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How Do You Know Which Wheelchair Is Right For You?

Of all the mobility solutions that exist, wheelchairs are arguably, the most popular. Most of us are well aware of what wheelchairs are. So, they don’t require much explanation. Or do they? Not all wheelchairs are created equal. And that’s because not everyone’s mobility issues are the same. Add that to the fact that we all come in different shapes and sizes. At the end of the day, each wheelchair should be customized to meet the needs of its user.

There are, as you are very likely aware, two main types of wheelchairs: manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs.

Manual wheelchairs.

Manual wheelchairs require their users to push along the wheels in order for there to be either forward or backward motion. Of course, caregivers, family members and friends can also easily push the wheelchair by holding on to the grips behind the seat. With manual wheelchairs, you generally enjoy a high level of customization. You can select such specifics as seat width, depth and height.

There is also a high level of adjustability. You can arrange the seating, footrests and arm rests in ways that provide the wheelchair’s user with maximum comfort. As well, manual wheelchairs are designed to be foldable. That way, they are portable and easy to store away when not in use.

“Manual wheelchairs are powered exclusively by the rider,” explains Shawna Epstein on RetireAtHome.com, “Manual chairs are relatively inexpensive and make great back-ups for those who have the upper body strength to propel themselves forward. If your loved one is still relatively mobile and has a decent amount of upper body strength, a manual chair might be the tool for the job.”

Power wheelchairs.

Power wheelchairs, as their name implies, are powered by motors, taking away the responsibility of users and caregivers to manually push the wheelchairs along. Similar to manual wheelchairs, those of the power variety can be customized to offer maximum comfort. However, they also come with controls or joysticks on either the left or right sides. These are what riders use to manipulate the movement of their wheelchairs.

Power wheelchairs are also known for their toughness. They are created to be sturdy and stable enough to travel over rough terrain and curbs as well as go up and down hills. Power wheelchairs are also great for traversing over small obstacles, whether they are used indoors or outdoors.

“Electric wheelchairs are powered using a battery,” informs Epstein, “Although more expensive than their manual counterparts, they require far less mobility to use. If your loved one will use the chair to get from place to place throughout the day, if they will be shopping or travelling on their own, or if they lack the upper body strength to power a manual chair, an electric chair might be the best choice.”

Which type of wheelchair would best suit your needs?

At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we proudly offer high-quality manual and power wheelchairs from such manufacturers as, Invacare, Pride Mobility and PowerPlus Mobility. To help you determine which wheelchair is best for your needs, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 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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