If you spend the majority of your day wheelchair bound and you can’t get around as you would like, it can be very frustrating. Using a manual wheelchair will keep you in good shape due to the exercise you get when propelling yourself, but it can get difficult at times. An electric wheelchair solves the problem of having to push yourself.
How do you know if you need an electric wheelchair? First you have to look at your health, then you have to understand how they work before you can answer that question.
Controlling a Power Wheelchair
So how does an electric wheelchair work? These chairs look like regular wheelchairs but they are battery powered not powered by your hand. Joysticks on the arm of the chair are used to control the motor which propels the wheelchair. Joysticks are usually on the right side but they can be on the left side if needed.
Just use the joystick to go in any direction you want -forward, backward, left or right. The joystick controls the motor, therefore it also controls the speed of the chair. The brakes automatically engage when the joystick isn’t in use, so to stop the chair just stop using the joystick.
Wheelchair Wheels on Electric Wheelchair
The wheels on electric wheelchairs are different than the ones on regular wheelchairs. Although some do look exactly like regular wheelchairs that have the two casters at the front and the two larger rear wheels, there are others that look a bit different.
These electric wheelchairs come with 4 caster type wheels. They are specifically made to let the user take sharp turns while having more control over the wheelchair compared to the ones with bigger back wheels. These chairs are on a non-foldable and fixed.
Why Get a Wheelchair
They are very different from regular wheelchairs and the health of the user has to be considered. Things to consider include: mental ability, sitting posture, how long you will be in the chair, visual abilities and any disabilities that might impair chair operation. Getting into and out of these chairs on a regular basis will be challenging.
Electrical wheelchairs offer the user lots of freedom but are fairly expensive. They aren’t as transportable as manual wheelchairs and they are more expensive to maintain. Keeping all of these considerations in mind will help you select the right chair.
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