A motorized wheelchair is an important decision for any patient to make. A physician or caregiver must also be aware of the types that are available to recommend to his patients. The reasons behind needing a propelled chair will vary, but their ease of use and utility will keep them as an open option for those who need a source of mobility.
For a patient or caregiver looking for a motorized wheelchair, many things must be put into consideration. Since they are more expensive than manual wheelchairs, it should always be asked if a motorized wheelchair is the best option. A physician or a physical therapist ought to be consulted in this matter, these professionals should also be able to give recommendations for the right motorized wheelchair for the patient. They are typically for those who lack the upper body strength to push themselves in a manual chair. They can also be put in stock for medical care facilities that wish to enable their patients more freedom than they have with a manual wheelchairs that has to be pushed by a nurse. Having motorized wheelchair in store at a long-term care facility can help save nurses valuable time.
The chair that is gotten, no matter what type has to comfortably fit the patient, who will be sitting in it for most of the day. The seat, arms, and back should have ample padding for optimal cushioning. A feature that is often an option are removable arms to allow for easier movement in and out of the chair and a less cramped feeling for the patient sitting in it. The controls must also be near at hand and easy to use. An engineering degree or pilots license should not be required to steer a motorized wheelchair.
Parts of the motorized wheelchair that have various options are the tires and batteries. The patient has the choice of pneumatic tires that are filled with air or solid tires. The air-filled tires are more likely to need to be checked at regular intervals to be sure that they are properly inflated, but they are lighter in weight than solid tires, and offer a slightly smoother ride. There are two types of batteries for these chairs, gel cell and wet cell batteries. Both of these will usually move the chair 10 to 20 miles between charges, which can be done overnight in eight hours. A patient might have to be reminded to nightly charge their battery, so that they will not be stranded. This must be taken into consideration by a physician, especially if looking to prescribe a wheelchair to a patient suffering memory problems such as the late stages of Alzheimer's Disease.
Motorized wheelchair offer a patient greater mobility than with a manual chair. One place this is seen most is in moving uphill. Hills have always been an obstacle for manual wheelchair users, and reaching the top depended upon the steepness and the patient's raw strength, but motorized wheelchairs can easily mount hills. They also move much quicker than motorized wheelchair, often moving up to 10 miles per hour.
Patients, physicians and caregivers must all be aware of the options for motorized wheelchairs.