Your Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Resource
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
A wheelchair might seem like a rather straightforward device, but there are many parts that go into a modern wheelchair, with some helping to improve the wheelchairs performance, as well as making it easier to use.
Today, most manual wheelchairs use a design that is based, at least in part, on the E&J wheelchair, which was developed right before WWII. Not everyone is familiar with the E&J Wheelchair, which is the name of its inventors, Everest and Jennings, but most people have seen them. This is the design that uses hollow metal tubes in the frame and a vinyl seat, which allows the wheelchair to be folded when not in use.
The innovation of this lightweight folding wheelchair made it much easier for those who used wheelchair to be get around when it was first developed, as most other wheelchairs were made of heavy wood and other bulky materials. This not only made it difficult to transport early wheelchairs, but it also made it hard for users to self-propel their wheelchair. The E&J Wheelchair solved these problems and its effect on the modern manual wheelchair can still be seen today.
Of course, the sports wheelchair is becoming much more popular, which is a lightweight wheelchair, with performance in mind. There are many different types of wheelchair sports, with many sports having a special wheelchair design. For instance, the wheelchairs used in wheelchair basketball are surrounded by a protective cage and metal bumpers to prevent injuries.
However, there are many much more generic sports wheelchairs around, which are not necessarily designed for a specific sport, but instead include a number of performance features. This includes things like adjustable axles, smaller seats, low profile foot rigging, and many other performance tweaks that make it very maneuverable and fast. Many wheelchair users prefer the sports wheelchair design to that of a traditional folding wheelchair. As an example, most sports wheelchairs have a much lower back, which can make it much easier to turn and reach things behind you.
While manual wheelchairs remain very popular, they require a good deal of energy to use, requiring that the person is fit and in good shape. This requires a lot of upper body strength and this is a factor that leads some to use Electric Wheelchairs, although a lot of people simply prefer a power chair to a manual wheelchair.
Power chairs utilize an electric motor and rechargeable battery, being very well suited for indoor use. Most preform well on packed ground as well, but some are more suited for outdoor use than others. Electric wheelchairs are more expensive than manual wheelchairs, but most travel over five miles on a single charge, which is no small task in a manual wheelchair.
There are several types of electric wheelchairs, but two of the most common are the rear-wheel drive wheelchair and the mid-wheel drive wheelchair. A rear wheel drive electric wheelchair provides a slightly stabler base and is a little bit better suited for outdoor use than a mid-wheel drive wheelchair. However, because the drive wheel in a mid-wheel drive wheelchair is located at the center of the device, they are often much more maneuverable.
Folding electric wheelchairs, as well as travel wheelchairs that can be taken apart are also available, which are not as high performance as regular power chairs, but are designed to be transported without a wheelchair lift.
For many, the wheelchair remains one of the most well known and common types of mobility vehicles, providing a service that is different from that of something like a mobility scooter. Wheelchairs have a rich history of innovation and are as common today, as they were 100 years ago.
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
The wheelchair is probably the most recognized type of mobility vehicle, with its invention being traced back over a thousand years. However, if you were to look at one of the wheelchairs used by people during the 1600′s and compare it to one of those used today, you would be hard pressed to find similarities, aside from both having wheels and their general function.
Today, wheelchairs are either manually powered or electric powered. Manual wheelchairs, or self-propelled wheelchairs, remain very popular and are often the least expensive option. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but generally a manual wheelchair costs about a third of what an electric wheelchair would.
The general design of a manual wheelchair is based off of the 1920′s E&J Wheelchair Frame, which was a folding hollow-tubed wheelchair, designed to be easily transported. The basic design has not changed too much and the outline of the E&J wheelchair can still be seen in most modern wheelchair.
Most manual wheelchairs have a a large set of rear wheels, which can be turned by the person sitting in the wheelchair. A metal hand-rim extends from the rear wheel, providing a handhold for the user to grasp and spin the wheel, without having to touch the part that makes contact with the ground. The front wheels are usually much smaller and the front rigging of the wheelchair provides a footrest for the user, so their feet do not touch the ground.
The seat of a standard manual wheelchair is often made out of vinyl, which is looped around the metal tube framing of the wheelchair and sewn in place. However, more breathable fabrics are also available and are more common on sports wheelchairs. When not in use, the wheelchair can be folded up, making it much easier to transport.
