Image credit: Pixabay.com
Power Wheelchair Information
As with manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs have progressed greatly over the past 20 years. The original power wheelchairs were simply manual wheelchairs that had motors and batteries integrated into their design. These power wheelchairs tended to be a little noisy and unreliable with little if any adjustability or options.
In addition to the normal seating and comfort issues associated with manual wheelchairs there are decisions as to the level of electronics that may be needed. While many people can function just fine with the standard electronics and controls available on most power chairs there are those who will need more.
There are several different types of drive controls on the market that people who can't use a conventional joystick such as head control, breath control and proximity switch control to name a few. In addition to control options some power wheelchairs offer power tilt/recline seats or elevating seats which require an above normal level of controls for them to function.
There are also environmental controls that allow a wheelchair user to operate doors and locks in their home, turn on and off appliances, TVs, stereos etc. and computers. While environmental controls are aftermarket products which are not normally available from power wheelchair manufacturers as options, it is important that the wheelchair's electronics will support these products if it is expected they will be needed at some time in the future.
Today's power wheelchairs come in a variety of configurations, a large amount of adjustability and many features to allow the power wheelchair meet the needs of the user. Because of the many variations and options available with power wheelchairs, choosing the right wheelchair will require a clear understanding of what the user's needs are and also an understanding of what the options are and how they benefit the user.
The links in the left menu will take you to web pages devoted to a basic overview of the different categories of power wheelchairs available.