As the name implies, the motorized wheelchair is powered by a motor and is sometimes called a power wheelchair. When operating your motorized wheelchair outdoors, be sure to use the seatbelt. If it doesn’t have a seat belt, get one installed. Also install wheelie bars if it doesn’t have any.
Motorized wheelchairs are fairly fast, so you need to be careful when operating them. Keep your hands and feet tucked in if you are moving at higher speeds. Be sure to make use of foot-support straps to avoid getting hurt if your feet slip off the pedal.
Caution should also be taken if going down short and sharp turns to make sure the foot pedals don’t get jammed. Some of these wheelchairs have automatic brakes but you should avoid sudden stops as it could damage your motorized wheelchair. If you are going at high speeds, use the joystick to slow down before applying the brakes.
Medicare “Power Mobility” Benefit
Some Medicare beneficiaries can get a motorized wheelchair for free, but to get it for free you will need to meet certain requirements.
In order to qualify for a free power or motorized wheelchair, the user must need help with one or more daily activities outlined by Medicare, namely grooming, dressing, bathing, using the toilet and eating in the dining area of your house.
The user must also have difficulties using a walker, cane or regular wheelchair. If you meet these qualifications, you will still have to get a prescription from your doctor. You will also need an evaluation from a medical supply company to evaluate your needs for the motorized wheelchair.
It might seem tempting to drift into traffic with your motorized wheelchair, however you shouldn’t do this because it is unsafe, especially if you are new to your wheelchair and are still getting used to it.
If you are traversing a dirt path or soft ground go with the safest path to avoid getting stuck. Snow-covered and icy terrain can be very dangerous because you can easily lose control on these icy surfaces. It is better to stay in on such days, but if you have to venture out, get somebody to go with you.
Motorized wheelchairs are powerful and you need to take extra caution when children, seniors or those with difficulty balancing are around. Younger kids might want to handle the joystick and the wheelchair can lurch towards them if they pull the joystick their way.
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