Odds are that at some point in your life you will be challenged with using or acquiring a mobility aid product. Thanks to my conversation with medical devices provider Mike Messer, I was able to create this very helpful article on manual wheelchairs, electrical wheelchairs, and powered scooters. Knowing the difference between these devices is imperative if you are preparing a purchase so hopefully this information will be quite helpful.
The two main types of manual wheelchairs are folding frame wheelchairs and rigid style wheelchairs. Rigid frame wheelchairs include a seat back that folds up for transport. The wheels have axles that can be quick released making it easy to allow them to fit into a automobile. Most users are able to load up their rigid wheelchair into a car without help, because they are made of light aluminum and generally weigh a mere 10 to 20 lbs with out wheels. Folding frame wheelchairs are traditional wheelchairs or sometimes known as as conventional wheelchairs. They are often weighty and sometimes hard for a user to load into a vehicle. They are manufactured with a frame which is easy to fold, but as described before, these types of chairs may require you to need assistance loading them into your car.
Electric wheelchairs typically utilize belts and gears in order to function. They are typically silent in their operations. Belt drive versions require more upkeep than gear drive models. These models come in all sizes and shapes and greatly vary in their toughness. Light frame units usually are wonderful for indoor use while the heavy frame types fair better outdoors. There are back wheel drive models which are the most conventional and popular. They provide inferior turning capabilities but have swifter speeds. There are Front wheel drive units which provide improved and tighter turning functions. Because of the easiness of turning however, these models have a slower speed to insure safety. Mid wheel electrical wheelchairs have the tightest turning capabilities but also have the propensity to be unsteady when stopping and starting. They use added castor wheels and tip proof wheels but this may make it harder to use these on difficult terrain.
Mobility scooters are the most preferred type of motor-driven chair. They can be bought in three and four wheel styles and are obtainable with front and rear wheel drive. They are more inexpensive than electric wheelchairs and many are developed for their ease of mobility and ease of transport. They steer just like a bike and have controls that will allow you to control acceleration. They are much lighter in weight and can be disassembled easily to transfer around town. Front wheel Drive versions can typically hold up to 150 lbs. and are designed more for indoor use while rear wheel drive models can carry a maximum of 250 to 500 pounds based on the model, and can better deal with the outdoor terrain if necessary.
Many thanks and I hope you learned some worthwhile information from this article. Good luck and I hope you are confident enough to make an educated decision when purchasing the mobility equipment that is most effective for you.