Being amongst the most expensive of mobility aids, shopping for wheelchairs may be a difficult process, as you are highly likely to want to get the most out of the amount you’re willing to spend on a wheelchair. Although there are several discount wheelchairs available on the market, these tend to be the most basic ones, lacking any added features that will bring extra ease and comfort to your life. With the evolving technology, new features are being added to wheelchairs continuously, and purchasing wheelchairs at discount prices with minimal features is no longer as appealing as it once was. Here is a brief overview of the extra features that you will get, once you decide to spend a few extra hundred dollars for an independent, active life.
Armrests are amongst the most important features of a wheelchair, as while they provide support for your arms, the wrong kind of armrests may hinder your mobility; especially during transferals from one platform to another, using transfer boards.
Full length armrests are the most basic of armrests that are fixed and cannot be detached. Wheelchairs with full length armrests will generally tend to be amongst the discount wheelchairs. They cause issues whilst transferring between platforms as there is no safe place to position the transfer board. Another issue that arises from these armrests is that, due to their bulky thick structure, they hinder the wheelchair from pulling up close to a table.
Alternative armrests that may cost a bit more due to their practicality and advanced function is the desk length armrests; that can comfortably fit under a table due to their contoured front halves and adjustability in accordance with the height of the table. Swing away armrests are also useful as they swing to the sides of the wheelchair or towards the back, eliminating any hassle during transferals, since you won’t have to think about detaching and then reattaching the armrests.
Footrests are essential in preventing your legs from dangling, providing them with support and keeping your feet and knees safe at all times.
Although, not in the majority, some footrests are fixed and unmovable and can therefore cause dangers when trying to step off the wheelchair, as they may get in the way and cause tripping. Detachable or swing away footrests are much more ideal when safety is involved, however they come at an added price and wheelchairs with these features are much pricier. Some of them are adjustable and can be extended to fit the whole of your foot, rather than just a part of it.
Material of the frame
The material of the frame not only determines the weight of the wheelchair, but it also considerably effects the price. Aluminium framed wheelchairs, although much lighter in weight are much heftier when it comes to price, whereas steel wheelchairs are heftier in weight but cheaper in price.
Type of electric motor
The type of motor used within a wheelchair to help it move smoothly is, of course, only an issue in electric wheelchairs. A brushless motor is a useful extra feature in electric wheelchairs, as it is less noisy and tends to last for a longer time. However, wheelchair with brushless motors are much more expensive than ones with brush motors.
Type of battery
The type of battery used in electric wheelchairs changes the functionality of the wheelchair. Lithium-ion batteries are the best ones to use, as they are able to retain the charge for longer periods of time, travelling up to 15 miles before recharging is needed. Another advantage, is that the lithium-ion batteries are light in weight, but like the brushless motor is heftier in price. The Forcemech Power wheelchair is a single example of a wheelchair with a lithium-ion battery, that allows it to travel up to 16 miles once it is fully charged. It also has large front and back wheels that enables a smooth journey on even the hilliest, bumpy locations.
Stand up mechanical wheelchair functionality
The standing up mechanical feature on electric wheelchair’s popularity is only just increasing. They are especially ideal for majorly handicapped individuals, who although wanting to maintain their independence, are unable to stand up on their own (it can also aid carers, as the stand-up option enables the relief of added bodily strain during transferals). The seat lifts up with just a click of a button, from seated position to standing position, in a mere few seconds. However, you will not be able to find stand-up wheelchairs for discount prices, as they are amongst the most expensive. Karman lightweight power standing wheelchair is an excellent example of a stand-up wheelchair, and is unique as it is a manual self-propel wheelchair, with just a power standing function. The manual characteristic of the wheelchair reduces the price a bit, making it amongst the cheaper of standing up wheelchairs, but the most expensive of manual wheelchairs.
Material of wheels
The rear wheels of wheelchairs are made of two materials; pneumatic tyres and solid rubber ones. Both have their benefits and downsides. While the pneumatic tyres provide a smooth ride, due to their ability to absorb the shock from obstacles, they are known to puncture easier. On the other hand, the solid rubber wheels are harder to puncture, however they may cause a lot of distress of the patient’s body, on bumpy roads. Pneumatic types are pricier than solid rubber ones, however they are known to last twice as longer.
During the decision period of purchasing a wheelchair, it is important to be cautious, considering all the available options that will not add a sense of ease and independence to your life, but that will also guarantee that you get your money’s worth. Buying a discount wheelchair may seem an appealing thought at first, however with the emergence of new features due to the advance in technology, paying a bit more will ensure that you’re not just buying a device that will just get you from one location to another, but one that will enable you to perform all sorts of activities that will bring considerable freedom to your life. So, ensure that you weigh your options before buying.
- Forcemech is a US Company that is committed to offer the best Mobility Products.
- All Products Backed By Forcemech's Gold Standard 24x7 Customer Support!
- Super Heavy Duty Portable Wheelchair, Foldable in seconds, Air travelling approved.
- Fits in car trunks equal or bigger than a Honda Civic / Ford Focus / Chevy Cruze.
- Will give you back your mobility freedom guaranteed or your money back.
- Manual propel wheelchair with power standing function
- Weighs only 56 pounds with battery
- Memory foam seat and back cushion standard
- Sit to stand in under 15 seconds
- Safety restraints including chest harness, knee wedge, and pelvic seat belt are standard