How to Choose a Power Wheelchair

5 Tips about Choosing a Power Wheelchair

1-Portable, full-size or heavy-duty?

When selecting the proper kind of power wheelchair, consider how often you’ll be using the chair. Are you considering in everything day? Do you want to only require it occasionally? Do you travel regularly by car?

Source: EZ Med Buy


Travel power wheelchairs are usually front or rear wheel drive. They are able to fold or very easily dissembled by detatching the seat, battery and base to squeeze in a trunk of an automobile or in airplane cargo. These chairs have a tendency to become smaller, so they are excellent for apartments, malls or to proceed on cruises. There might be less padding on the seat so that it might not be comfortable for folks that spend nearly all their day time in the chair or extra support is necessary. The weight capacity is generally around 300 lb.


A complete size chair could be an improved choice if an individual will spend the majority of the day in the energy wheelchair. Full-size power chairs generally possess larger seats, armrests and footrests and also more padding for comfort. In addition, it offers greater travel range (the length it can travel prior to the battery must be recharged) because the battery is bigger than travel/portable power wheelchairs. The weight capacity is generally around 300 lb.


Those who are over 300 lb. will require much duty power wheelchair with a reinforced frame and wider seating area. The wheels and casters for these kinds will have a tendency to be wider aswell to aid the chair with an individual in it. The weight convenience of most heavy-duty power wheelchairs is usually 450 lb.; even more specialized wheelchairs possess a weight capacity of 600 lb., plus some manufacturers create a 1,000 lb. power wheelchair.

2-Select the proper drive system

Front wheel drive

Front wheel drive power wheelchairs can maneuver more than small obstacles. They possess a good turning radius and so are better to maneuver within the house or in tight spaces. Although these chairs are recognized for providing good balance, they are able to fishtail when turning at high speeds. Front wheel drive power wheelchairs are ideal for indoor and outdoor make use of.

Mid wheel drive

These chairs raise the tightest turning radius of the three drives, and so are ideal for use in apartments, malls and somewhere else space is bound. They have become easy to go indoors or on flat surfaces outdoors, but usually do not maneuver aswell over hills or rough terrain.

Rear wheel drive

Rear wheel drive power wheelchairs maneuver more than rough terrain building them a great choice if you benefit from the outdoors. Getting the drive system in the trunk permits greater maneuverability, whilst traveling at high speeds. They do possess larger turning radiuses, so they might be difficult to go indoors.


It is necessary to think about your living environment.

Indoors-Make sure the energy wheelchair can fit and maneuver indoors. Gauge the doorways in your house (make sure to take into account hinged doors that may decrease the doorway opening by 2″). The doorway opening ought to be large enough for the energy wheelchair along with the armrests and joystick if it protrudes beyond the bottom of the chair. It’s also advisable to have the ability to navigate through hallways and make 90° becomes rooms. Spacing in bathrooms is normally tight and should be considered-can the energy wheelchair maneuver around the toilet and sink? If your house has several floor, look at a wheelchair lift and focus on the weight of the chair with you in it (many wheelchair lifts have a weight capacity of 750 lb.).

Outdoors-The terrain will affect the number of the chair. Larger and wider wheels and casters will travel better over rough terrain, producing the ride smoother. Homes with porches and/decks may take advantage of the installing a porch lift.

4-Seating and positioning

Most users spend lots of time within their power wheelchairs, so seating and positioning have become important for their health insurance and comfort. The energy wheelchair will need to accommodate custom backrests and seat cushions manufactured from contouring forms, gels and other materials for individuals who require additional support. Folks who are struggling to or have limited capability to shift their weight should decide on a power wheelchair that may tilt-in-space or recline to alleviate pressure and increase blood circulation. These kinds of chairs may also ease transfers for caregivers and help manage posture for an individual.

Tilt-in-space-adjustments the orientation of the chair without changing the angle of lower torso.

Recline- changes the amount of recline for the backrest while elevating the legs.

The rider should be properly measured and fitted for the energy wheelchair to make sure that almost all their needs are met. An ill-fitting power wheelchair may bring about ailments such as for example pressure sores, and may exacerbate pre-existing conditions. An occupational therapist dealing with a pre-qualified dealer locally can help make sure that the proper fit power wheelchair is selected.


The most typical controller for power wheelchairs is a joystick and keypad. The joystick controls the direction and speed in a few models. The keypad may also control speed and other functions such as for example amount of recline and horn. Most require constant pressure to use and will brake after the pressure is lifted from the control. Based on the physical condition of an individual, the power wheelchair should be capable to accommodate other styles of controllers:

  • Sip and puff-control by inhaling or exhaling right into a tube.
  • Head control-switches put into either side of the top rest.
  • Foot control-pedals and buttons on the foot rest.
  • Chin control-controller near and operated by the chin.
  • Speech control-controlled by simple vocal commands.

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