The Benefits of An Electric Wheelchair
There are points within all of our lives in which we will experience feelings of loneliness. As highly social creatures this emotion can leave us feeling desolate and hopeless. Whilst grieving the death of a loved one, breaking up from a relationship or moving to an entirely new area or country, feelings of loneliness can become profoundly heightened.
However, for those with disabilities, that feeling of isolation can become a persistent stain on the quality of their mental health. Research from Scop indicated that up to 66% of the British public feel uncomfortable speaking with disabled people. With that shocking statistic in mind, there’s no wonder that feelings of isolation can be more intense for people with disabilities. The same study also suggests that, once those feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression have taken hold, the sufferer is more likely to isolate themselves further.
Similarly, there is a link between a lack of mobility and an inability to move freely with an impact on mental health. A loss of independence, through age or through disability can cause feelings of anger, guilt and depression. This loss of physical capability can be directly correlated with some worrying mental health ramifications. That lessening sense of dignity through having to rely on others to get around is an understandable feeling for us to empathise with. Have you ever thought about what it might be like to not be able to do your own shopping anymore or pop out for a coffee as and when you want? By putting yourself in that position, those feelings of anxiety and depression become understandable.
One way to begin helping people with disabilities to wrestle back their independence is via advances in technology. If you or a loved one is seriously disabled, then you may have to invest in either a manual or electric wheelchair, which can help to provide more independence. Here, we provide you with a comprehensive guide to the various benefits of an electric wheelchair.
Electric Wheelchairs; One of The Most Effective Mobility Aids
Types of Electric Wheelchairs and How They Operate
Electric wheelchairs represent a startling advancement in the technological development of mobility aids. Based on the traditional manual wheelchairs, these products are suited to people with a wider array of disabilities.
Wheeled chairs have been in use for hundreds, even thousands, of years with evidence of their use in both Ancient Greek and Ancient Chinese society. However, there is no direct evidence for these chairs being used for people with disabilities until 1595 when one was invented for King Phillip II of Spain. In 1783, John Dawson created the ‘Bath Wheelchair’ for wider domestic use to be pulled by a donkey or horse.
It wasn’t until 1953 that the electric wheelchair was first developed in Canada by George Klein to help returning injured soldiers following the Second World War. Now, there are a wide variety of types of electric wheelchairs which operate in different ways and suit different requirements. Here are a few:
Front, Rear or Mid Wheel Drive
Front, rear and mid-wheel drive all operate with the drive system in different positions to achieve different effects whilst driving. The front wheel drive system is ideal for wheelchairs that need to be able to handle curbs and other obstacles whilst driving.
The rear wheel system is the most popular of the drive systems as they provide the best overall performance, greater speed and the flexibility to be effective both indoors and out.
The mid-wheel drive system allows for very sharp turning, so is best for inside usage, but is less effective on rough terrain.
All of these styles of wheelchairs can be operated through a remote or joystick which can control both the speed and direction of the chair.
All Terrain Wheelchairs
The ‘all terrain’ type of electric wheelchair is characterised by its four-wheel drive and wheels with off-road tread. These allow the users to independently use their wheelchair during a family country day out or a solitary day at the beach to relax. These types of wheelchairs allow the user to get anywhere without any help.
A paraplegic wheelchair makes life as easy as possible for those who have been paralysed from the waist down. These wheelchairs don’t require the user to have a great level of movement to get in and out.
Standing wheelchairs allow the user to be raised from the seated position and then lowered again. This can help in a number of ways, from giving the user more dignity by allowing them to speak to people on an eye level, to being able to reach high items in the supermarket. These products can also help to improve the circulation of the blood and digestion.
Using a motorised electric wheelchair helps to improve the mobility of its disabled users. As opposed to manual wheelchairs, which require significant effort to operate, moving with an electric wheelchair is simple and effortless. These products allow the user to move off-road, inside and on the street as well as up hills and ramps. Getting out and about is proven to help improve quality of life and mental health, so this increased mobility can also help with general well-being.
As discussed already, this increased mobility allows for a much greater sense of independence than relying on friends, members of family or health professionals. By still being in control of movement and having a sense of freedom, disabled people can increase their sense of dignity and improve their mental wellbeing. This means that disabled people can still enjoy day trips out alone and their hobbies inside the house or outdoors.
Better Quality of Life
Increased mobility, as well as an improved sense of independence, all work towards providing disabled people with a better quality of life. Enjoying the great outdoors unfettered, having picnics in the park, going to the beach and sitting peacefully in the garden without any help from a healthcare professional will help people improve their lives.
On a similar note, having an electric wheelchair is great for your social life. Being disabled shouldn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to visit friends whenever you want, and these products allow you to go for meals, go on holiday, go out on a weekend away and enjoy the nightlife of your city. As social creatures, having an active social life is incredibly important.
Good quality wheelchairs will nearly always have sturdy back support and a comfortable seat to ensure the user is as comfy and content as possible. For disabled people who will be sat in these chairs for the vast majority of the day, a high level of comfort is imperative.
How To Get an Electric Wheelchair with The NHS
If you are in medical need of a wheelchair, then the NHS will be able to help you get one that’s right for you here in the UK. First of all, consult with a GP and physiotherapist who will be able to decide whether you need one. From there they will refer you to an assessment centre to decide which product is best for you. In some cases, you will be able to get a wheelchair paid for in full by the NHS, however, if you need a specialist wheelchair you will be able to get a voucher that can go towards the cost.
A Mobility Shop; Your Local Mobility Equipment Suppliers for Personal Care Aids in Liverpool
If you’re looking for a mobility shop in Liverpool that can help you find the right electric wheelchair, manual wheelchair, stairlift, scooter or any other mobility aid product, we can help you. A Mobility Shop can provide you with knowledge, expert advice and a wide variety of mobility aid products that can help you with your disability or mobility issues.
Our professional and approachable team offer free advice on any of our equipment and our high-quality customer service has seen us gain a great reputation amongst the communities of Liverpool, Southport, Wigan, the Wirral, Warrington and St Helens.
To find out more, contact us. You can find us at 143-145 Thomas Lane, Broadgreen, Liverpool, L14 5NT, call us on 0151 220 7080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.