Choosing the right wheelchair can be a crucial decision for the comfort of the person using it and also others involved. Ensuring your wheelchair meets your mobility needs whilst providing you with the best features that for example others are able to lift into a vehicle if applicable.
It is important to consider factors such as where you will be using the wheelchair, and the type of wheelchair you need.
Additionally it is important to consider the features that the user needs from their wheelchair. Some users may need additional support in leg rests and adjustable backrests, along with additional cushioning in specific points to help with their comfort. It may be necessary to consider tilt and recline features, which may help users who need to frequently adjust their seating position.
It is also important to consider the frequency of travel that the user may need, as features such as collapsibility and other space saving features, which can ensure that the user gets the most from their wheelchair, without it taking up more space than necessary when it is not in use, and helps with ease of transport when needed in other locations.
Powered and Electric Wheelchairs
If you are looking to purchase an electric wheelchair, it is important to consider the pros and cons of these kinds of wheelchair in order to best understand if they’re suitable for your use.
Powered Wheelchair Pros
A powered wheelchair can increase the independence of the wheelchair user, where they may not have the strength to push a manual wheelchair themselves. As they do not require the user to push themselves forward, they can be easier to use.
A powered wheelchair can also travel further distances and steeper or uneven terrain without the need for significant upper body exertion. This can also help with reducing the need for additional strength to transport bags with you that you may require, as the electric wheelchair does the additional work for you.
Powered Wheelchair Cons
Electric wheelchairs tend to be more expensive than manual wheelchairs. This can be a significant barrier to access for some, although second hand options are available to help reduce costs. There is also the additional cost of maintenance that may be needed as the wheelchair is used over time.
Powered wheelchairs are also larger than manual wheelchairs in orzer to facilitate their motor etc. This can limit their manoeuvrability, and limit usage in smaller spaces. As they are dependent on electricity, if there is no access to power, usage becomes limited without the ability to recharge the battery.
If you are looking to purchase a manual wheelchair, there are also pros and cons to consider to ensure that the wheelchair meets the needs of the user.
Manual Wheelchairs Pros
Manual wheelchairs are generally less expensive than electric wheelchairs, making them more accessible to a range of budgets. Due to the lack of motorised parts, they are low maintenance in comparison to powered wheelchairs
Smaller and more lightweight frames can be more portable than powered options. This can be a huge help to those who need to move the wheelchair frequently, as many can often be folded away for space saving and easier transportation.
Their small frames also help make manual wheelchairs more manageable in smaller spaces, potentially helping someone who needs a wheelchair in a place with tighter hallways or corners.
Manual Wheelchairs Cons
Pushing a manual wheelchair requires upper body strength to self propel, or assistance for those who do not have the body strength to do so. This can be a challenge as many things can impact day to day body strength, and it may not be appropriate for its user at all times. This can also be additionally challenging with steep inclines or uneven terrain, making the areas the user is able to access more limited.
It is also possible that pushing a manual wheelchair can cause its user strain or injury through use over time, causing potential additional difficulties or discomfort.
Wheelchairs at Able to Enable
At Able to Enable we offer a range of both Powered and Electric Wheelchair and Manual Wheelchairs. Our team of mobility experts can provide you with guidance and the best advice in order to find the wheelchair that is right for your needs. Their years of experience place them in the best position to guide you through your choices and ensure you find the wheelchair that will provide you with the mobility you need, as comfortably as possible, along with any further adaptations you may need to help support you.
If you are interested in finding out more about any of our wheelchairs Contact us today to find out more about any of our offerings, and find out how our mobility experts can help you.