The benefits of powerchairs

November 10, 2017 5:33 am
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Powered wheelchairs have greatly improved independence for many people with disabilities and, as such, are experiencing huge popularity. The innovative technology of powered wheelchairs is enhanced, day by day, and offers comfort and the ability to travel longer distances to those with restricted mobility. These impressive features have made powerchairs an essential aspect of many people’s lives, and this article will focus on the benefits of opting for a power wheelchair.

Independence

One of the major benefits to electric wheelchairs is the independence. For those that rely on someone to take them out during the day – to the shops, for instance – they can do so themselves. Even if you do have limited mobility, you do not have to give up on your independence. Powered wheelchairs keep up with the demands of everyday life, and affords people the chance to travel outdoors without assistance.

The battery-powered motor and outdoor features are great for all terrains and do not hold you back. The range of power wheelchairs to choose from make for more independence, as they boast a host of drive bases, seating systems and adjustable control systems.

Comfort

Manual wheelchairs, typically, do not offer the same comfort as that of powerchairs. The ability to change the seating position can also significantly enhance comfort levels. Unlike a manual wheelchair, powered wheelchairs provide the individual with the opportunity to shift between different postures. Therefore, the different postures not only keep you active, but also ease pain than if you were to sit in the same position all day. The ability to move in a powerchair and not be restricted in seating makes for a huge difference in achieving freedom – particularly as sitting stability is also increased by tilting the seat, relieving any pressure.

As many people need to sit in the powerchairs for a long period of time, they can be adjusted to suit an individual’s needs. For example, you can get adjustable armrests, seat widths and joystick controllers. Likewise, the soft-feel coverings provide better comfort.

Improved posture

People with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and any spinal cord injury will find the gravity assisted positioning on powerchairs to be invaluable when completing day to day activities. Therefore, people with disabilities can vastly improve their daily tasks and independence.

We’ve also touched on the improvements for those with restricted mobility in their hands and arms. Using manual wheelchairs can lead to great discomfort and even pain as you are continually using your upper body. Often, this can cause more health issues later down the line. However, powered wheelchairs are brilliant for those with similar disabilities as they do not need to rely on others to continue on with their daily life.

Features

A great benefit to choosing powered wheelchairs above manual are features and add-ons. When discussing your requirements with a local dealer, they can offer the likes of elevated leg rests and much more. The elevated leg rests, for instance, can raise the legs above the heart and tilt the chair, thus managing conditions such as edema. Those features, among many others, help with the ergonomics of the electric wheelchairs. Many people who enjoy powerchairs reach their daily tasks due to the add-ons and customisation.

Cover greater travel distances

Those who need to travel long distances may avoid doing so with the lack of stability and comfort with their current wheelchairs. An important factor when choosing a powered wheelchair is how far you do need to travel. Powerchairs are battery-powered and, as such, you do not have to exert any strength to travel, as you would with manual wheelchairs. Those with restricted mobility and require assistance to push can now travel alone. Likewise, the powered electric wheelchairs also offer you the opportunity to move, adjust seating positions, tilt and recline. Therefore, you can travel greater distances.

Some batteries last longer than others, so you will need to check each individual powerchair with the local dealer. Similarly, motorised wheelchairs can cover a wide variety of terrains, meaning you do not have to sacrifice any holidays or worry about transport.

Outdoor travel

Power wheelchairs benefit from the ability to travel over various terrains, with different types of tyres and wheel positions. You can opt for rear wheel drive powered wheelchairs that provide stability, so you can move over uneven terrain and climb obstacles. As the rear wheel powerchairs have their wheels positioned at the back, you will receive better handling and increased security when outdoors.

Mid wheel electric wheelchairs are also available, providing a better central position that means greater indoor accessibility. Therefore, you have better stability when turning. If you are looking to drive indoor and outdoors, this is a good option.

Public transport

Powered wheelchairs are great for public transport, as the adjustable positions and ability to cover rough terrains means you can get on the likes of trains and buses with much more ease. The convenience of the powerchairs also improves the experience of travelling on public transport – particularly as you can change the seating positions and recline for long periods.

Space saving

There is a huge difference between powered wheelchairs, mobility scooters and manual wheelchairs. For instance, a mobility scooter takes up a large amount of room when it is not being used, making it less practical to have in the house. Folding powered wheelchairs, on the other hand, are compact and functional. The ability to fold away your electric wheelchairs with ease doesn’t compromise on their comfort and adjustable features. Similarly, you can create more space on public transport, allowing you to travel in comfort.

Another space saving advantage to motorised wheelchairs is the turning radius. A powerchair’s wheels are closer together, meaning the turning radius can be extremely small. Therefore, you can move better in smaller spaces indoors.

Generally, powered wheelchairs do cost more than their manual equivalent. However, they offer so much more in terms on independence, and you may even be able to look into further funding options.

You can find more on the various powered wheelchairs available at Karma Mobility, or get in touch with one of our team today.

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This post was written by Mark Duffield

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