Are you worried about not being able to choose the right device for your needs and comfort with so many electric wheelchairs and scooters on the market?
Mobility devices, when needed, will prove to be both helpful and essential for different activities in which you need to be mobile in Asheville. However, knowing how to choose the right one can be a daunting task.
Below, we provide you with tips on how you can go about choosing a battery-powered wheelchair that is right for you.
Think About Where You Will Use Your Battery-Powered Wheelchair Around Asheville
You can use battery-powered wheelchairs both indoors and outdoors. However, like most other machines, some perform better in a specific environment.
Indoors Wheelchair Usage
Pay attention to whether you can easily manipulate your chair. If the chair is designed for use indoors, then you will notice that it is maneuverable. For example, chairs needed to go around small spaces, and tight turns need small turning circles.
You can get a mid-wheel drive battery-powered chair that twists on the spot to help you navigate small spaces. Narrow doors and hallways need specially chosen chairs. Consider these details when making your purchase.
Outdoor Wheelchair Usage
Many wheelchairs are usable both indoors and out. However, if you are the outdoorsy type, you should gravitate to one made distinctively for the outdoors.
Be sure to look at the chair’s wheels when you choose, as wider wheels navigate rougher terrain better. Also, ask your supplier about the wheelchair battery size. The size of the battery determines how far your chair can take you (in terms of battery life).
The Size of Your Wheelchair is an Important Feature
If you travel with your chair, you need to consider the size chair to purchase. The same applies to if you do not travel.
Portable chairs are typically light wheelchairs. They move around with you quickly. This ease of movement makes them suitable for fitting snugly in your car trunk or precisely among airplane cargo.
Portable chars tend to be small and convenient if you live in an apartment. However, if you spend all day in a chair, it is not comfortable enough for that. These chairs have less padding than the other chairs discussed below.
If you have no choice but to spend most, if not all, of your day in the wheelchair, a full-size chair is your best option. Full-sized chairs are more comfortable, and they have larger seats and armrests as well as footrests.
Full-sized chairs also have an advantage where travel range in terms of travel range. The wheelchair battery in these chairs is more prominent and can sustain itself for a prolonged period before recharging.
A typical chair can sustain a weight of up to 300 pounds. Heavy-duty chairs are for persons weighing over 300 pounds. These chairs have frames that are reinforced and have wide-set seats.
Generally, these chairs hold up to 450 pounds in the weight they can sustain, but some manufacturers make customized chairs to hold more pounds. If you do not see what you want in a catalog, feel free to ask.
The Drive System on Your Wheelchair Matters
When purchasing your battery-powered chair, pay attention to the location of the driving wheels. Are they at the back, in the middle, or to the front?
Chairs With Front-Wheel Drive
Chairs using the front-wheel-drive system manage well over small obstacles. The turning radius on them is average, but they are easy to handle indoors, especially in small, tight spaces.
The front-wheel-drive system for wheelchairs makes them stable and able to handle high speeds (if you are inclined to go fast).
Chairs With Mid-Wheel Drive
Mid-wheel drive systems are enviably the chairs with the best turning radius when you compare them to front and back wheel drive systems. So, if you want to use your chair indoors and outdoors, this is a good option for you.
These wheels on your chair make it convenient for shopping mall excursions as well as apartment spaces in and around Asheville.
Chairs With Back Wheel Drive
Rear-wheel drive systems are more apt for the outdoors. Synonymous to cars, when you have a rear-wheel-drive system, you get a bit more control over rough terrain. If you choose to travel at high speed, the rear-wheel drive helps you control your chair well.
One disadvantage, though, is that they have a wide turn radius. However, the wide turn radius should not affect you if you use the chair outdoors.
Purchase a Chair in Asheville You Can Control in Multiple Ways
When you purchase a wheelchair, you should look to securing increased mobility and increased ability. Therefore, you will commonly find an electric wheelchair controlled by joysticks and keypads.
The keypad on your wheelchair will manage your overall positioning in the chair. If you apply consistent pressure, your chair moves. Once you stop adding force, it automatically brakes.
However, you want to control your chair using other parts of your body as a contingency. The following are some additional means of managing your battery-powered wheelchair:
- The sip and puff method. Utilizing the sip and puff method, you can breathe in and out of a tube to control the movements.
- The head control method allows you to manage the chair using switches at the headrest sides. For example, you can move your head west to east to move the chair if you have complete immobility from the neck down.
- The foot control method allows you to use your wheelchair by touching buttons located on the footrest.
- The chin control method gives you control of the chair using your chin.
- The speech control method is self-explanatory. You can make use of your chair by simply speaking a command. The chair recognizes your voice and responds accordingly.
Fit Your Wheelchair Just as You Would Fit Your Clothes
Today, you can access light wheelchairs that are comfortable and easy to manipulate. There are even folding wheelchairs for ease of travel outside of Asheville. It is therefore highly prudent that you take some time to find your perfect fit in wheelchairs.
Many persons who use a wheelchair do not have the right fit. Poorly fitted chairs result in medical issues and discomfort. Purchase a chair that melds well with your form the 90-90-90 way, meaning a 90-degree flex in the hips, knees, and ankles. Check the following:
Seat Width: The seat should be wide enough. This will ensure that it holds your hips without being snug or tight.
Seat Depth: This is an important aspect to consider. It is recommended that your seat depression is at least two inches away from the knee (the back of the knee).
Seat Height: If you can use your feet to assist with turning, the seat’s size should allow you to touch the floor using your heels. In addition, chairs with footrests give you the ability to move under a dining table comfortably.
Height of the Chair’s Backrest: A back and headrest are recommended for your chair to support your body. Depending on your preference, you can choose a short back or extended back for your comfort.
Height of the Armrest: Your battery-powered wheelchair should come with a comfortable armrest that helps to support your arms while they are at rest. If you want to make adjustments, you can always customize your chair.
Having a wheelchair that is the right fit for you is essential for your comfort. It is also important for long-term use.
Contact Us in Asheville Today
Choosing the right wheelchair can be hard and daunting. However, the above points are sure to help you choose a battery-powered wheelchair that is right for you.
We here at Freedom Mobility Center can help get your wheelchair needs met. Contact us today.