may worsen in the future. Anyone who cannot use
a manual wheelchair or power scooter should have a power wheelchair, be it because of a lack of arm
strength or mobility, or because they lack the mobility to easily enter or exit a scooter.
Types of Electric Wheelchairs
There are two different types of motorized wheelchairs. One is
the electric wheelchair, which is a motorized version of a manual wheelchair, and the other
is the more advanced power-base wheelchair.
The power wheelchair has the advantage of being smaller and more portable. While
it lacks some of the features of a power-base wheelchair, if you are comfortable in a manual wheelchair and want
something automated, this is a good design.
The power-base wheelchair is strong, sturdy, and adaptable. The seat is affixed
to a powerful motorized base; heavy duty models supporting up to 675 pounds are available. Many parts are
interchangeable, so you can put a variety of different seats on the base, making this a versatile option to meet
any changes in your physical needs that may come in the future. These are larger and heavier, and the use of a
machine may be necessary to put a power-base
wheelchair in a vehicle.
Talk to your doctor about what option is best for you. An electric wheelchair can
generally be customized to meet your specific physical needs as well as your preferences and taste. Take the time
to compare your options before you buy. -Article by Adam Hefner