Electric wheelchairs, otherwise known as power wheelchairs, are a technological advancement that allows individuals with mobility issues to still retain high amounts of freedom and independence. This means that they are able to move around without straining themselves physically or having to rely on a caregiver to support them around.
In fact, many older adults find joy in being able to do tasks once again with the freedom that is given by an electric wheelchair. Many caregivers may also find that it lessens the burden on them to be completely responsible for their loved one’s movement.
However, electric wheelchairs can come with a large price tag and many complicated add on and specifications. This can cause families to hesitate to make the purchase, especially if they have no way to gain a better understanding of what an electric wheelchair can do for them.
In order to help you and your loved one better find a power wheelchair that suits you and your living environment, we have provided a guide to the considerations that are important to finding your personal fit.
Wide and Comprehensive Product Line
When it comes to wheelchairs, it is important to know that they should be personalized to the needs of the individual that will be using them. This means that it is best to look for a company that has a wide variety of models, sizes, and different accessories. This is especially so if you need special alterations to better support different parts of the body.
An electric wheelchair is a long-term investment. In fact, for most people, this will become an indispensable part of their everyday routine. It is therefore important that it comes with a warranty to safeguard your investment. It is crucial that they are able to at least cover any problems that occur within the first year that you own the wheelchair. In most cases, warranties will have limited warranties and not all the components will be covered. For example, the metal frame and other structural components are more likely to be covered for a longer period of time than other parts of the wheelchair.
Before you get started, it is crucial that you set a comfortable budget for the wheelchair as well as source for a company that is able to meet this restraint. On top of this, also make sure to check out any Medicare or state coverage that can help to lessen the financial burden.
Work with an Occupational Therapist
To ensure that you are getting the best wheelchair for your daily use, it might be a good idea to consult with a reliable occupational therapist. This is largely because there are different complicated considerations like whether you should get a front, mid or rear wheel drive, what turning radius to consider, and even the travel range that the wheelchair has. These can become quite technical, and it is important to work with someone who has your best interests at heart and is also familiar with your overall physical needs.
Another large constraint that can impact what electric wheelchair is best for you is also the living environment that you or your loved one have. If you are living in a cluttered apartment without access to an elevator, it might not be practical or helpful to have an electric wheelchair.
In cases like this, it might be helpful to consider moving to a senior living community where the apartments and amenities are designed with mobility, accessibility and safety in mind.