Important Features to Consider Before Purchasing an Electric Wheelchair
Electric wheelchairs are a convenient option for individuals who live alone or lack the support required for a manual wheelchair. They are also better suited for younger individuals who still wish to maintain an active lifestyle. However, because they have a motorized engine, it is important to consider the following factors before making the investment.
Choosing an Appropriate Model
Electric wheelchairs come in a variety of different models with the most common types listed below
- Rear Wheel Drive
- Front Wheel Drive
- Mid Wheel Drive
Your personal needs and living situation will help determine which model is right for you. Front and rear wheel drive models are considered good options for individuals who spend a considerable amount of time outdoors because they are capable of maneuvering well on uneven terrain and are powerful enough to go up hills with relative ease. Alternatively, mid wheel drive models are more suitable as an indoor wheelchair because they are better at handling tight corners.
Understanding Different Battery Types
When it comes to batteries, there are three main types to choose from.
- Wet Batteries- these are a popular choice because they are the cheapest type. However, they do require regular maintenance, and are more likely to leak.
- Gel Batteries- Although these are more expensive than wet batteries, you can be assured that they won't leak. Unlike wet batteries, they require no maintenance and tend to last longer.
- Absorbed Glass Mat Batteries- This is the most expensive type of battery. Their benefits closely mirror those of Gel Batteries. An additional advantage is that battery damage caused by vibration is minimized.
Controlling Your Electric Wheelchair
Finding a drive control that you are comfortable with is an important consideration before purchasing an electric wheelchair. It is a good idea to test a few options before committing to a purchase. Most models are equipped with a joystick control that will allow you to adjust your speed. Compact joysticks are also available, allowing the individual to control their speed by using either the mounted joystick or a chin control.
For individuals who are unable to use hand control joysticks, head controls are also available. The control is mounted by the headrest and the user moves their head in the direction that they would like to move. However, when moving in forward or backward directions, this can be more confusing as the user must activate a switch to change the direction.
Another more customizable option is a finger controller where a small box is mounted on the wheelchair. The user simply places their finger in a box and moves it in the direction they want their wheelchair to go.
It is important to keep in mind that more customized drive controls will usually be more expensive than basic models. However, options such as head controls may be necessary when an individual lacks muscle control in their hands.
Brand new wheelchairs can be incredibly expensive, but buying one that is used can be easier...
read more / Used Wheelchairs
Luxury scooters today are using new technology in order to provide features that were not previously available...
read more / Luxury Scooters