When one begins to lose mobility while aging at home, a power mobility chair can help someone continue to live an independent lifestyle by allowing them to easily navigate different areas while also carrying items such as bags, groceries, and more. But how do you decide which powered mobility chair is right for you?
Power scooters are a good option for people who can sit upright for long periods of time and have the dexterity and hand strength to steer and operate controls. Scooters also work well if you plan on using the scooter to run errands or go shopping, especially if you buy a “travel” scooter that allows for easy transport.
A power wheelchair, on the other hand, may be your best bet if you need special seating options or if you have limited hand strength or cannot use your hands at all. Power wheelchairs also offer more seating and leg rest options; moreover, they have a smaller turning radius than scooters and can get you closer to a toilet or bathtub. Power wheelchairs are also sturdier and have enhanced safety features, such as the ability to know when you want to make a turn and purposely slow down to a safe turning speed.
Also, consider the type of terrain your power mobility chair will encounter. If you plan on using it to travel around the neighborhood or through grass, you may want to choose a four wheel scooter or a heavy duty scooter, making sure to pay attention to how much ground clearance the vehicle gets. If you can get around your house using a cane or a walker, the aforementioned travel scooter will help you travel outside the house. However, if you have a difficult time getting around your house, power wheelchairs usually have the smallest turning radius and will help you enter rooms and go down narrow hallways.
Once you’ve decided on a power scooter or a power wheelchair, there are still a few considerations before making your final purchase. First, you need to decide how much weight capacity your vehicle will need. Aside from body weight (which may rise as the vehicle is used more often), you’ll need to consider if you’ll be carrying things like an oxygen tank, shopping bags, or even a child on your lap.
You also need to think about where you’ll store the power chair and if you’ll need to transport your chair in a car. A larger size will probably not be able to be disassembled, and it may require a vehicle lift to transport. A travel scooter can easily be broken down and stored, but it may not meet your needs for activities like riding on grass. If you can afford it, multiple power mobility chairs are ideal so that you’re able to travel comfortably in every situation.
The options surrounding choosing a power mobility scooter or chair can be overwhelming, but we at HAP are here to help. Contact us today if you have questions or want help choosing the perfect power mobility chair for you.