With up to 2.2 million people in the United States depending on wheelchairs for day-to-day tasks, there are now a variety of different options available to patients with mobility issues. Medical supply stores now stock several different types of wheelchairs, each of which have their own benefits and disadvantages. If you’re looking to increase your mobility options, here are the different types of wheelchairs that are available at your local medical supply store.
A motorized scooter allows those who have difficulty walking long distances. A mobility scooter has a seat positioned over three, four or five wheels. They have a flat area or foot plates for the feet, and a delta-style steering arrangement in the front to turn one, two, or three wheels. Mid-range mobility scooters typically travel faster than other mobility options, at a speed of about five to seven miles-per-hour. Motorized scooters can easily move around curbs and road crossings, but can be difficult to maneuver with crowds.
Power wheelchairs allow the user to direct the chair using a small joystick. This is great for those who have limited mobility who seek maximum independence. These chairs are similar to motorized scooters, but do not have the same kind of driving control, making curbs or roads a bit more difficult to maneuver. Note that these chairs typically will not fit in most cars, although they can fit in modified medical vehicles. These chairs give users the greatest mobility range, but typically cost more than the other options.
Manual wheelchairs may be the most difficult to operate, but they make up for it with their reliability and ease of accessibility. Typically, manual wheelchairs are easier to bring into stores, and can easily be folded up and placed in the trunk of a car. In addition, these wheelchairs are less expensive. However, possible secondary complications, such as sore arms, wrists, or shoulders, can occur after a long time of use. These types of chairs are not recommended for those who have severe mobility issues.
Do any of these sound like good options for you? Let us know in the comments.