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How To Decide Between A Manual And Electric Wheelchair

Manual wheelchairs. Electric wheelchairs. Both make excellent mobility solutions – but which of the two is the better option? At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we strongly believe that the definition of “better” is always determined by the wheelchair user. And, of course, every wheelchair user is different.

Some may assume that the choice is obvious. “Electric wheelchairs are so much easier to use, aren’t they? They do all the work for you!” But for many others, the choice isn’t so clear. Marty Ball is one such individual.

The many benefits of manual wheelchairs.

On MobilityMgmt.com, Ball argues that the benefits of using manual wheelchairs are many and varied. He notes that if he had chosen an electric wheelchair as his mobility solution, he would never have enjoyed a sports career among many other enjoyable physical activities. Having to exert his own energy to manoeuvre his wheelchair around gave him a sense of independence that an electric wheelchair may have taken away.

Ball also points out that a manual wheelchair is a lot easier to travel with. “All travel would have had to be modified because of the size and weight of a power chair,” he writes, “My home, my automobile and international visits with friends could not have happened either, without compromise.”

The many benefits of electric wheelchairs.

As you are aware, electric wheelchairs offer users some significant features that manual wheelchairs do not. Of course, by their very nature, electric wheelchairs are operated by motors instead of one’s own strength. And, as a result, electric wheelchairs often help people to travel greater distances. “This is an important benefit for people with limited mobility as it provides opportunity to go farther in their community than they might in a manual wheelchair,” notes Adah Chung on Livestrong.com.

She also points out that electric wheelchairs help users to conserve their energy. This is obviously quite important for elderly individuals, those with debilitating disabilities and those who have limited upper body strength. “A power wheelchair can allow people to be mobile within their home or community without expending a lot of muscle work and energy,” writes Chung, “This, in turn, can benefit people by allowing them to conserve their energy for other activities important to them.”

What type of wheelchair is right for you?

Every wheelchair user has unique needs. Those who cherish their abilities to be self-reliant and have the upper body strength to both push along their wheelchairs and participate in traditional everyday activities will appreciate the independence offered them by manual wheelchairs. And those who need additional assistance with getting around without overexerting themselves will love the mobility provided to them by their electric wheelchairs.

At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a variety of high-quality wheelchair products – both new and recycled – including Invacare, Pride, PowerPlus Mobility and Helio. For more information about our lightweight, foldable manual wheelchairs or our electric wheelchairs, please don’t hesitate to call us at 647-350-4488 or email us at info@lifecaremobility.ca. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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