Manual wheelchairs, power chairs and scooters each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the one that’s right for you is one of the most important decisions you will make. Your doctor and physical therapist are invaluable resources when it comes to deciding on the kind of mobility assistance you need — and your doctor’s prescription will be required for many forms of medical coverage. But it’s helpful to take an an initial look at the pros and cons of each type of mobility equipment.
Pros: Manual wheelchairs do their job, and they do it admirably. If you have sufficient upper-body strength, you can propel yourself quite easily. Manual chairs are available in a variety of models, from standard to sport. Lightweight models are specially engineered with performance, strength and durability in mind. They’re easily folded and stored away.
Cons: Using a manual wheelchair requires sufficient upper-body strength to self-propel. If you lack that strength, you’re better off in a power chair, which will allow you to go about your daily activities without wearing yourself out.
Pros: If you cannot self-propel, a power chair can allow you to get around easily and independently. Because a variety of options is available, a power chair can accommodate a range of mobility issues. Travel power chairs are available, as are models with center-wheel drive, which offers a tight-turning radius.
Cons: A power chair can be much more expensive than a manual wheelchair or even a scooter. This type of chair also tends to be heavy, necessitating a power lift for transport. It’s battery operated, which means regular charging and maintenance are required.
Pros: A power scooter is idea for someone who has mobility issues but doesn’t need a wheelchair. Many power scooters can be customized and assembled and disassembled easily for travel. Some models can move more quickly than a power wheelchair.
Cons: Scooters provide less stability than an average power chair, especially if you turn corners at a high speed. If your medical condition is severe, a scooter may not provide the functionality that you require. And you must charge and maintain your battery.
If you need mobility assistance, contract the experts at Power Mobility & Lifts. We offer a range of equipment and services and can answer all of your questions. We have clients throughout the state of Arizona. Give us a call.
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