A Power or a Manual Wheelchair: Which is the Best?

Want to buy a manual or an electric wheelchair? This is a tough question which requires sound judgment. For example, if you intend on purchasing a wheelchair using government funds, your manual or power wheelchair must last up to 5 years before you can apply for funding to buy another one.

Therefore, you must make the right decisions based on a number of factors including your lifestyle and clinical needs. Let’s take a deeper look at what you should consider.

Your Lifestyle

Your lifestyle includes several factors including where you reside. What is the environment like? Will it allow you to use an electric wheelchair? Do you live in an apartment or a house? Is it in the city or in the countryside?

Furthermore, your lifestyle also includes your daily activities. For example, which places do you frequent? How often will you need to there and how will you get there? If you’ll choose a manual wheelchair, will you be able to propel the chair with your arms considering your ability and strength?

If can’t gauge your strength, you can seek a professional assessment from a therapist. He or she will help you determine whether you’re able to a power a manual chair by considering the strain on various body parts and overall long-term viability. If they give you a green light, then good for you because this will provide exercise which will, in turn, strengthen your core while also maintaining good health.

However, as time goes by, age will become an inhibiting factor, thus forcing you to buy a power wheelchair to ease movement. Your therapist will provide continuous evaluations which will influence your decision.

Reasons Why You Should Buy an Electric Wheelchair

  • You don’t have the required strength to power a manual chair.
  • Your lifestyle dictates that you should buy a power chair. For example, you move around a lot.
  • You don’t have previous experience concerning wheelchairs neither do you have the strength required to power a manual chair.

Clinical Needs

You can determine your clinical need through two methods. First, you can examine your body using current and past experiences to understand your body. This way you can know how you feel at a particular time, and the solutions to various problems you may have.

The second method is by seeking professional advice from a physiotherapist who has experience in assessing the needs of people who require wheelchairs.

 

What Next After Making Your Decision?

Once you’ve made your decision regarding the type of wheelchair you’ll need, you must then find out more about the manual or power chair you need. This includes battery life for power chairs and specialty assist products for manual chairs among other factors.

With these pointers, you have some knowledge which can help you identify a suitable chair. However, you can consult a mobility equipment expert to gain a deeper understanding of what you’ll need. Overall, as much as these factors will influence your decision, financial muscle is also an important factor which will come into play.