While the majority of manual wheelchairs are self propelled, transport wheelchairs are also available, which are designed to be pushed from behind. Transport wheelchairs share a similar design, but the rear wheels are usually smaller and do not have handrims.
Electric wheelchairs are becoming much more common and offer the same basic functionality of a manual wheelchair, but the chair itself is powered by an electric motor, instead of the wheelchair user. The seat, which varies in size, but often resembles an office chair, is mounted atop a plastic base. The plastic base contains the electric motor and rechargeable battery that powers the wheelchair.
Like a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchairs provide a footrest, but the footrest is usually one piece of plastic, instead of the two individual footrests that are most common on a manual wheelchair. The standard control system for an electric wheelchair is a single joystick control that is mounted to the left or right armrest. The control system allows the wheelchair to be turned and moved by pushing on the joystick, as well as offering buttons to control the speed of the wheelchair. The range can vary depending on the model, as does the speed, but most quality electric wheelchairs can travel around 10 miles per charge and up to 4MPH.
This is something that varies greatly by user and a lot of it comes down to personal preference. However, using a manual wheelchair can be quite strenuous, requiring a good deal of upper body strength, so this is often a factor. Cost also often plays a role, with many quality manual wheelchairs being available for under $500, while most electric wheelchairs cost over $2000.
Another factor to consider is where the wheelchair is going to be used and how often it will be used. A manual wheelchair may end up being easier to transport and better suited for indoor use, while for those who will be traveling across greater distances each day, an electric wheelchair might be a better choice.
Monday, January 4th, 2010
Wheelchairs are important safety tools that are used by those who are unable to walk or have difficulty doing so. While the wheelchair has roots that date back thousands of years, modern wheelchairs are based off of a hollow steel tube design that was developed during the 1930′s. This design remains popular today and helps keep the weight of the wheelchair down, without sacrificing its strength.
While the folding steel tube manual wheelchair is still very common, many wheelchair users prefer electric wheelchairs. Electric wheelchairs offer the same basic functionality that manual wheelchairs offer, except they are operated electronically. Electric wheelchairs also have a design that is much different than a manual wheelchair is.
A manual wheelchair usually has a wide chair, with two large wheels on either side and two small wheels in front. The larger wheels have handrails that extend off of the wheel and allow the user to move the wheels, without having to actually touch that part f the wheel that makes contact with the ground.
Many manual wheelchairs also have push handles that extend backwards from the top of the chairs seat, allowing someone to push the wheelchair from behind.
While most manual wheelchairs are designed to be self-propelled, which is why they have the larger rear wheels, some wheelchairs are only designed to be pushed. These wheelchairs, which are sometimes called transfer wheelchairs or transport wheelchairs, have much smaller wheels.
Sports wheelchairs are also very popular and come in a variety of designs. Some, like those used during wheelchair basketball or wheelchair rugby, are very specialized. For example, since wheelchair basketball can be so dangerous, a wheelchair basketball sports wheelchair will have a guard around the entire wheelchair. Another example of a specialized sports wheelchair is those used for wheelchair racing, which have a much longer wheelbase than other wheelchairs.
Other sports wheelchairs offer a much less specialized design, with a focus more on being lightweight and small, while allowing for optimal turning and speed. These are a popular choice by many wheelchair users, even those who do not actually play wheelchair sports.
Electric Wheelchairs, on the other hand, are not intended to be self-propelled and are instead operated using a rechargeable battery. As a result, they only have a limited range before the battery must be recharged.
The weight of the rider as well as what type of terrain is driven over can affect the wheelchairs per-charge range. So, for example, driving up hill will wear the battery out quicker than driving it on level ground. With that said, many have ranges that are over 8 miles per charge, which is a fairly large distance for most people.
Unlike manual wheelchairs, the wheelbase of an electric wheelchair is very small. Some have four small wheels, with the rear wheels being responsible for actually moving the wheelchair. Other power chairs use a mid-wheel drive system, with a set of wheels in the front and back that provide support, while the set of wheels in the middle are responsible for moving the chair. Usually a mid-wheel drive power chair is much more maneuverable than a rear-wheel drive power chair.
