The advancement in technology has given rise to the production of electric wheelchairs as great substitutes for manual ones.
Older people with limited mobility strength and those with severe illnesses that have drastically reduced their ability to walk can now move effortlessly with the help of an electric wheelchair.
Electric wheelchairs are also called “power chairs.” They are powered by an electric motor and operated by the hands, mouth, or any functional part of the user’s body.
It is a customizable wheelchair that doesn’t require upper body strength to operate successfully, unlike the manual wheelchair.
In this article, we shall be discussing the pros and cons of the electric wheelchair to enable you to understand its benefits and probable downsides.
Consequently, it will help you make the right choice when purchasing an electric wheelchair in the future.
Table of Contents
- Benefits (Pros) of Electric Wheelchair
- Disadvantages (Cons) of Electric Wheelchair
Benefits (Pros) of Electric Wheelchair
Electric wheelchairs have many advantages that stand out from other modern wheelchairs. They include the following.
1. It is customizable
This feature is one of the most significant advantages of an electric wheelchair. Apart from various mobility companies producing different styles/models and designs of this chair, they also make customizable ones that fit their users’ needs or preferences.
Therefore, you can always have a chair that meets your needs, regardless of your height, weight, or health condition.
It implies that those who suffer from weak arms or upper body movement, severe medical conditions like multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or any neurological disorder, have the opportunity to move around with the help of an electric wheelchair effortlessly.
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2. Exceptional power seating positions
Electric wheelchairs have remarkable features that ease users’ daily tasks or activities. One of those features is its unique power seating options, allowing users to make the seat stand, tilt, or recline.
This great feature enables you to rest, change position, or perform certain activities that may be difficult to achieve without a wheelchair.
3. Best indoor mobility device
The zero-turning radius of an electric wheelchair makes it the best indoor mobility device.
It can be easily maneuvered to pass through small or tight places without hassles.
This feature is unlike manual wheelchairs and scooters with a larger turning radius and hardly passes through tight corners. Therefore, they are ideal for outdoor usage.
4. Offers a great level of independence
Another advantage the electric wheelchair offers its users is an excellent level of independence. Unlike the manual wheelchair that often requires lots of strength, upper bodywork, and sometimes assistance to operate, an electric wheelchair provides easy mobility with little or no assistance from anyone.
It enables you to go wherever you want unaided and whenever you choose independently.
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5. Easily transportable
In cases where you need to travel with your wheelchair, there are foldable variants of the electric wheelchair, allowing easy movement from one place to another.
They are flexible, occupy less space, and can be folded to fit into the car or airplane when you need to travel. However, you’ll have to remove the battery before you can successfully fold it.
6. Sturdy and rugged
Electric wheelchair users don’t have to worry about the chair disassembling during usage. It is made with sturdy materials that cannot be easily broken or damaged.
In addition, other models of electric wheelchairs designed for outdoor usage are very rugged. They can easily navigate tough or rough terrains due to their tires and the materials they are made from.
7. Easy to operate
Users can easily operate electric wheelchairs with a joystick or touchpad. As a result, users can easily move the device forward, backward, left, right, and in whichever direction they want.
In cases where the user cannot use a joystick, customized electric wheelchairs come with other control options that users can operate using other parts of the body like the chin, mouth, head, and foot.
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Disadvantages (Cons) of Electric Wheelchair
Although the electric wheelchair has many advantages, it also has some disadvantages. They include the following.
1. Battery operated
Since the electric wheelchair runs on a battery, it requires you to charge it all the time to prevent it from disappointing you when you need it the most.
Therefore, you must have a constant power supply or electricity to operate it successfully.
To enjoy optimal usage of the wheelchair, you should charge it overnight to use it during the day.
However, this depends on you and the time you operate your wheelchair. But you need to be constantly conscious of power usage.
2. Requires regular maintenance
As a machine, the wheelchair requires regular inspection and maintenance from time to time.
The process of taking it for repairs or maintenance might immobilize you for some time, but it’s often worthwhile in the end.
In addition, regular maintenance of your electric wheelchair can go a long way in improving the chair’s longevity and enable it to serve its purpose for a long time.
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An electric wheelchair has many great functions that help to ensure that a user gets the best mobility, especially the customizable feature it possesses.
However, it comes at a price because it’s expensive to purchase.
An electric wheelchair is one of the most expensive wheelchairs available on the market; therefore, it’s not a device everybody can afford.
Hence, this prevents disabled people who cannot afford it from enjoying the benefits of using an electric wheelchair.
4. Requires special vehicle for movement
In cases where users need to go out in the electric wheelchair, they need special vehicles to transport them from one place to another successfully.
The size of the wheelchair also helps to determine if the chair will require special equipment like lifts, hinges, or wheelchair-accessible vehicles to easily transport you and the wheelchair to wherever you want to go.
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