Manual vs Electric: Which Wheelchair Is Right For Me?
If you suffer with mobility issues, investing in a wheelchair can help you to maintain your independence both in your home and out and about. Participating in normal day to day activities can be difficult if you have limited mobility; however, using a wheelchair can help with this.
When selecting the right wheelchair for you, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Below, we share our top tips for choosing a wheelchair that meets your individual needs.
Do I need a manual or power wheelchair?
Firstly, you should decide whether to opt for a manual wheelchair or electric wheelchair.
● Manual wheelchairs are most suitable for people who require a wheelchair all or most of the time, both indoors and outdoors. They’re also suitable for people who are unable to walk long distances. Manual wheelchairs are lightweight and foldable and can therefore be transported around easily; however, they require sufficient upper body strength and stamina. Alternatively, there are attendant-propelled wheelchairs available.
● Electric wheelchairs are suitable for those who lack the strength or stamina to use a self-propelled wheelchair yet still want to get around without the assistance of others. Electric wheelchairs are generally heavier than manual wheelchairs, however, they can be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Three things to consider when selecting the right wheelchair
When choosing a wheelchair, you must take weight into consideration, particularly if you are planning to transport it by car. The lighter the frame, the easier it will be to lift and put in the car. As previously mentioned, electric wheelchairs are heavier than manual cheerlchairs as the frame is stronger to support the battery and motors.
It’s important you have enough space to store your wheelchair. Manual wheelchairs are foldable and lightweight and require little storage space. If you have an electric wheelchair, on the other hand, you’ll need enough space to store and charge your wheelchair in a cool, dry and well-ventilated space.
If you choose an electric wheelchair, you’ll also need to take speed into consideration when selecting the right one for you. If you want to achieve maximum speed (this is ideal for people who are out and about often), a rear drive power wheelchair is a suitable choice; many models enable you to reach speeds of up to 8.5mph.
At A Mobility Shop, we sell both manual and electric wheelchairs. We also offer a wheelchair rental service in Liverpool. For more information about our products and mobility aids, visit our website.