Atop of the plastic base of the power chair, a captains chair is installed. Usually the captains chair is designed similarly to an office chair. The armrests can be folded up and the actual control system is placed on either the right or left armrest. The chair can also be pivoted to make it easier to enter and exit the wheelchair.
Like office chairs, the style of the captains chair varies depending on the model of the electric wheelchair. For instance, some will have a much higher back with head and neck support, while others have a considerably lower back without any neck support.
Often, choosing between a power chair or a manual wheelchair comes down to personal preference. For instance, many prefer the physical effort that is required to use a manual wheelchair, while others find that it is too strenuous.
Cost is also a factor, as you can usually find a quality manual wheelchair for less than $500, while an electric wheelchair usually starts at $1500 and goes up from there.
It is also important to consider where you will be using the wheelchair, as if you are only planning on using it around the home, an electric wheelchair could be overkill. On the other hand, someone going to school and traveling across campus daily might prefer an electric wheelchair.
Transporting the wheelchair is another concern. Most manual wheelchairs are designed to be folded when not in use. This allows them to be stored in the trunk of a car or even the backseat with little difficulty. Electric wheelchairs, on the other hand, are considerably heavier and will often require some sort of wheelchair lift is installed onto the automobile.
Another consideration is that a Manual Wheelchair will almost always work, providing it is regularly maintenance. An electric wheelchair is more prone to mechanical or electrical failure, as well as being more sensitive to rain and other elements. As a result, a manual wheelchair often provides a much more long term and dependable option, without the need for replacing batteries or other maintenance that is required on a power chair.
Monday, November 9th, 2009
For the wheelchair user, choosing between an electric wheelchair and a manual one is often the first and hardest decision when it comes to selecting a mobility vehicle. Selecting the right wheelchair does not need to be difficult, however, and by determining your needs, the process can be made much simpler.
One of the first factors for many trying to decide between a manual wheelchair and an electric wheelchair is price. Electric wheelchairs usually cost considerably more than manual wheelchairs.
Usually an electric wheelchair, or Power Chair, will cost between $1300 and $5000. The lower priced models usually come from lesser known wheelchair manufacturers, such as ShopRider, and the more expensive wheelchairs coming from manufacturers like Pride Mobility and Golden Technologies. While ShopRider Electric Wheelchairs are much less expensive, they do not have the same reputation as Golden Electric Wheelchairs and Pride Electric Wheelchairs.
Manual Wheelchairs usually cost much less, often around $500 and rarely over $1000. The exception to this is sports wheelchairs, which can sometimes cost just as much as electric wheelchairs. Sports wheelchairs are designed to be lightweight and durable, in addition being designed for specific types of wheelchair sports.
Another consideration when trying to decide whether to go with a power chair or a manual wheelchair is the abilities of the wheelchair user and how the wheelchair will be used. Depending on the users ability, using a manual wheelchair may not be an option, as they require a great deal of upper body strength. Even people who are in excellent shape find that a manual wheelchair can be very strenuous.
In regards to how the wheelchair will be used, it is important to spend some time thinking about what places you are likely to take the wheelchair. If it is just going to be used in the home most of the time, having an electric wheelchair may very well be unnecessary.
However, those who plan on using their wheelchair to travel across more than a mile or two each day, such as a college student, may find that an electric wheelchair is a much better choice. This is because most electric wheelchairs, even the lower end models, can travel more than 5 miles on a charge, with most having a range between 10 and 20 miles per charge.
Considerations on transporting the wheelchair should be thought about before actually purchasing a wheelchair, because it is a very important factor. In some regards it ties into the above topic of where the wheelchair will be used.
Typically, transporting a manual wheelchair is very easy, as they are designed to be folded up and are lightweight enough that they can easily be lifted into the back seat of a car or the trunk area. This makes using a manual wheelchair away from home very easy.
Electric wheelchairs are not as easy to transport and usually require that some sort of wheelchair lift be installed on the vehicle. This adds to the total cost of ownership of an electric wheelchair, but vehicle wheelchair lifts are very convenient and easy to use.
Selecting the right type of wheelchair need not be difficult, but it is also not a decision that should be taken lightly. It is essential to take into account the user and their needs, as well as other factors, such as cost and ease of transportation.
