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Top Features To Look For In An Electric Mobility Chair – by Beverly Walker

0 Comments 16 May 2010

If you have been having trouble getting around due to declining health, age or injury, you can still get out and about. In this age of technology, you can let an electric mobility chair (sometimes referred to as a scooter) do the work for you! An electric mobility chair will help you get around the house or around the town. If you think these chairs are just electronic wheelchairs, think again. Many of the newest mobility chairs will do things such as climb curbs, go up or down stairs, raise or lower yourself as needed, even trek through obstacles such as sand and gravel.

There are many features to look for when you decide to purchase a mobility chair. One feature you will definitely want to consider carefully is the turning radius. The smaller the turning radius, the easier you can get around in a big crowd, small stores, or your narrow household hallways. The Jazzy 1103 offers a turning radius of 18 inches – one of the best for mobility chairs. It is designed to be used in tight quarters, so if you need to use the chair inside your house, but you do not have a lot of space, look for a chair with a good turning radius. Check out the electric mobility chairs with one wheel rather than two wheels in the front. They usually are easier and better for tight turning.

Mobility chairs with two wheels provide the most stability and are better for outdoor use. For those that intend on spending a lot of time riding on paved streets, there are special all terrain mobility chairs. These are especially nice for people who live in an urban area and may take their chairs down to the corner grocery store, post office, or drug store. If you plan to take your scooter outdoors, you will want to see what the chair’s maximum speed is. Most are between 4 and 5.75 miles per hour although some move as fast as 10 miles per hour.

Many of the special features of an electronic mobility chair will depend on your personal preferences. There are chairs with high backs, but if you plan to put your chair in the car to travel, consider that these chairs often weigh more. If you are looking for something lightweight, you may want to go with chairs with low backs. Ask the salesperson how the chair disassembles. Most chairs are designed to be taken apart; however, some have heavier pieces than other chairs. This will be important if you will be loading the chair into a car because you want the lightest pieces.

Of course, you can choose from a variety of different colors to find a chair that suits your personality. And there are many add-on features for chairs as well. The Monster Bag attaches to the back of your chair and is great for carrying laundry, shopping items, groceries – anything you can think of! It also comes with a frame so it remains open, giving you two free hands to work with. Some chairs come with small baskets attached to the front for ease of use. If you are going to be outside at night, you may want a chair with lights so others can see you. For your comfort, some chairs have armrests (which fold down), while some do not. If you are going to spend much time in your mobility chair, you may want to consider getting a model that has a headrest. Again, this will add a little more bulk and weight to the chair, but may be worth it in the end.

There are other things to consider before you choose a chair. If you have trouble with arthritis or hip problems and cannot get up from a chair easily, do not worry. Many mobility chairs come with an electric seat lift that makes it easier for you to sit down and get up from your chair. If you are obese, there are special four-wheel mobility chairs made for people who weight between 350 and 500 pounds. In breakthrough technology, the new i-BOT Mobility chair uses sensors to be able to go up and down stairs on two wheels.

Most companies that sell electric mobility chairs will work with you on payment. Medicare may cover as much as 80% of the cost (the company often handles all the filing of paperwork), and if you have additional insurance, you may have no out of pocket cost.

Beverly Walker is a retired nurse providing valuable information about wheel chairs, mobility chairs, and scooters. http://www.wheel-chair-guide.net

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