In the United States, there are about 2 million new wheelchair users each year. When you are looking into buying a wheelchair for the first time, it can be intimidating to know what you should look for.
Do you want to learn more about the pros and cons of power wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs? Below, our Charleston experts weigh in on the pros and cons of power and manual wheelchairs.
Manual Wheelchair vs Power Wheelchair for Charleston Residents
The main difference between a power wheelchair vs manual wheelchair is the way you use them. While it may seem obvious, manual wheelchairs are powered by the user. They push the wheels that allow them to move.
In a power wheelchair, it is run by batteries and some type of joystick. The wheelchair user simply pushes the joystick and can control where they go.
Manual wheelchairs also have fewer parts. Essentially, they only require the seat, wheels to push, and breaks. However, powered wheelchairs need many more parts. They include the frame, seat, wheels, controls, batteries, and more.
Figuring out what works best for you, and how you live your life in Charleston, is really the most important thing you can do.
Manual Wheelchair Pros and Cons
Manual wheelchairs are a great option if you are looking for a new wheelchair. Here are some of the pros and cons of manual wheelchairs.
Pros of Manual Wheelchairs
One of the main benefits of using a manual wheelchair is that it is smaller and easier to transport. It is less heavy and can easily be moved if you need to go up or downstairs.
Another benefit is that because it is not electric, there is less maintenance required and you don’t have to be dependent on batteries. Because there are fewer parts in a manual wheelchair, there is less that can break and fewer things that will need replacement.
Cons of Manual Wheelchairs
One drawback of a manual wheelchair is that you need a lot of strength to use them. You need to develop strength and balance to get around in a manual wheelchair.
It is also much harder to travel over uneven ground, up hills or ramps, and it is more difficult to go long distances in your wheelchair. You need to be mindful of your energy and strength when you are out and about, and what kind of activities you engage in around Charleston.
Another drawback that comes from using a manual wheelchair is that it can cause additional health issues. For example, the repetitive strain on your arms and shoulders can cause issues with your shoulders and arm muscles.
While a manual wheelchair may seem like a better alternative to a more expensive power wheelchair, it can cause more issues down the line. It is important to consider this when you decide what type of wheelchair is best for you.
Power Wheelchair Pros and Cons
If you want to buy a power wheelchair, you may need to do some research first. Here are a few of the pros and cons that come with owning a power wheelchair.
Pros of Power Wheelchairs
One main benefit of power wheelchairs is that they offer a large range of control options. This means that it is accessible to those with all abilities and can easily be used by anyone. Some of these controls include joysticks and touchpads. However, the controls that come with your power wheelchair depend on what kind you choose to buy.
Another benefit of choosing a power wheelchair is that they make it easier to travel, especially if you are on ground that isn’t flat. For a new wheelchair user, it can be difficult to manually push your chair over rough terrain, up hills and ramps, and around your home. Power wheelchairs are easier to travel in.
Power wheelchairs are also good for people who need to move around a bit more quickly. Some even can travel up to 8 miles per hour. Whether you have children that you want to keep up with or you just want to be able to move around faster, a power wheelchair is a great option for you.
Finally, another benefit of using a power wheelchair is that they are often more comfortable and customizable. You can choose how much you want to recline, if you want leg rests, and more.
Cons of Power Wheelchairs
There are a few drawbacks that come with power wheelchairs. First, they are heavier than manual wheelchairs and are therefore difficult to transport. You may even need a custom vehicle to enable you to bring your wheelchair to other places.
Another drawback is that they can be more costly, which makes them less accessible to people who can’t afford them. However, depending on your insurance, you might be able to get coverage for your wheelchair.
Finally, it could be difficult for some to learn the controls that come with a power wheelchair. However, once you get the hang of it, it will be easier for you to get around.
Learn More About Wheelchairs Available in the Charleston Area
If you are looking to buy a power or manual wheelchair, it is a decision you should not take lightly. By doing your research, you can find the best kind of wheelchair to help you get around in your everyday life. Some of the things you may need to consider when buying a wheelchair are your clinical needs and your lifestyle.
If you have decided to buy a power wheelchair, Freedom Mobility Center can help. We offer free in-home assessments in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Contact our team members today if you have more questions about power wheelchairs, what kinds of insurance we accept, and more.