Monday, October 12th, 2009
Over the history of mankind, there have always been inventions that are designed to help those who can not walk. In the grand scheme of things these devices are considered to be wheelchairs, but they are not usually what most people think of as a wheelchair. Instead, the hollow tubbed metal frame with its vinyl seats that most people first think of when considering a wheelchair is a new invention that has been around for less than 100 years.
Today, there are countless models and brands of wheelchairs, enough that it can almost be overwhelming when trying to shop for a wheelchair, but they all share a very similar design. This is not only true of most manual wheelchairs, but also electric wheelchairs.
Most self-propelled manual wheelchairs have two rear wheels that are larger in size. The rear wheels have another smaller rim attached to the outside of the wheel, which allows the user to spin the wheel, without having to actually touch that parts that makes contact with the ground.
Most manual wheelchairs also have a set of push handles attached to the frame of the wheelchair, which allow it to be pushed easily. Transfer wheelchairs, which are not designed to be self-propelled, do not usually have handrims on the rear wheel and instead the rear wheels are only slightly larger than the front wheels.
The typical manual wheelchair is also designed to be folded when not in use, which allows it to be placed in the rear of a car without the need of a vehicle wheelchair use. This also makes them well suited for traveling. The frame of the wheelchair is made out of hollow tubes of metal, with steel being the most common type, which is very sturdy and lightweight. Other metals are also sometimes used, but they tend to be more expensive, with the main advantage of these alternate metals being their lightweight. Many sports wheelchairs will make use of a non-steel metal.
While electric wheelchairs no longer use a design that is very similar to a manual wheelchair, they do all standard design. Most consist of a small plastic base, which houses the electric motor, rechargeable batteries, axles, and other electrical components. The chair is attached to the base of the wheelchair and armrest controls are usually attached, using a simple joystick control scheme. This allows the wheelchair to be controlled by simply pushing the joystick in the desired direction. The joystick can be configured for either right hand or left hand use, by simply changing which side of the armrest it is attached to.
Of course, there are a number of people who can not use the standard wheelchair control, so there are a number of alternative wheelchair controls available. This includes wheelchairs that are controlled by head movements, the users breath, and even by remote control.
In the case of electric wheelchairs, they can usually travel between 4 and 8 miles per charge, although this is something that varies depending on the weight of the user and the type of terrain the wheelchair is driven over. For instance, driving an electric wheelchair up a hill repeatedly will wear it down faster than if it were driven across flat ground.
Monday, October 5th, 2009
Wheelchairs are very powerful tools that have a history dating back thousands of years. However, most of the technology behind the modern wheelchair, with of course the exception of the wheel itself, is much newer. Instead, the modern manual wheelchair based off of the E&J design, which is characterized by a lightweight hollow tubed frame, which can be folded when not in use.
Today, manual wheelchairs remain incredibly popular, but the electric wheelchair is also a very common choice for the wheelchair user. Not too surprisingly, the modern electric wheelchair also has its roots in the E&J Wheelchair design. This is because the first electric wheelchairs were simply E&J wheelchairs that had been outfitted with an electric motor. Early manufacturer would sell electric conversion kits designed for use with the E&J design, but today the electric wheelchair has a significantly different design that to that of a manual wheelchair.
Most modern electric wheelchairs, which are often called power chairs, feature a relatively small base, which is covered in molded plastic. The base contains the electric motor, wiring, wheel base, and rechargeable batteries of the wheelchair. Some are quite small, while others have a much large wheel base, resulting in a much larger wheelchair. Attached to the top of the wheelchair base is a chair, which can usually be swiveled to make entering or exiting the wheelchair much easier.
The reason the base of an electric wheelchair is so small, especially when compared to that of a mobility scooter, is that by design a wheelchair must be able to be driven directly up to a table or desk, without requiring its user to transfer to another chair or a bench. For heavy duty electric wheelchairs, the base is usually larger, but it is still designed so that the power chair can be driven directly up to a desk.
The number of wheels on a power chair is one way that they are classified. Rear wheel drive wheelchairs usually have a set of wheels in the front and a set of wheels in the back. The rear wheels are responsible for moving the wheelchair and are slightly larger than the front wheels, which are typically there for support only.
