Electric, or powered wheelchairs provide users with complete independence, an independence which simply wasn’t possible in years gone by. Providing extreme comfort for those who cannot or struggle to stand for extended periods of time, electric wheelchairs are sure to help you live the life you deserve. If you’ve made the decision to opt for an electric wheelchair over a manual model, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed discovering which one to choose.
As they require little effort to steer and operate they are suitable for individuals with limited use of the hands, arms and legs, but with several options offering differing speed, weight and control, how do you choose the right one?
Here at Karma Mobility we’ve put together an easy read guide, with some expert advice, to help you stay on the right track.
First of all you need to ask yourself some questions…
Where will you use your electric wheelahir chair?
The Department for Transport categories all powered wheelchairs into two categories:
- Class 2 products
- Class 3 products
If you intend to use your powered wheelchair indoors, then a class 2 chair is right for you. These are normally smaller and lighter and can be used on pavements up to the speed of 4mph.
Class 3 powered wheelchairs are heavier, larger and cannot be dismantled as they are designed for outdoor use. These types of wheelchairs must be registered with the DVLA and can travel up to 8mph on the road, and 4pmh on pavements and side streets.
How far will you travel?
Consider how far you need to travel using your electric wheelchair as they run on charged power. Some models can travel up to 15 miles on a fully charged battery.
Consider your weight and height
The wheelchair you choose should be the correct size to ensure your body is fully supported correctly, and you are adequately aligned. By considering these factors you will ensure you stay comfortable for long durations. Powered wheelchairs must allow you to easily rotate your upper body while still being fully supported; you should be able to sit comfortably with your back straight and hips at a right angle to the floor.
It is so important that your electric wheelchair does not limit your movement as this can cause painful pressure sores. A user that is missing a limb will need to consider the balance of the chair as it needs to be adjustable to prevent tipping.
Choose an electric wheelchair that suits your range of movement and strength. While joysticks are the most common control systems, mini joysticks require minimum movement and don’t have to be controlled by hand.
Powered wheelchairs need to be stored in a place where there is access to power to charge the battery when not in use. Any chairs that are stored outside must be protected with a waterproof cover.
Need help deciding?
Here at Karma Mobility we are always more than happy to assist you in finding the perfect electric wheelchair to suit your needs. You can even test drive a number of models to find the perfect fit for you.
If you are searching for more wheelchair options including lightweight, foldable, electric options as well as traditional wheelchairs; you are sure to find what you are looking for at KARMA today. Over decades, we have mastered the technological needs that will make the lives of wheelchair users easier daily and if you have any questions about your purchase or would like more guidance, our experienced and friendly team will be happy to help. For more information – give us a call on 01527 520 468.