How To Choose An Electric Wheelchair
Everyone prefers something different when it comes to wheelchairs, and most seniors have their specific needs in mind when they begin their search Luckily for them, wheelchairs are continuing to evolve and offer new features to help meet those needs.
We’re going to take a look at some of these next.
One of the most important things to look for in a wheelchair is comfort. If it doesn’t feel good when you sit down, or it doesn’t feel nice after a few hours, then you wouldn’t want that chair for long-term use.
While some seniors modify their chairs with additional cushions or some form of padding, ideally your wheelchair will offer all the comfort features you need.
Pay attention to where the location and volume of the padding. If the arms, back, and seat have an ample amount of padding, give them a feel. Does the padding rise back up after pushing on it, or does it seem to wear down quickly?
Another main factor that affects comfort is the adjustability of the chair. Not everyone is the same height and weight, so each chair needs to be flexible to meet the needs of a variety of different sizes.
Do the arms adjust? Does the back have a variety of reclining settings? Is their a footrest and is it adjustable? Is the overall seat height of the chair flexible to meet the needs of older adults who are taller or shorter than average?
These are all crucial factors that can determine your daily level of comfort while using the chair.
Durability and Stability
You need a chair you feel confident traveling in, and if it seems fragile or wobbly, it’s best to avoid that chair. What types of tires does the chair have and do they appear to travel well on all kinds of terrain?
Another thing to pay attention to is a chair’s overall durability. You certainly don’t want to encounter any electrical or mobility issues that could leave you stranded.
Stability is another important factor. If you intend to use your chair for outdoor travel, you want something that has a self-stability feature that prevents tipping in case you accidentally drop off a curb or ledge. These features are essential for your safety.
Navigation is not always easy to test before you buy, so we recommend you read reviews from other users. Some chairs ride smoothly and navigate easily on all terrain, while others simply do not. If you plan on using the chair outdoors, you want a chair that works well for indoor/outdoor use.
Take a look at the joystick and the controls of the chair you’re considering. Some chairs tend to jump and jolt rather than smoothly accelerate or brake. If you have arthritis of some form of joint pain, a rough ride could be a major deal breaker.
Some chairs also come with a unique suspension that absorbs much of the shock you experience while riding around, but others do not. This is also something you’ll want to consider when picking a chair.
Size and Capacity
If you want to be comfortable in your chair, you need to make sure the chair is large enough to sit in comfortably, even for extended periods of time.
In addition to overall capacity, every chair has slight variations in seat and backrest size, so you want to pay close attention when choosing the right chair for your size.
Some chairs also come with a higher backrest than others, so you’ll definitely want to take this into consideration.
Also, make sure you check the chair’s overall weight capacity. Most of these heavy-duty wheelchairs can carry a wide range of body types, but it’s always worth double checking before making your purchase.