Power wheelchairs can make navigation much easier for people with disabilities. With the technology available today, maneuvering even some of the tightest spaces is a breeze with electric wheelchairs. If you’re considering investing in a power wheelchair, it’s important to understand the options available so you can make the ideal choice suited for your needs. For example, a travel wheelchair is more compact but may not have some other features that are important to you for daily life. This quick guide will help you understand the important factors to consider before purchasing a power wheelchair.

Understanding Drive Wheels

The first thing to understand is the different types of drive wheels with power wheelchairs: front-wheel, mid-wheel, and rear-wheel drive:

  • Front-wheel drive power wheelchairs have larger drive wheels in the front, providing more stability when climbing steep hills and other uneven terrains. However, the turning radius typically is not as sharp, so maneuvering the wheelchair indoors when spaces are tighter could be challenging.
  • Mid-wheel drive power wheelchairs have six total wheels, with the two largest ones being in the middle. The center of gravity is better with this type, so the stability is greater as a result. Believe it or not, the turning radius is good even with two extra wheels. But you may sacrifice comfort at the same time with the additional wheels since you’ll feel more of the bumps and vibrations.
  • Rear-wheel drive power wheelchairs have a wider turning radius than the other models and don’t have as much stability on inclines or uneven terrain. This type is usually the most comfortable option, though, so it’s still a good option if you don’t have to make tight turns and typically move on flat terrain.

Prioritize Comfort

Once you decide the type of drive wheel you need, you can focus on the comfort level of different options. Some power wheelchairs have more padding on the seat and back than others, and some have headrests while others don’t. The armrest position and the steering controls should also be considered since you don’t want to strain while maneuvering. If possible, test out a couple of options and navigate through wheelchair accessible areas to see which ones are easiest to maneuver for your needs.

Consider Storage Options For Travel Purposes

A good travel wheelchair will break down and be compact enough to be easily stored. Of course, if you don’t travel much and mainly need your power wheelchair for home use, then this feature may not be necessary for you. Depending on your specific situation, having a designated travel wheelchair and a separate wheelchair for home use may be ideal. That way, you’ll have the perfect option no matter where life takes you any given day.

Navigating any wheelchair ramp is a breeze when you have the right power wheelchair. Next Day Access offers several different models to ensure you can find the perfect fit. Power wheelchairs can make life more convenient in many ways, so contact us today to learn about your options.