Temporarily Wheelchair-Bound? Is A Manual Or Electric-Powered Version Right For Your Lifestyle?

If you've recently been confined to a wheelchair after an injury, surgery, or other medical events, you're likely still adjusting to one of the most major changes that can come to your mobility. Even though more and more public places are now wheelchair-friendly, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), navigating through these places in your own wheelchair for the first time can still feel like a challenge. Read on for some of the factors you'll want to consider when deciding whether a muscle-powered or electric wheelchair is best-suited for your lifestyle.

Fitness Level

For those who already have impressive arm and upper-body strength, a traditional wheelchair can often get the job done without the bulk and weight of an electric wheelchair. And even those who aren't weightlifters may prefer to use a non-motorized wheelchair to get some extra exercise and work out these needed muscle groups now that "leg day" is in the past for the time being.

If you're still torn, it may be worthwhile to try both a traditional and an electric wheelchair out at your doctor's office to see which type gives you the most mobility and seems to fit your needs the best.

Elevation and Topography

In flat parts of the country like the Midwest, wheelchair users may find they never need to climb a steeper hill than the ADA-approved ramp incline. However, those who operate their wheelchairs in hilly or mountainous regions may have a tougher time with basic activities like getting from their parked car to a restaurant on top of a hill. If you live in an area with more inclined streets than flat ones, having an electric wheelchair as a backup can be a good investment.

Typical Activities

In addition to analyzing your own strengths (and weaknesses) and your city's topography when coming to your decision, you'll also want to give some thought to the types of activities you'll most often use your wheelchair to perform. For example, if you're recuperating from a fairly short-term illness or injury and hope to be back on your feet soon, investing in an electric wheelchair may not be the best use of your money. On the other hand, if you're a single parent who needs to be able to get to the store, unload groceries, and fix dinner for your kids each night, an electric wheelchair may be just what you need to get your tasks completed without wearing you out.

To learn more, contact a company like Corner Home Medical