Electric Wheelchairs Ensure People Maintain As Much Mobility as Possible

An electric wheelchair is a seating surface with fixed wheels, but unlike wheelchairs pushed manually, an electrical-based power source propels it. The sources of power for this type of wheelchair are batteries and motors. It is the type that people refer to using these other names:

  • Electric-powered wheelchair
  • Power chair
  • Motorized wheelchair

Electric wheelchairs are for everyone unable to walk. They specifically suit people who need to stay in a wheelchair throughout the day but cannot use one or both hands. This situation makes it impossible to push the standard wheelchair for mobility or transfer to or from the seat without assistance.

The design of many electric wheelchairs allows them to move with ease indoors and outdoors with more maneuverability. Their turning radius is tighter and many can fit through door frames and hallways to increase mobility.

Benefits of Using an Electric Wheelchair

The capacity to move without pushing ensures an electric wheelchair provides more independence because a user can move around and engage in daily activities without requiring a helper. Some types can elevate. A user can adjust to achieve head height or reach something from a drawer or cupboard without assistance.

Higher ability to access more places since the ability to propel itself allows freedom to reach heights that manual chairs may not reach, and if they do, it will take assistance by other people to push and lift. Electric wheelchairs move on steeper inclines than a manual. Series with rear wheel drive systems can ride smoothly on hills and ramps without muscle strain to get up. Electric wheelchairs also bring these advantages:

  • Powered chairs offer a tighter turning radius, so they are ideal for negotiating small spaces in homes and shops
  • Safer due to lower center of gravity, so it is unlikely to tip over or roll after braking or moving on rough terrains
  • Joystick allows users to operate the wheelchair using a light touch. It also allows adjustment of height, reclining, leg space, and tilting.

Types of Electric Wheelchairs

The major types of electric wheelchairs include, but are not limited to: 

  • Front-Wheel Drive: The drive system for this wheelchair is at the front area of its seat. The design places wheels at the front while its casters are at the back. The advantage of a front-wheel power electric chair can ride on curbs and bumps of up to two inches high. It has more stability to ride up and down sloppy areas, especially when its battery is at the back of a chair. . The turning radius for this type is larger, but it can maneuver tight corners.
  • Mid-wheel drive (also called center drive): The drive system for the mid-wheel drive is at the center underneath its seat. These wheelchairs are available in weights of up to 600 pounds (ca. 272 kg) and have the tightest turning radius than other drives. They are great for movement at places with limited spaces, indoors, and flat outdoor surfaces. Maneuverability on rough and soft terrains is challenging because this electric wheelchair can sink, but it is still stable on inclines.
  • Rear-wheel drive: This power wheelchair drive system is at the rear and has a caster in the front. The location of the drive at the rear allows better maneuverability at high speeds. The rear-wheel-drive system provides directional stability so that it can track with less sensitivity to over-steering. It also goes well over rough outdoor terrains. The rear-wheel drive requires more space for turns because of its large turning radius.

Expected Costs of an Electric Wheelchair

The expected cost of electric wheelchairs is higher than manual types ranging from $1000 to $15,000. The price difference depends on the brand, size, and features. Most types are not so expensive, and the average price is between $2000 and $3000.

It is crucial for those who want to buy mid-range electric wheelchairs to budget around $4000. The amount will cater to the chair's cost, accessories, extra batteries that the wheelchair might require, and modifications. A standing wheelchair costs the highest amount at $10000 and more.Some people may wonder why the price of electric wheelchairs is higher than standard manual wheelchairs. The added technology and features make all the difference. Manually operated wheelchairs can cost around $500 to $2000 depending on the features.

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