One of the advantages of a rear-wheel drive power chair is that they are very stable. The weight of the user is spread out more evenly around the base of the chair, resulting in a very stable wheelchair.
The Mid-Wheel Drive Wheelchair actually has three sets of wheels. The front set and rear set are much smaller and are designed to provide stability and support. It is the mid wheels that are responsible for moving and turning the wheelchair, which offers the advantage of greatly improved maneuverability. This is an important feature, as many wheelchair users rely on their power chair for indoor use.
However, it is at the expense of the extra stability offered by a rear-wheel drive power chair. This is because most of the weight is placed on the mid-wheel, which significantly changes the wheelchairs center of balance. This is not to say that mid-wheel drive wheelchairs are unstable, simply that they are less stable than rear-wheel drive wheelchairs. As a result, for outdoor use or high weight capacity, a rear-wheel drive power chair will usually provide better service.
Friday, October 2nd, 2009
Wheelchairs have been around, albeit in a much less standard form, for thousands of years. Their roots can be traced back to images of ancient oriental devices, which were designed to provide a way for those who could not walk to get around. Today, despite there being a great number of wheelchair manufacturers around, the general design of the manual wheelchair has become much more standardized.
The modern manual wheelchair is based off of the more than 70 year old E&J wheelchair design, which features a hollow metal tube frame, two large rear wheels, and a smaller set of front wheels. When not in use, the frame can be folded, making it easier to transport and move the wheelchair.
The large rear wheels allows the user of the wheelchair to self-propel, grasping the rear wheels, which have an extended rim, called a handrim, that does not come in contact with the ground and user to spin the rear wheels.
Even though many manual wheelchairs are designed to be self propelled, this is not always the case. Some manual wheelchairs, called transport wheelchairs or transfer wheelchairs, are designed only to be pushed from behind, so feature much smaller rear wheels. They also have a set of push handles that extend from the top of the wheelchair frame, on both corners of the top seat. Most manual wheelchairs also include these push handles, although sports wheelchairs frequently do not.
The front rigging of the manual wheelchair refers to the footrest and supports, which can often be removed and adjusted to increase comfort. The front rigging varies by wheelchair, but most provide a metal foot rest, which can be folded up to allow the wheelchair user to enter and exit the chair.
A braking system is also present on most standard manual wheelchairs, although sports wheelchairs, which have a slightly different design in general, often do not include brakes. When brakes are present, however, they usually use a simple design that holds the rear wheels in place using a simple vice, which is applied separately to both wheels. This allows the person using the wheelchair to easily set the brake, with only a little pressure.
Anti-tip casters are another important feature, which extend from the rear of the wheelchair frame. They are basically like little arms, which are designed to make contact with the ground if the wheelchair tips over too far backwards. The anti-tip casters can not always prevent a fall, but they often make tipping over backwards much less dangerous.
More and more, the sports wheelchair is becoming popular, not just for those who play wheelchair sports, such as wheelchair basketball or wheelchair racing, but also those who simply find sports wheelchairs more comfortable and practical. One major difference between sports wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs is the seat design.
Manual wheelchairs usually use a vinyl like material, which is sewn around the hollow tubed frame. Sports wheelchairs, on the other hand, often use a much more breathable material, which is usually softer and a good deal thicker than the vinyl seat found on a conventional wheelchair. This makes it more comfortable and less likely to cause irritations due to sweat, as well as drying much quicker.
Another major difference is the backrest. Most manual wheelchairs have a full backrest, which sports wheelchairs usually have a much smaller and lower backrest. This is one of the features that many non-sports playing wheelchair users appreciate, because it can be much more comfortable and practical indoors, allowing for a much larger range of movement in regards to the arms and shoulders. This can be important when working at a desk, as it allows the wheelchair user to reach around easily.
There are many other differences between sports wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs, including how the front rigging is designed, as well as the size and angle of the wheels. The axle is usually much different on a sports wheelchair as well.
Friday, September 11th, 2009
Mobility vehicles of some shape or form have been around for hundreds and thousands of years. These devices are important tools for increasing accessibility and allowing those who have difficulty walking to get around.
