Choosing a powerchair

Wheelchair user and friend at a bar having a drink. Photo by ELEVATE on

Choosing a power wheelchair can be a daunting task. There are so many different models and features to consider, not to mention the importance of finding one that fits your needs and lifestyle. In this article, we will explore three essential factors to consider when choosing a powerchair: ensuring proper fit, comfort, and safety; considerations for indoor vs. outdoor use; and evaluating comfort and support.

Ensuring proper fit, comfort, and safety

Ensuring proper fit, comfort, and safety should be the top priority when selecting a powerchair. A well-fitting chair will provide better support and stability while reducing the risk of injury or pain. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

1. Seat width and depth – The seat width should accommodate your hips comfortably while the seat depth should allow your upper legs to rest on the seat without touching the backrest.

2. Backrest height – The backrest height should support your entire back from your shoulders down to your tailbone.

3. Armrests – You should be able to rest your arms on the armrests comfortably without raising or lowering your shoulders.

4. Footrests – Your feet should rest comfortably on footplates with leg rests that are adjustable for length and angle.

5. Headrest – If you need extra head support, select a chair that includes an adjustable headrest.

6. Safety features – Make sure that there is a reliable locking mechanism for parking brakes in place.

7. Battery life – Depending on how long you plan to use the chair each day, make sure it has enough battery life to last throughout the day without needing frequent recharging.


Considerations for indoor vs outdoor use

One crucial factor when choosing a powerchair is where you plan to use it most often: indoors or outdoors?

Indoor chairs are usually smaller with shorter wheelbases making it easier to maneuver through doorways and tight spaces like hallways or kitchens in homes or apartments.

However, if you’re planning on using it primarily outdoors where you’ll encounter uneven terrain such as grassy fields or inclined hillsides then an outdoor model might be more appropriate because of its larger wheels with thicker tread patterns which offer better stability over less predictable surfaces.


Evaluating comfort and support

Comfort is critical when choosing any wheelchair including powered ones! A comfortable chair can help reduce fatigue during longer periods of sitting while also helping prevent pressure sores from developing over time due to improper positioning while in motion.

Here are some additional ideas:

1) Cushioning- Look at materials used inside as well as outside i.e., foam padding versus gel pads etc.; some may offer more flexibility than others depending on personal preference/needs

2) Ergonomics- The powerchair design should enhance posture rather than dampen it; extra lumbar supports along lower spine areas can provide excellent reinforcement

3) Adjustability- If someone has limited mobility/hand function & experiences discomfort when seated upright someone attaching tilt/recline mechanisms could alleviate chronic irritation & maintain skin health better by offering improved weight distribution.

In conclusion,

Selecting an electric wheelchair may appear overwhelming but keeping these three key factors in mind helps one achieve ultimate satisfaction when using them:

1) ensuring proper fit
2) considering intended purpose (indoors vs outdoors)
3) evaluating overall comfort/support

By taking these into meticulous consideration beforehand not only will individuals feel more secure but their investment will stand up longer fulfilling their expectations effectively!