Wheelchairs which are driven by battery power or electricity in some are highly customizable and can be personalized to suit the individual user. Everything from headrest height to how the controls are accessed can be personalized with the most sophisticated models and they are available at a range of different prices. There are three main types of chairs:
- Front Wheel Drive
- Rear Wheel Drive
- Mid Wheel Drive
Some of these models are more commonly found than others and when you’re looking at the many types of powered wheelchairs on the market you’ll be bound to find one which fits your personal circumstances.
Front Wheel Drive
These wheelchairs are very rarely found compared to the other types. The powered wheels on these models are found at the front with the casters at the back and they’re popular due to their extreme maneuverability and they’re especially useful if a lot of time is spent indoors. These types of powered wheelchairs can twist and turn easily in tight areas compared to Mid Wheel and Rear Wheel. The main disadvantage this type of chair has is that they are considered quite unstable when travelling downhill. They are usually fitted with anti-tippers but they are best kept as an indoor wheelchair.
Rear Wheel Drive
Rear wheel drive is the most common type of powered chair on the market. The casters on these chairs are at the front with powered wheels at the back and it can be set up easily just like a manual chair. In fact, these chairs are most similar to manual chairs in most instances and the only difference is that you don’t need anyone to push them. This type of chair is similar to driving a vehicle in some respects and they are popular due to their stability and the ease of control. They’re ideal for use when out and about as the battery compartment of these models is positioned between the rear drive wheels providing good balance on all terrains. The main disadvantage of this type of wheelchair is that they lack maneuverability compared to others on the market and it can be hard to negotiate tight corners and spaces. If you commute to work or are out and about a lot then this could be the ideal chair for you.
Mid Wheel Drive
These mid wheel drive chairs sit somewhere between the rear and front wheel models on the market. These types of chair try to combine the best features of the other two models. Out of the three types on the market these provide the best option for regular usage as they are about to combine maneuverability and stability. They are able to turn easily and they can also respond capably in tight spaces.
There are other types of powered wheelchair but they tend to fall into one of these categories and which is best for you is entirely dependent on your personal circumstances The benefits of a powered model are endless, giving the user extra independence if they required someone to push previously or the chance to relax a little from pushing themselves.
Harrison Potts is an inclusive events manager from Gates head. He has used several powered wheelchairs throughout his life and recommends them to anybody with a busy working life.
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