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5 Most Important Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Wheelchair

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When selecting the right electric wheelchair for your needs we like to gather information from our clients to pass on to others to assist with making the right decision. Below is some advice from one of our TA-iQ electric wheelchair users who purchased their chair from us in 2013.

1. Chair Size: If the chair is to be used both indoors and outdoors the footprint of the wheelchair needs to be small enough to negotiate tight corners and narrow doorways. The TA Indoor Wave is designed just for that. Equally capable of holding it's own against other outdoor chairs on the market, the Indoor Wave has a smaller chair size / base size making it ideal for indoor use, particularly in smaller living areas.

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2. Elevation: Just as important is the ability of the electric wheelchair to be adjustable in height. The chair will need to be low enough to fit under dining tables and also capable of elevating to a height to be able to reach shelving positioned up high and to utilise the facilities within a kitchen. Height adjustment can make washing dishes and loading dishwashers possible.

3. Batteries: Maximising battery life is one of the most important factors to consider when managing the use of a chair. Forward planning is critical to ensure there is enough charge to carry out the tasks of the day without becoming stranded without the ability to charge the chair.

Of equal importance is the accuracy of the battery indicator so that correct management of the battery can be achieved. It is vital that the manufacturers instructions are followed so the life of the battery can be maximised to give the user the best possible outcome.

4. Seating: Cushioning and Seating are imperative to the comfort and well being of the user. An Occupational Therapist who specialises in Seating should be involved in the process to ensure optimum set up for the user. The correct cushioning and seating system will minimise the risk of pressure injury (bed sores / ischemic ulcers), reduce the potential of sliding out of a chair, is the pelvic positioning correct and how to best manage the overall posture of the user.

5. Management of kerbs: Any powerchair must be able to remain stable while negotiating kerbs and irregularities on a road, path or any surface. Ideally all wheels will remain on the ground whilst the smaller wheels are sprung to prevent fracturing of the wheels and to ensure stability.

These are just some of the important considerations to take on board when making a decision about the choice of electric wheelchair. Other factors include the following:

  • A backrest frame which is flexible so it can be updated to cope with the deterioration of the user.
  • Add Ons such as electric leg rest and tilted backrest to assist a user who is unable to change their posture.
  • Technology advances to enhance the user experience such as bluetooth.
  • Adaptability, Ease and ability to mange the chair with the hand control.

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To find out more about the range of TA Service Electric Wheelchairs, contact Patient Handling on 1300 137 875 or email us at info@patienthandlng.com.au


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