How to Choose A Quality Electric Wheelchair

August 30 , 2019

While shopping for a new or upgraded electric wheelchair, be sure to look for these essential qualities to ensure that your investment is well-applied to your future mobility needs.

Weight Capacity
As with most motorized personal vehicles, electric wheelchairs come with a tested weight capacity (sometimes referred to in the industry as the "maximum safe working limit" or SWL for short). This capacity indicates the maximum weight of a user who wishes to use their chair safely and at maximum efficiency. Failure to heed this standard may result in personal harm or device damage.

Many modern electric wheelchairs are classified based upon their core dimensions. This is because most users require their chair to fit within the confines of their living environment. Prospective users should always measure all hallways and doorways in their living space to select a chair that meets the requirements of their physical environment.

Often, "design" in the electric wheelchair industry refers to both the primary wheel configuration as well as the default wheel type. A model's wheel configuration (front-, middle-, or rear-driven) makes a significant difference in its maneuverability and resilience, while the wheel type (pneumatic or foam-filled) makes a major difference in the entire device's durability.

Battery Range & Speed
All electric wheelchairs are powered by a battery, making it essential to select a model with a certified battery life and quick recharging cycle. Prospective users should choose a model that provides a single-charge maximum range that accommodates their desired lifestyle.

Portability And Adjustability
Portability and adjustability are essential for any fully-functional electric wheelchair. While comparing models, be sure to compare a given model's portability and adjustability claims to the experiences expressed in user reviews. This can often provide insights into key factors such as maneuverability, turning radius, and, controller style.

Insurance Coverage
Well-built electric wheelchairs don't run cheap, so it is often necessary to select a model that is covered under your existing insurance policy. While private insurers tend to evaluate coverage on an individual basis, those with Medicare coverage can often find lists of covered models through government resource centers.

Price & Warranty
Price is always a core issue for prospective electric wheelchair users who are shopping on a budget. While prices tend to vary based upon overall performance and durability, budget-conscious shoppers should always select a model with a viable warranty. This ensures that your investment will be well-applied to the long-term upkeep and performance of your personalized mode of transportation.