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How To Choose The Right Powerchair

How To Choose The Right Powerchair

Choosing the right powerchair can feel a little bit daunting if it’s your first time purchasing one, the choice and different models can seem a little overwhelming, but don’t worry we’re here to help!

Powerchairs, electric wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, there are a number of different names for these but all share the same meaning. These versatile powerchairs are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use and are easily operated by a joystick that can be installed on the arm of your choice. Some of our chairs have tilt and recline features to help the user find the optimum position for comfort.

Standard Powerchairs

Standard powerchairs are ideal for people who have limited strength or range of motion and operate via a basic joystick. To keep you moving comfortably these powerchairs can be customised to give you the best support.

Standard wheelchairs have a tight turning radius making them easier to manoeuvre indoors or in tight spaces and have been programmed.

Complex Powerchairs

Complex wheelchairs are the preferred option if you are able to shift and reposition yourself unassisted, but may want a powerchair to be able to change to suit your abilities over time. Much like a standard powerchair, complex powerchairs have the ability to be modified and upgraded.

A complex powerchair has more programming features to allow for a more personalised setup and many more alterations which can be made to aid the user of the chair. These include:

  • Specialised seat and back cushions
  • Power tilt and recline features
  • Leg rests and foot platforms which raise either manually or powered
  • Specialty joystick controls
  • Width, depth, height and seat angles

Due to a complex powerchair being larger than a standard powerchair, they could offer a bigger battery with a longer battery life, better range, a more powerful motor and faster speed options.

Many of these powerchairs are height adjustable, making it easier for you to reach items around your house.

Folding Powerchairs

A folding powerchair is quite simply a powerchair that can be easily folded making them easier to transport or store in your house. If you often take your powerchair out with you in the car then a folding powerchair may be the best solution for you. These powerchairs still operate and maintain their functionality, meaning you can still use these around your home or outdoors.

Paediatric Powerchairs

If your child has mobility issues and requires help getting around then a paediatric powerchair might be the perfect solution. These special powerchairs have been designed specially with children in mind meaning they are narrower and can fit into smaller more child-like spaces. Paediatric Powerchairs are designed to keep up with the pace of children, due to the fact of them being smaller and narrower they are more comfortable and easier to operate for children providing your child with the ability to go where ever they want.

Rear, Mid or Front Wheel Drive?

Rear-Wheel Drive

Mid-Wheel Drive

quantum edge 3 stretto

Front-Wheel Drive

front wheel drive

Rear-Wheel Drive

Rear-wheel drive motorized wheelchairs offer many benefits to users. Rear-wheel drive electric wheelchairs are equipped with two large drive wheels on the back of the base, and two casters on the front of the wheelchair base. The placement of the drive wheels is the source of the electric wheelchair’s power. This extra power is ideal for more aggressive outdoor terrain. Plus, rear-wheel drive has more power to propel the wheelchair forward in softer terrain. A rear-wheel power wheelchair handles grade changes more easily to provide a smoother ride. Typically, rear-wheel drive electric wheelchairs are equipped with independent suspension or shock absorbers on all wheels to ensure a more comfortable ride experience. 

Mid-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive is extremely beneficial for many reasons. One of the biggest advantages is there is more force distributed to each of the four tyres, because there are two fewer tyres in contact with the ground, unlike with over drive wheel configurations. 

The greater force increases traction, enabling the front-wheel drive electric wheelchair to perform well when driving over soft terrain, grass or uneven gravel. In addition, the drive wheels are the first to encounter an obstacle. The large tyres “grab” an obstacle like a curb or a step and go over it, pulling the rest of the chair with them.

Front-Wheel Drive

Front-wheel drive is extremely beneficial for many reasons. One of the biggest advantages is there is more force distributed to each of the four tyres, because there are two fewer tyres in contact with the ground, unlike with over drive wheel configurations. 

The greater force increases traction, enabling the front-wheel drive electric wheelchair to perform well when driving over soft terrain, grass or uneven gravel. In addition, the drive wheels are the first to encounter an obstacle. The large tyres “grab” an obstacle like a curb or a step and go over it, pulling the rest of the chair with them.

Cushions + Backs

For somebody who may be sitting in their powerchair for a long period of time, cushions and backs can make a huge difference to their comfort. Specialist cushions can be bought with different contours and moulds to provide maximum comfort to the user. Within the there are cushions that have been designed to protect your skin, whereas others have been designed to help with positioning. You can opt for a cushion that aids with both skin protection and positioning if that suits you best. 

Cushions can be bought in various sizes and can come with an easy removable protective cover to make washing them easier.

Back supports can provide the customer with an array of back support, width, depth and profile options which provides the user with a more comfortable experience.

Free Home or Instore Assessments

Before you make any final decisions on what power chair you’d like one of our specialists will perform an assessment to make sure its right for you. If you cant get to us don’t worry we can come to you! Our specialist will make sure that the powerchair is completely right for you and you are comfortable with your choice. Get in touch with your local Modern Mobility today and book your completely free no-obligation assessment today 

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