How To Pick The Best Electric Wheelchair For You

  • November 26, 2021 12:58 AM EST
    An electric wheelchair gives the gift of mobility to people otherwise bound to their homes due to illness, stroke or injury—and the right wheelchair opens up a world of travel.Get more news about Electric Wheelchair,you can vist our website!

    Cory Lee, 31, of Georgia has been in a wheelchair since he was 4 years old. He’s also an avid traveller—he’s hot air ballooned in Israel, floated in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and had a run-in with a hippopotamus in South Africa—and an expert in travelling in a wheelchair. Over the course of his life, Lee has used many different sizes and types of wheelchairs—and knows the importance of buying the right one.

    Here are some guidelines to follow when searching for the best electric wheelchair and what to expect in the process.An electric wheelchair—also called a powered or motorized wheelchair—is a four- or six-wheel chair with a motor that runs on one or two batteries. These wheelchairs are maneuvered with a joystick and require no upper body strength. Powered wheelchair varieties range from simple, standard wheelchairs for short-term use to highly customized versions for more complex and long-term needs.

    Electric wheelchairs like the ones used by Lee fall into a category called complex rehabilitation technology, or CRT. “These wheelchairs are measured and built specifically to meet each individual’s unique needs,” says Angie Kiger, a clinical strategy and educational manager at Sunrise Medical, a California-based wheelchair manufacturer. This technology includes multiple positioning options, advanced electronics and controls, adjustments for orthopedic issues and accommodations for ventilators.
    When people lose the ability to walk, they turn to motorized vehicles, such as a mobility scooter or a powered wheelchair. Mobility scooters are three- or four-wheel vehicles that aren’t highly customizable. Electric wheelchairs usually feature four to six wheels and can be designed to the user’s specifications. “A mobility scooter is for people who have some mobility who can transfer in and out of it,” says Lee.

    A powered wheelchair can be a helpful alternative or necessity for anyone unable to operate a wheelchair manually. People who cannot walk due to a permanent or progressive illness that causes disability can benefit significantly from an electric wheelchair.

    Once you’ve determined which type of wheelchair would best suit your needs, consider comfort features that come standard or at an additional cost, as well as the wheelchair’s maximum weight capacity and accompanying batteries.

    Most electric wheelchairs can travel about 10 miles on a full charge, so some people choose to charge them every night or every other night, says Lee. As for average battery life, Lee says he’s had batteries last anywhere from three to five years. The lifespan of a battery depends on many factors, including how often it’s charged and how much the wheelchair is used.Prices for electric wheelchairs can range from $2,000 for a standard, portable power wheelchair like the Pride Go Chair to $6,000 for a fully adjustable and highly maneuverable model like the Quickie Q500 M Power Wheelchair.

    Meanwhile, highly customized electric wheelchairs can cost much more—anywhere between $12,000 and $50,000, according to Henley. And it’s rare for a funding source, be it Medicare or private health insurance, to come close to covering the full retail price.