Benefits of a Manual and Electric Wheelchair
Author: MHQ Date Posted:8 September 2017
Wheelchairs provide increased mobility and independence for the user and their carer, allowing them to take part in everyday activities, despite having reduced mobility. As well as helping you carry out daily tasks with ease, a wheelchair offers many social and mental health benefits.
There are many types and models of wheelchairs with varying features and benefits, but they can broadly be separated into manual wheelchairs and motorised wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs include self-propelled wheelchairs, which are pushed by the user, and transit wheelchairs which are pushed by a carer.
Motorised wheelchairs have a motor and rechargeable battery and are controlled using a joystick on the armrest, requiring only minimal effort from the user.
While the right wheelchair for you comes down to mobility, needs and how you’ll use it, there are numerous benefits no matter which type you choose.
Electric and manual wheelchairs both allow the user to get around and undertake daily activities without assistance. An electric wheelchair in particular provides increased independence due to it’s ease-of-use and the ability to travel without experiencing fatigue.
However, even a manual wheelchair provides additional flexibility for the user and their carer. For someone with limited mobility who may not be able to walk unaided, a wheelchair can reduce the risk and fear of falling in the home or outdoors allowing you to move around with confidence.
Wheelchairs are specifically designed to fit, and maneuver, into small spaces making them ideal for use around the home. More robust wheelchairs are also designed to be taken outside and can be used on difficult terrain, like pavements and slopes.
A wheelchair can be used in conjunction with other mobility aids or forms of transport. Transit wheelchairs, for example, are lightweight and ideal for travelling or on holidays. Likewise, the majority of public transport services are wheelchair accessible and both manual and motorised wheelchairs can be taken on board.
Of most concern when a loved one experiences limited or decreased mobility is the difficulty they can face taking part in social activities. We know that socialisation is vital for emotional and physical health, so it’s important to maintain a healthy social life.
A wheelchair, along with other mobility aids, can allow the user to continue to enjoy their favourite activities, whether that’s a walk around the local park, visiting the local shops or heading to a gallery. A wheelchair gives the user a more active lifestyle that may result in a more positive outlook on life.
For more information on choosing the right wheelchair for you, read our Buyer’s Guide to Wheelchairs or contact us on 1300 017 592.