Handicapped Mobility: Manual Vs Electric Motorized Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs can be divided into two types: automated and hand operated. Decide which offers the best choice for your needs before renting or purchasing.

At some point in time, many people will find their mobility impaired.If you are in that situation you may need to use a wheelchair.Wheelchairs can be divided into two broad categories: manual and electric.There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Manual wheelchairs are wheelchairs without a power source.Users move the wheelchair forward by pushing the rims of the wheels at the side.Manual chairs have been around for more than fifty years.They are divided further into several kinds including models intended for children and those used by wheelchair athletes.

Manual wheelchairs offer the user several important advantages.In the first place, most are constructed of lightweight materials that fold up for quick storage and easy transport.This means they can be placed in a car trunk or the back seat of a car without taking up much space.Since they are propelled by the user, manual wheelchairs allow the person using them to get exercise.This is an important consideration for someone who may have trouble exercising with conventional methods.This kind of wheelchair can also squeeze to fit into tight spaces such as doorways and halls that might not otherwise accommodate a wheelchair.Manual wheelchairs can also provide users with a sense of satisfaction.It can be very gratifying being able to get around under your own power even when you've lost the use of one or more limbs.

While many people prefer manual wheelchairs, there are downsides to using them. People who suffer from impairment of the upper limbs, such as quadriplegics, may not have sufficient arm strength to make usage worthwhile.Manual wheelchairs can be difficult to push over certain surfaces such as carpet and grass. Electric motorized wheelchairs are sometimes referred to as power chairs.Motorized wheelchairs depend on an external source for power such as batteries.Users typically make them go forward by means of a joystick attached to the side.Motorized wheelchairs generally come in two types: scooters and traditional wheelchairs with a motorized adaptation.

This kind of wheelchair offers the user several advantages.The primary advantage is the ability to get around even if you have severe motor deficits. People who cannot use a manual wheelchair can often use a motorized model. For those who suffer from conditions that cause great fatigue when walking short distances, a motorized wheelchair allows them to conserve their energy for more important tasks.People who have problems with their hands and arms may find this is the only type of chair that will work for them.A power chair does not have any problem navigating most surfaces.Disabled people can travel from a store to a park to an office without worrying about getting stuck.

Motorized wheelchairs also have drawbacks.They are more expensive than manual wheelchairs.Because they are dependent on external sources of power they may also break down more readily.While some models are lightweight and fit into the back of a car, many do not.Users may have to buy a special van to transport a power chair. Lack of frame flexibility means users may also find it difficult to fit the chair into a doorway or bathroom.When deciding what wheelchair is right for your situation, keep all these factors in mind.The right choice will reduce the obstacles in your path.

© High Speed Ventures 2011