When you have to rely on a wheelchair to get around, the wheelchair almost acts as an extension of your body. And, you may spend a lot of time using a power wheelchair to get around. For this reason, it is important to make sure you get a model that you truly feel comfortable using.
Modern-day power wheelchairs are far more advanced due to technological and mechanical innovation. Therefore, you can have a lot of features and functions to pick from when choosing the wheelchair that works best for you. Here is a look at a few important things to consider.
The Wheelchair Seat and Seat Position
The seat is perhaps one of the most important features to consider with a new wheelchair. The seats on power units are far different than the standard seats in manual wheelchairs. You can pick from seats that conform to your body shape like the seat in a vehicle, for example, or you could go with something even more luxurious. For example, some seats have power adjustment capabilities so you can adjust the headrest, back, and height with the touch of a button.
The Speed Capability of the Wheelchair
Wheelchairs are not designed to go especially fast, but speed can still be an important feature to consider. If you are only using the chair to get around the house, speed may not be an issue. However, if you take your power wheelchair out to walk the dog, drive to the mailbox, or even go to the grocery store, you may want the ability to go a bit faster.
The Drive System and Maneuvering Capabilities
The drive system can be anything from all-wheel drive to front- or rear-wheel drive. All options have their advantages. For example, a four-wheel drive system is good if you will be navigating over rougher terrain like gravel or mud. However, a front-wheel drive power wheelchair won't use as much power and can easily propel you across slippery surfaces.
The Controller or Control System
There are different types of controllers for power wheelchairs. Most come with a simple joystick that requires you to push the joystick in the direction you want the chair to go. However, some also have buttons to push or handlebars that pivot left and right and have a throttle that you turn to move forward or in reverse. Consider your physical limitations and abilities to determine which type of controller would work best for you.