Date: 25 Nov, 2022
As technology advances, wheelchairs have evolved greatly. There are so many variants available for both electric wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs. And so, when it comes to choosing the right kind of wheelchair, it can be a tedious task to evaluate them.
The stakes go high particularly when you want to buy a wheelchair for a senior family member. While it is important to cater to their needs and preferences, it is also important to make sure that the wheelchair is safe and strong for them.
In this blog, we discuss the different types of wheelchairs available in today’s mobility market and help you choose the best one for your elderly that makes them feel comfortable, has great utility, and improves their level of independence. So let’s begin!
In this Article
Wheelchairs come in huge varieties, but if we look from a broader perspective, there are 2 major categories of wheelchairs, Manual Wheelchairs and Power Wheelchairs.
Manual wheelchairs are the most basic and oldest variant of wheelchairs. The user needs to operate a manual wheelchair by pushing the wheel handles to shift the wheels forward, backward, or in any other direction. The manual wheelchairs can also be pushed by another person from behind to help the user.
The standard manual wheelchairs are the most sought and cheapest option in the market. However, self-propelling the wheelchair can be a tough job for seniors and pushing will increase their dependence on others.
Other variants of manual wheelchairs include heavy-duty wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs, and ultra-lightweight wheelchairs.
The second category of wheelchairs is the Power Wheelchairs also known as Electric Wheelchairs or Motorized Wheelchairs. As the name suggests, electric or power wheelchairs are battery-powered and driven by electricity, unlike manual wheelchairs. These are not required to be pushed or self-propelled reducing the user’s dependency on others. These are a great fit for seniors as they enable them to travel longer distances without fatigue from pushing on the wheel handles, overcome restrictions of manual wheelchairs, are automated, and come with amazing features like joystick control, digital panel, carrier, foldability, etc.
Electric Wheelchairs can be divided into 3 sub-categories based on their wheel positioning:
These power chairs have 2 large wheels in the front of the seat and 2 small casters at the back for stability. These can easily drive through bumps and curbs of up to 2 inches high. Their turning radius is the lowest as compared to other types making it difficult to turn in narrow spaces.
The wheel system of these are opposite to front wheel drives. There are 2 big wheels in the rear of the seat and 2 small casters at the front. These have good manoeuvrability even at high speed. Their stability on rough terrain makes them best suited for outdoor use.
These power chairs are also called Center Drive chairs and have 6 wheels on them, 2 large wheels in the centre, 2 smaller wheels at the front and 2 at the back. These have a tighter turning radius than the other 2 variants making them most suited for driving in narrow spaces, especially indoors. However, their built makes them bulkier and more difficult to transport, causing difficulty in travel.
Now that we have talked about the major categories of wheelchairs available, let’s move on to the best models of wheelchairs for seniors:
This standard manual wheelchair is a durable option for seniors. It comes with flip-back armrests, 3 seat sizes, calf straps, push-to-lock wheel locks, solid rubber tyres requiring no maintenance, nylon upholstery, and a weight capacity of 250 lbs. It also comes with a 3-year warranty.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty wheelchair, this model will perfectly meet your needs. This manual wheelchair comes with 3 wider seating options – 20″, 22″, and 24″. With a weight capacity of 500 lbs, this model can accommodate users with broader built. The frame of the wheelchair includes reinforced steel gussets, giving it extra strength.
With a weight of 26 lbs, this lightweight wheelchair comes with a swing-away footrest, 8″ caster wheels, a solid steel frame, and padded armrests. It can be easily folded and is suitable for travel.
Aluminum frame makes this wheelchair weigh only 17 lbs. Apart from the Ultra-lightweight built, the vehicle also has an 8″ caster in the rear, 6″ casters in the front, foldability for storage and transport, a separable cup holder, and a back storage pocket.
One of the best-selling products in electric wheelchairs is the Pride Go Chair. With a weight capacity of 300 lbs, this chair provides a driving range of 8.7 miles per charge and a top speed of 3.7 mph. The chair hones a soft, cushioned seat with flip-up armrests. The turning radius of the wheels is a striking 25.4″, enhancing manoeuvre.
This electric wheelchair is a convenient and portable option for seniors who like to travel without dependence. This power chair has a 29.9″ turning radius that makes it super easy to navigate through narrow spaces indoors. The vehicle can disassemble into 4 pieces for easy transport. With a weight capacity of 300 lbs, the device can cover 11.2 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of 5 mph.
Apart from the above models, Scootaround offers a vast range of wheelchairs for all types of users, at multiple price ranges. You can visit the website and scroll through the various models and choose the best fit for your seniors!