With so many motorized wheelchairs on the market, it can be an overwhelming task deciding which power chair to purchase. There are portable wheelchairs and folding power chairs, as well as full-size wheelchairs and bariatric wheelchairs. Where to begin?
When choosing the best electric wheelchair for you, it’s important to consider your needs. Everyone is different. A friend or family member may love their power chair, yet that doesn’t mean it’s the right type of power chair for you. The best power chair is the one that meets your specific needs.
The first thing to consider in searching for the best electric wheelchair is your weight requirement. All power chairs come with a maximum weight capacity. This ensures the wheelchair operates at peak performance, so look for a motorized wheelchair with a weight capacity that is more than your body weight. For example, if a power chair has a 300 lb. weight capacity and you weigh less than that, it’s the right weight capacity.
Now that you have narrowed down your choices to the wheelchairs that meet your weight requirements, think about how you plan to use it. Some power wheelchairs are designed for use in the home, such as the Jazzy® Select, which is compact and maneuverable. The best motorized wheelchair is the one that fits easily through the halls and door frames of your house. Another point to consider is your method of paying for your wheelchair. For example, Medicare may only reimburse for a power chair that is used in the home. Learn more about whether Medicare will pay for an electric wheelchair. It is recommended to speak to your insurance carrier about what kind of power chair you may qualify for and their guidelines for reimbursement.
Think about what other needs you have. Some users value comfort the most. Do you need ample cushioning? Choose the power chair that provides the most support. Would you benefit from power elevated seating? The Jazzy Air®2 power chair elevates up to 10 inches, providing quick environmental access to table tops, counter tops, cabinetry and shelving. Seat elevation provides greater independence to many power chair users.
To some, portability is extremely important. If you need a motorized wheelchair that is portable, the Go Chair® easily disassembles into five lightweight pieces, so you can transport this lightweight power chair easily.
Finally, if you plan to take your electric wheelchair beyond your home and neighborhood, how will you transport it? You can buy an accessible van or purchase an interior or exterior lift for your vehicle. Purchasing a lift, however, raises even more questions. Is the lift compatible with your vehicle? Does it have the weight capacity to safely transport your electric wheelchair? It’s important to research all these things before making any purchases.
There are many factors that determine what is the best motorized wheelchair. When it comes to your mobility, choose the power chair that best meets your requirements.