Trying to decide between a manual wheelchair and an electric wheelchair?
Wheelchairs are excellent pieces of equipment for the elderly, injured, or disabled. Whether you’re looking to purchase a wheelchair for your grandparents, for use in a hospital, or even for yourself — there are a variety of options you can choose from. See below the benefits of a manual and electric wheelchair
The two main categories to decide from are manual and electric wheelchairs. While both have their own benefits, depending on your unique situation, chances are one is better for you than the other.
Here are the benefits of each:
Benefits of a manual wheelchair
When it comes to portability and convenience, manual wheelchairs far outperform electric wheelchairs.
If you’re planning to load your wheelchair into
vehicles, move across several floors, or even just navigate through tighter areas — manual wheelchairs provide you with the advantages of a lighter construction and the ability to be folded.
This can be practical in a number of ways. For example, if you’re travelling longer distances, you’ll need to load your wheelchair into a vehicle for transport. You can easily lift the wheelchair into the vehicle or fold it up to store inside. In comparison, an electric wheelchair would require a specialised vehicle and a ramp to help transport it.
However, even with these advantages, there are several requirements that must be met before being able to use a manual wheelchair. Most importantly, the user must have the arm strength to be able to turn the wheels to get around.
But with this, comes the ability for others to push your wheelchair for you. If you have a caretaker with you, they can easily help you move around. Unfortunately, most electric wheelchairs do not have this feature. If you find yourself out of battery when on an electric wheelchair, you won’t be able to simply be pushed around manually.
However, if you don’t have the arm strength for a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchairs provide a range of benefits too.
Benefits of an electric wheelchair
Unlike manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs do not require arm strength to be able to use it.
This means, you can easily travel longer distances without getting tired of needing a caretaker to push you.
Additionally, many electric wheelchairs have comfort features which can adjust the seating to be more ergonomic for the user. This means you’ll be able to use the wheelchair for longer periods of times and enjoy greater comfort.
In many cases, electric wheelchairs are more permanent solutions. While manual wheelchairs are excellent choices when you only need to use it every once in a while, electric wheelchairs are more convenient for long-term usage.
If you’re planning to use a wheelchair for a long period of time, an electric wheelchair is the choice for you. It’ll save you time and energy in the long run.
However, if you only require a wheelchair during certain occasions, a manual wheelchair will be more convenient for you.