Have you asked yourself if your wheelchair can go where you want to go? This question may often play on your mind. Here are some FAQs to guide you:
Q. Where and when can my wheelchair be used?
Ans. Both manual and motorised wheelchairs can be used indoors as well as outdoors. A motorised wheelchair would be bulkier though and you need to be well – acquainted with the controls.
The manual wheelchair is usually a lot lighter but also a little unsteady especially when navigating sloping, uneven sidewalks. If unattended, the manual wheelchair requires one to have good upper body strength to navigate themselves. Since the manual wheelchair is usually narrower, it is easier to make precise movements in smaller spaces.
A blend of the two types could be ideal strategy for your mobility.
Q. Is it portable?
Ans. Your manual wheelchair can be folded and stored in the back of a car with ease. A motorised wheelchair, on the other hand is bulkier and tougher to transport. Though often, the wheels on a motorised wheelchair can be detached when being transported or stored.
Q. With outdoor use, are changes in weather a problem?
Ans. The motorised wheelchair is sophisticated when it comes to programming of controls. You also have the option of front / mid / rear wheel drives to suit your personal preference and terrain.
When raining, the manual wheelchair may be tougher to handle because of the water and slush.
Q. Will my motorised wheelchair pose as a problem in terms of battery, charging, electrical outlet, etc?
Ans. You manual wheelchair is clearly not dependant on charging or potential failure of batteries. A new trend of power – assist wheelchairs is being developed though, where motors and programmed sensors are added to a manual wheelchair.
Your motorised wheelchair is usually powered by 4 or 5 amp deep–cycle rechargeable batteries (wet or gel batteries). Many motorised chairs carry an on-board charger which can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. Older models may have a separate charger unit. Always make sure your battery is charged when heading out especially for prolonged periods of time.
Take your time in deciding on which wheelchair you require. Weigh all the options, speak to your doctor, speak with other wheelchair users and weigh the pros and cons of both types of wheelchairs. In the end, you will find what is best suited to you.