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Tips and Resources for Power Wheelchairs

Tips and Resources for Power Wheelchairs

The increased mobility of an electric wheelchair can bring a new level of independence for people who require it.

Electric (or power) wheelchairs are now available for a wide range of mobility needs, from travel to daily use. There are even high-powered wheelchairs for off-road travel at high speeds - it's vital to get the best electric wheelchair for you.

 

Front, Mid and Rear-Wheel Power Chairs

Front-wheel drive

The driving system is situated in the front of the seat. The casters are at the back and the drive wheels are in the front. Power wheelchairs with front-wheel drive can go over bumps and curbs up to 2 inches high. It doesn't have the lowest turning radius, but it handles tight turns admirably. When the battery is situated in the back of the chair, it provides a stable ride when traveling up and down slopes (to balance the load with the front wheels). Although this chair is noted for its stability, it does have a tendency to fishtail when turning at fast speeds.

Mid wheel drive

The drive mechanism for this power wheelchair, often known as "central drive," is positioned in the center of the wheelchair, underneath the seat. These chairs have the smallest turning radius of the three drives, making them ideal for usage in flats, malls, and other small spaces. It is quite easy to maneuver both indoors and outside on level surfaces. Over uneven terrain, it is less maneuverable. When traveling over soft terrain, it can sink and lose traction, although it is stable when traveling uphill. Because the chair is not easily transportable, it usually requires an accessible van or vehicle lift to carry it from one location to another. Power chairs with a mid-wheel drive mechanism are typically only available in weight capabilities of up to 600 pounds.

Rear-wheel drive

The motorized wheelchair's drive mechanism is positioned in the back, with casters in the front. The rear-wheel-drive configuration provides for more mobility, especially at higher speeds. Because it has a bigger turning radius, it will require more space to turn. A rear-wheel-drive system provides directional stability, which means it tracks straighter naturally and is less prone to oversteering. It also handles rugged, outdoor terrain nicely.

Determine how fast you want to go. The average speed of a power wheelchair is 4–6 miles per hour. At high speeds, rear-wheel-drive power chairs are easier to handle.

This feature is available on several power wheelchairs. It unlocks the wheels (disengages the brakes) and the chair can be manually moved in freewheel mode. If the electric wheelchair's battery runs out while in use, this is a useful emergency feature. Put it into freewheel mode only with the help of another person.

Select a power wheelchair with enough clearance to fit under a table or desk. Make sure the armrests and controls fit under the table or desk as well.

When the electric wheelchair is not in use, always switch it off for safety reasons.

Power Wheelchair Frequently Asked Questions


What is the difference between a mobility scooter and a power wheelchair?

Power wheelchairs and mobility scooters can both be used indoors and outdoors, however, power wheelchairs are more commonly used indoors and mobility scooters are more commonly used outside. A tiller is also used to drive a mobility scooter, while a joystick is used to control a power wheelchair.

 

 

How do I get Medicare coverage in the United States?

A mobility evaluation and prescription will be required by a doctor. The electric wheelchair must be medically essential for you to execute daily living activities at home, and your doctor must verify that you cannot complete these duties with a cane, walker, manual wheelchair, or mobility scooter. You must also demonstrate that you can use it securely and successfully. One of our local prequalified dealers would gladly walk you through the financing process.

How often should a power wheelchair's batteries be replaced?

Battery replacement is normally required every one to two years. When it needs to be replaced, it depends on the amount of use, the terrain you're traveling on, your charging schedule, and the user's weight.

Do several types of wheels come with motorized wheelchairs? What are the differences, if any?

Power wheelchairs come with two different types of wheels. Pneumatic wheels are inflated with air (like a car tire) and absorb shock, resulting in a more comfortable ride. More traction and stability are present. When pneumatic wheels begin to become flat and puncture, they must be inflated.

Puncture-resistant foam-filled wheels (also known as "flat-free") are filled with foam. The wheels are low-maintenance, but the ride isn't as smooth as with pneumatic wheels on a power wheelchair.

On a power wheelchair, what do the casters do?

While in motion, casters aid to stabilize the electric wheelchair. With the exception of the mid-wheel drive system, where casters are situated in the front and back of the power wheelchair, casters are normally located opposite the driving wheel (for rear-wheel drive, the casters are in front). The casters, like the drive wheels, can be pneumatic or foam-filled. It can also be solid, which can roll readily but provide a jarring ride over uneven or rocky terrain.

 

 Wondering where to buy a power wheelchair in San Diego? Harmony Home Medical Supplies is your go-to home medical equipment distributor.


We boast the experience and knowledge to excellently address the unique needs of our customers. We offer supply power wheelchairs with excellent workmanship and features geared to offer our clients quality, long-lasting service.

Turn to us for affordable, durable, reliable power wheelchairs, accompanied by a friendly environment and unsurpassed customer services.

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