In an ideal world, we would never have to compromise our freedom and self-reliance. We would always remain sound of body, full of energy, and capable of living life on our own steam and according to our own wishes. The unfortunate truth, however, is that accidents, injuries, diseases and aging come for us all eventually. We reach a point at which our own abilities, our own steam ceases to be enough to meet the demands of life. In such circumstances, we reach out for whatever help is available to us, and for some, that means investigating whether or not power wheelchairs are a necessary addition to our lives.
Power Wheelchairs 101
At their most basic, power wheelchairs are just what they sound like: wheelchairs that feature battery-powered motors that allow users to move or drive around homes and public spaces without exerting physical effort. Paraplegics and any sufferers of conditions that drastically limit mobility are oftentimes the owners of these wheelchairs. Typically controlled by a joystick, power wheelchairs take little time to master and are generally easy to maneuver around. For disabled persons unable to control a joystick by hand, head controls or controls that use breathing devices can also be installed.
It is important to distinguish between power wheelchairs and scooters. Because of their size and shape, scooters function poorly indoors. They therefore require users to be able to walk when indoors. This means scooters are better suited for individuals whose mobility is compromised—due to fatigue, obesity, or other conditions—but not so limited that walking is impossible.
For severely disabled persons like paraplegics, the benefits are obvious. Rather than spending their life bedridden and housebound, they can continue with their normal life and get around places rather easily. It is almost impossible to overstate the quality of life increase and the psychological benefits that come from bringing this level of mobility to the severely disabled. For those individuals who suffer from conditions that result in severe fatigue, having the option to rely on a power wheelchair when necessary allows them to attend events and move around the house even when their condition might otherwise prevent such things.
Beyond the obvious benefits that power wheelchairs offer for people with limited or nonexistent mobility, they also prove far more maneuverable than both standard wheelchairs and scooters. With tight turning radiuses and fine-grained joystick control, power wheelchairs help users navigate spaces that would be challenging otherwise.
Designed Living can help you choose the right power wheelchair for you, your client, or your loved one. Contact us today at (949) 353-5400 for more information.