When you are planning to buy a wheelchair, you’ll have some important decisions to make – whether to opt for a manual or power wheelchair, or some combination of both.
Often our clients will choose a lightweight wheelchair for ease of transport and a power chair if they need to travel far. While both types of wheelchairs have benefits, consider your own situation and daily needs, what you decide is likely to have a major impact on your mobility and independence.
With that in mind, let’s compare the pros and cons of manual vs power wheelchairs.
First and foremost, of course, are your clinical requirements. Confer with your personal health care professional to work out what will be most suitable for you (This also will help to determine what will be covered through the ADP). General considerations to keep in mind:
Upper body strength. Operating a manual wheelchair takes quite a bit of upper body strength. If your strength or range of motion is limited, a power wheelchair might be preferable.
Support and comfort. You are likely to spend a fair amount of time sitting in your wheelchair. Select a model that will support you properly, feel comfortable, and help you maintain a healthy posture.
Special needs. You may be living with a medical condition that requires a customized folding wheelchair. This would make a power chair the best alternative.
Benefits of Manual Wheelchairs
Simple to use and to store. You do not have to master any special controls, and your wheelchair will pass readily through most doors or hallways, even narrow ones. Once you’re back home, the manual wheelchair will not require a large storage space.
Easy to transport. Manual wheelchairs are lighter in weight and easier to transport when you will be traveling by car or van.
No charging. Your manual wheelchair will always be ready to go, without batteries or an electrical power source.
Easy care. The relatively uncomplicated manual mechanism involves low maintenance and fewer wheelchair repairs. That means less downtime.
Lower cost. Manual wheelchairs are less expensive, making them a budget-friendly option if you will be using one only occasionally or short term.
Benefits of Power Wheelchairs
Suitable for any level of strength. Because a power wheelchair essentially does the work for you, they’re right for anyone, regardless of strength. You won’t have to worry about stress and strain on your upper body as you get where you want to go.
Better for public transportation. A power chair is more maneuverable if you will be using buses or other public transportation frequently.
Capable of travelling farther. Using a power wheelchair, you won’t get tired out as you might with a manual. You can travel longer distances with ease, as well as steep inclines.
Customizable options. Accessories such as specialized arm or leg rests, recline and tilt, and a variety of controls make your wheelchair use more manageable.
Find Help With The Right Choice
Now that you’ve read the basics, you are ready to explore the best choice of wheelchair in depth. That’s where we at Conval-Aid come in. We offer Ottawa’s best selection of manual and power wheelchairs, including both sales and rentals.
Talk with one of our friendly, knowledgeable specialists about your needs and your questions. Together we will come up with the right wheelchair for you.