In the early days, there was no standard to these devices and often they were only affordable by nobility. It was also not uncommon for the kings and other royalty who used these early wheelchairs to need them more as a result of their lavish lifestyle, rather than out of a practical need.
This began to change towards the end of the nineteenth century, when a wicker wheelchair was designed. The wicker wheelchair had a very high back and sides, with two wheels on the side and one in the back. Due to its large size and the design of its wheels, it was very hard for a wheelchair user to self propel this type of wheelchair or even to transport it away from the hospital. Still, it was much more effective than previous designs and was adopted across the United States by most hospitals.
The wicker wheelchair had a number of design problems that made it very difficult for the average wheelchair user to use. As a result, two inventors, one of whom was in a wheelchair, worked together to develop a lightweight foldable wheelchair. Their design, which is known as the E & J wheelchair, made use of a frame made out of hollow steel tubes, which provided a great deal of support and strength, but without the same weight as that of a wicker wheelchair. The steel tube frame could also be folded up, making the wheelchair much easier to transport.
At the time the E & J wheelchair was invented, America was on the precipice of the Second World War and so the wheelchair was put to great use. The development of antibiotics meant that soldiers were able to recover from wounds that even only a few short years ago would have been fatal, with many soldiers returning from the war without full use of their legs.
The E & J wheelchair would remain the standard for some time and the first electric wheelchairs were built around its frame. A number of companies began to sell converter kits that allowed the E & J wheelchair to be inexpensively converted to an Electric Wheelchair. These made use of a simple electric motor that could be attached to the axle of the wheelchair and controlled by a simple joystick placed on the wheelchair’s arm. While the design of a modern electric wheelchair is much different, the joystick control scheme is the standard for most electric wheelchairs. However, there are also a number of other control systems available for those who can not use a joystick.
Today, the basic design of the E & J wheelchair has remained the same and can be seen in most modern manual wheelchairs, although there are many other popular wheelchair manufacturers.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
For those wheelchairs, often one of the most important decisions is whether to choose a manual wheelchair or an electric wheelchair. There are a number of factors that go into this decision and it is important to spend some time considering what type of wheelchair will best fit the needs of the wheelchair user.
Wheelchairs have been around for thousands of years, albeit in a much less standard design than what we are used to today. Early wheelchairs were often custom made and during the middle ages, they were often a byproduct of the gratuitous lifestyle of nobility, who were able to afford to have a smith custom build a wheelchair. As time went on, several designs would come and go. Prior to the metal tubed lightweight foldable wheelchair common today, a wicker wheelchair became popular. These had a very high back and three wheels, with two on either side and one in back for support. While these kinds of wheelchairs were very popular and common during the turn of the twentieth century and even up until the 1940′s, the wicker wheelchair left a lot to be desired, because it could not be easily self propelled.
Today, a great deal of thought and design has gone into the manual wheelchair, making it very efficient and lightweight. Electric wheelchairs are also very common and include an electric motor and rechargeable battery to quickly and easily move an individual across many types of terrain.
Choosing between an electric wheelchair and manual wheelchair should not be a decision that is taken lightly and there are in fact a number of things that must be taken into consideration.
One of the most important things to consider when deciding between a manual wheelchair or an electric wheelchair is how well an individual will be able to use a manual wheelchair.
Due to disease, illness, or injury, it may not be possible to use a manual wheelchair, because using a manual wheelchair can be very strenuous. As a result, in many cases, due to the physical abilities or the wheelchair user, using a manual wheelchair may simply be out of the equation. In these cases an electric wheelchair may be a better choice and there are a number of alternate control systems available that make using a wheelchair much easier, such as allowing the user to control it with head.
However, many people enjoy manual wheelchairs for just this reason and enjoy the physical effort required to use it. There are many wheelchair sports that are becoming increasingly popular, such as wheelchair racing and wheelchair rugby. So, for a number of wheelchair users, the physical effort required to use a manual wheelchair is looked on as a benefit. Manual wheelchairs are also much more responsive, in that the wheelchair user ultimately has a great deal more control over the wheelchair, which is a big benefit for many, just as many people prefer manual vehicles over automatics.
