Mobility Guides

The Differences Between a Power Chair and a Mobility Scooter

Power chairs are convenient to have because you simply just don't know where you're going to be or what you're going to do from day to day. Finding the right power chair will assure that anywhere you go the chair can handle it. A power chair can be controlled by a controller either on the arm of the chair or somewhere close to the user's body. These chairs are powerful and can traverse any surface the user goes on. Power chairs are just as effective as mobility scooters. Much like scooters there are a variety of them to choose from and careful consideration must be put into the search. A power chair can be used in home and anywhere in the community. They are primarily operated by two motors, one that controls the scooter and the other controls the wheels.

As far as the wheels themselves are concerned, some power chairs have mid-wheel drive while others have just front and rear wheel drives. Normal scooters do not have a mid-wheel drive. They normally come in the form of three- or four-wheel varieties.

The use of the power chair, however, emulates the same for a mobility scooter. They are both equally important in regards to meeting the mobile needs of anyone. The mobile need of each user differ and as such, finding the scooter that works perfect in accord will help in the health and morale of the user.

Power chairs help its user become more independent and they slowly take the reliance of others away. Users of a power chair get the benefit of two worlds: the wheel chair and a scooter. It comes to take on the best features of both to ensure a wonderful ride anytime.

Kinds of Power Chairs Today

As with travel mobility scooters, there is an assortment of power chairs. There are mid-wheel power chairs, rear wheel power chairs, front wheel power chairs, travel chairs, folding power chairs, and even all-terrain power chairs. The assortment is wide, but there is something for every kind of user. Careful research must be made to determine the best one.

1) Companion Controlled Chair - The name speaks for itself, but this chair is highly effective in regards to durability. For the companion, the moving is simple and does not require much pressure to move. The amount of resistance is little compared to other means of transportation. Users in a companion controlled chair will enjoy the creature comforts of any power chair. They are light weight and generally have a tight turn radius, good for getting through spaces like an elevator or narrow hallway.

2) Travel Power Chairs - These chairs are designed to take on travel - but they can also be used at home, indoors and oupoors. Because they have the ability to fold and disassemble in some cases travel is made easy. There is no point in buying more than one power chair. That is a drain on the resources. Virtually lightweight, even when fully assembled, users will have an easy time transporting this chair.

3) Heavy Duty Power Chairs - Designed for bariatric patients, this chair has plenty of power and stability, regardless of if users maximize the weight on it. Constructed with a sturdy frame, the heavy duty power chair will not give way while riding, or even while sitting. It is also extremely comfortable because the frames excel in absorbing the shock that is caused by normal everyday riding.

These are an example of the general power chairs available. There are also front, mid, and rear drive power chairs, too.

1) Mid-Wheel Drive Power Chair -- Mid-wheel drive helps keep users stable. This is a good chair to have for unbalanced environments. The anti-tip wheels help stabilize the chair with the user on it. Because all users differ in size and shape, it is vital to have wheels that can help compensate for that. Some mid-wheel power chairs also have elevating seat chairs, which is convenient for users to get comfortable. Some elevating seat power chairs are also available with rear and front-wheel assortments.

2) Rear-Wheel Chair Power Chair - there is generally more power with these chairs. That is because the rear wheels act as the primary driving force of the electric wheelchair. This helps in powering over different terrain, but it also keeps the power chair back heavy. Rear wheel Drive power chairs have a tighter turn radius, averaging 15 inches.

3) Front-Wheel Drive Power Chair - Front wheel drive chairs can be used in general areas. They can a flat surface like concrete or a grassy surface like that of a park. Front-Wheel drive keeps the chair stable and balanced but they also have a smoother ride attached to it. Average driving range is 8 miles and average weight capacity is 300 pounds.

There are also specific power chairs available:

1) Stand-up Power Chair - Like some weight benches, these stand-up power chairs can be stood up and placed anywhere for convenient placing. They act just like any other power chair and has the same capabilities, only this one can be stood up with a simply push button operation.

2) All-Terrain Chairs - These are ultra powerful chairs and can traverse any terrain with no problems. They are designed to reduce the bodily pressure and that helps improve the circulation and flexibility of the body. The track system is not found on any other power chair or mobility scooter for that matter.

3) Rehab Power Chairs - Rehabilitation is the key to success for chair users. It has shock absorbent qualities and comes equipped with single stage drive technology. This chair can be used indoors and outdoors. These chairs take custom rehab seating, customized to the patient's needs.

There are also power chair accessories available, too, that will help make the ride much more comfortable. In way of accessories users can select options such as power chair trays and joystick covers.

With several power chairs from which to choose, it's vital to carefully research the one that fits your needs the most. Power chairs fit the role of a perfectly stable mobility device. Use it to your advantage and you will see the benefits of it up close and personally.

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