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Power Chairs - The Cadillac of Mobility Devices

Aug 17, 2007
Do you want to get out of the house? Do you want to enjoy your freedom again? Do you crave the open air? Do you want to be able to live on your own terms? Power chairs give you the mobility and independence you've been looking for.

If you are looking to regain your independence, then a power chair is the right option for you! A power chair is an electric wheelchair, but it is designed to be distinctly different than simply a wheelchair with a battery and motor. A power chair has a base with a plastic housing and the chair is more like a captain's chair than the typical chair you see on a wheel chair. While electric wheelchairs look like traditional wheelchairs with a battery attached, a power chair is designed to be sleeker looking. It is slightly taller but like a traditional wheelchair, it is steered by a joystick in the armrest.

Power chairs come in either front wheel drive (which is the most common) and rear wheel drive. Almost all wheelchairs come with 6 wheels but power chairs have a slight difference in the configuration. Traditional wheelchairs have smaller wheels in front, larger wheels in the back (that you can move with your arms) and a pair of very small wheels at the rear to help avoid mishaps where the user accidentally tips backward.

This configuration is not necessary on a power chair since the design reduces the risk of back tipping. Power chairs still have 6 wheels, but the larger set are up front and there is another sent at the very front of the device so that you can get over a curb.

Here's how it works: When you approach a curb, slow down as you get nearer. When the very front wheels (the "curb ascenders") touch the curb, accelerate your power chair and the curb ascenders will lift the chair up the curb so that the large front wheels can grip the top of the curb. Then accelerate again, slowing down to let the back wheels climb at a slower pace (to avoid an uncomfortable bump).

In the early days of your power chair ownership, you'll quickly discover that although the power chair can climb some curbs and steps, it can also get stuck because the clearance on the chair is fairly low. In those early days, you may want to bring a cane with you so you can push yourself off of the curb if you do get stuck on it.

Power chairs are the next generation wheelchair in that they combine the mobility and turning radius of a wheelchair, but they do it with style and power and improved design and comfort, too. If you want your independence and mobility back, a power chair is the way to go. Try out different kinds and find the one you like best!
About the Author
Owner of www.AssistiveLivingMobility.com, Assistive Living Mobility with articles about assistive living.
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