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Thinking of Upgrading to an Electric Wheelchair? What South Africans Should Know

An electric wheelchair, also known as a “power wheelchair”, is a significant personal investment that can transform the lives of those who have acute disabilities or debilitating conditions. South Africans want the freedom to go where they need to go without having to depend on the goodwill and assistance of others. In our previous Blog, we outlined the benefits of aluminum wheelchair ramps as an essential yet simple structure to aid mobility. For many people with disabilities, a manual wheelchair is sufficient in regaining mobility and getting around. However, they require strong upper body strength to operate and control. If you find yourself exhausted using a manual wheelchair, it is definitely time to consider upgrading to an electric wheelchair. There are implications and adjustments to the switch though. Read below as we outline some of the adjustments you can expect.

Electric Wheelchair - assessing your need for one

In the end, it all boils down to your individual needs and degree of disability. If you experience constant fatigue getting around in a manual wheelchair, visit your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your situation and receive advice. An occupational therapist will also have a great deal of experience and have assisted others in a similar condition to yours to upgrade to an electric wheelchair. Once you have consulted with the above, should you proceed to visit a trusted retailer who can allow you to test their models, in preparation for your custom fitting into your electric wheelchair?

Accommodating an electric wheelchair in your everyday mobility

There’s little doubt that the acquisition of an electric wheelchair will have a profoundly positive impact on your mobility, social participation and pain relief. However, you should be aware of extra adjustments which may need to consider when accommodating the transport of an electric wheelchair in a converted vehicle. Shoprider can assist with the advice and recommendations you need to ensure that your home and vehicle is comfortable equipped to handle a larger and more powerful acquisition. You will be pleased to know that the sealed lead acid batteries featured on modern power chairs are approved to take onboard commercial planes. Time to get serious on planning your next overseas trip!

Servicing and Maintaining your Electric Wheelchair

It is likely that you will be spending most of your day in your electric wheelchair. While your first priority will to acquire a powerchair that best meets your needs, there’s now the “electric” factor to consider - and the possibility of a ‘breakdown. Wiring, connectors, control pads and batteries are new elements of your wheelchair which are important factors. It is imperative that you buy from a trusted retailer who can match their products with reliable service and maintenance technicians.

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