The place and location that the wheelchair will primarily be used is also an important thing to think about. If the wheelchair is going to be primarily used in the home, then using a manual wheelchair will require a great deal less effort than if it were to be a mode of transportation across a college campus. If on the other hand, the wheelchair will be used away from home, an electric wheelchair, which often has a per-charge range of over 15 miles, might be a much more efficient and practical choice.
Determining how and where the wheelchair will be used is important. It is also important to consider how the wheelchair will be transported though, because a manual wheelchair can be folded up and placed in the back seat of a car or the trunk with little problem. Transporting an electric wheelchair is not usually as easy and typically requires a vehicle wheelchair lift.
As is usually the case, it is also important to consider cost when deciding whether to use a manual wheelchair or an electric wheelchair. If it is possible to get a Medicaid Wheelchair or a Medicare wheelchair, then the cost of the wheelchair will be greatly reduced, with the insured usually only responsible for 20% of the cost.
However, if insurance is not an option, than an electric wheelchair can be very expensive, at least in comparison to a manual wheelchair. Even a top end manual wheelchair is usually much less expensive than a power chair, so it is important to consider your budget.
When considering cost, it is also important to consider operating cost, as a power chair will require periodic replacement batteries, usually once every 12 to 18 months, depending on use. Power chairs also usually require a vehicle wheelchair lift to make transportation easier, so if it will be used away from home, this could be an additional cost. It may also be necessary to install a wheelchair lift or a wheelchair ramp at home, which in reality is probably needed for both power chairs and manual wheelchairs, although it is most assuredly needed to move a power chair into and out of the house, as electric wheelchairs are much heavier than manual wheelchairs.
Sunday, July 19th, 2009
Today, electric wheelchairs are essential mobility vehicles, used by millions of people all over the world. Electric wheelchairs have changed a great deal over the last fifty years and remain incredibly popular, especially among those who are unable to use a manual wheelchair.
When electric wheelchairs, or power chairs, were first invented, an electric motor was placed onto a manual wheelchair, allowing it to be controlled electronically. This was a major improvement, which greatly increased the accessibility of those who were otherwise unable to get around by themselves. A number of companies quickly formed to sell these manual wheelchair converter kits, which were usually based off of the E & J Wheelchair.
While it is still possible to buy manual wheelchair converter kits, most electric wheelchairs today consist of a molded plastic base, which contains the electronic components of the wheelchair, with a large comfortable chair fitted onto the base. As a result, most modern electric wheelchairs can not be reverted into a manual wheelchair should the battery die, but they are much more powerful and often include a lot of neat features.
Most electric wheelchairs are controlled by using a simple joystick, which is secured to the arm of the chair. The joystick can be configured for left hand or right hand use, which is typically done by the manufacturer, although it is typically possible for the user to change this as well. In addition to the joystick, a simple throttle, which controls the speed of the wheelchair, is also usually on the arm of the chair. For those who are not able to use the standard wheelchair control, alternative controls are also available.
Many of todays electric wheelchairs share a number of similarities, both in the way they are designed, as well as the way they look. Typically, electric wheelchairs are classified by the type of drive system, either mid-wheel drive or rear wheel drive, as well as by how easy it is to transport the wheelchair.
In a mid-wheel drive electric wheelchair, the base of the wheelchair will typically have three rows of wheels. The middle row is the row that is responsible for moving and turning the wheelchair, while the other two rows help provide support. A mid-wheel drive system is extremely maneuverable, which makes it great for indoor use. In a rear wheel drive wheelchair, there will usually only be two rows of wheels, with the rear wheels being responsible for moving and turning. While not quite as maneuverable as a mid-wheel drive wheelchair, a rear wheel drive wheelchair does provide a little bit more stability because the weight is more evenly distributed between the base of the chair.
The other way that power chairs are classified is by how easy it is to transport them. Travel wheelchairs are available, which are designed to be taken apart to make it easier for them to be transported in a vehicle. There are even some folding electric wheelchairs, which closely resemble the design of a manual wheelchair. If you do not have a travel wheelchair, you will likely need a wheelchair lift to transport the device in a vehicle. This is because even though most electric wheelchairs can be disassembled, the individual pieces of a non-travel wheelchair can be very heavy.
The electric wheelchair has come a long way over the last fifty years and is today a very important tool for millions of people all across the World.