If you or a loved one is in need of a power wheelchair, there are some important factors to consider before making a purchase. Power wheelchairs are a significant investment, and it is crucial to choose one that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle. In this article, we'll discuss 7 things you must know before buying a power wheelchair.
1. Your Mobility Needs and Goals
Before buying a power wheelchair, it is essential to understand your mobility needs and goals. Consider how often you will be using the chair, the terrain you will be traversing, and any other specific needs you may have. It is crucial to choose a chair that fits your lifestyle and will allow you to achieve your goals.
2. Type of Power Wheelchair
There are different types of power wheelchairs, and each has its own unique features and benefits. Standard power wheelchairs are designed for indoor use and have a tight turning radius. Outdoor power wheelchairs have larger wheels and are better suited for outdoor use. Standing power wheelchairs allow you to stand up while using the chair, which can have significant health benefits.
3. Comfort and Support
Comfort and support are critical factors to consider when choosing a power wheelchair. You will likely be spending a significant amount of time in your chair, so it is crucial to choose one that is comfortable and provides the necessary support. Consider factors such as seat depth, width, and cushioning when making your decision.
4. Maneuverability and Control
Power wheelchairs have different levels of maneuverability and control. Some chairs have joystick controls, while others use a touchpad or other input method. It is important to choose a chair that is easy to maneuver and control, particularly if you will be using it in tight spaces.
5. Durability and Maintenance
Power wheelchairs are a significant investment, and it is crucial to choose one that is durable and easy to maintain. Look for a chair that is made from high-quality materials and has a strong frame. Consider the cost and availability of replacement parts when making your decision.
6. Portability and Storage
If you plan to travel with your power wheelchair, it is important to consider its portability and storage. Some chairs can be disassembled for easy transport, while others may require a vehicle lift. Consider how you will be transporting and storing your chair when making your decision.
7. Cost and Insurance CoverageFinally, it is important to consider the cost of the power wheelchair and whether it is covered by insurance. Power wheelchairs can be expensive, and it is essential to choose one that fits your budget. Talk to your insurance provider to see if they cover power wheelchairs and what your out-of-pocket costs may be.
Q: How long does a power wheelchair battery last?
A: The battery life of a power wheelchair depends on several factors, including the chair's weight, the terrain, and how often it is used. Typically, power wheelchair batteries can last between 2-4 years.
Q: Can a power wheelchair be used outdoors?
A: Yes, there are power wheelchairs designed specifically for outdoor use. These chairs have larger wheels and are better suited for traversing rough terrain.
Q: How do I know which power wheelchair is right for me?
A: It is important to consider factors such as your mobility needs, comfort, and support, as well as maneuverability and control when choosing a power wheelchair. Speak with a healthcare professional or a mobility specialist to help you make an informed decision.
Q: Are power wheelchairs covered by insurance?
A: In many cases, power wheelchairs are covered by insurance. Talk to your insurance provider to see if it is covered.
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