Motorized Wheelchair


A motorized wheelchair is a good choice for people who are unable to propel themselves in a manual wheelchair for any reason.  Power wheel chairs allow them to be as independent as possible, since they don’t require an attendant to push the chair.  Motorized chairs may be useful for people who are quadriplegic or who have cerebral palsy or severe arthritis in their hands or other conditions that make pushing a wheelchair difficult.

A motorized wheelchair is usually driven by a joystick that is located at the end of the armrest.  Power wheel chairs can also be driven by a breath device.  The breath device is used when the wheelchair user is unable to use their hands to operate the chair, such as when a person is quadriplegic.  Christopher Reeves used such a device.


Many motorized chairs have a switch for setting the speed of the wheelchair.  When using the chair indoors, it is recommended that you use a low speed.  A higher speed may be more appropriate outdoors.  Until you get used to the chair, though, you should use a low speed for greater control.

Motorized chairs are usually pretty heavy.  Some can be disassembled in order to be lifted into the trunk of a car or carried down a flight of stairs, but disassembling the chair can be inconvenient, and the chair may still be heavy.  Most power chairs don’t disassemble very easily, and therefore they won’t fit in the trunk of a car and can’t be carried down a flight of stairs.  Instead, a van with a chair lift or ramp will be needed for travel, and wheelchair ramps or an elevator will need to be used instead of stairs.

Types of Motorized Chairs

There are several types of power wheel chairs.

There are portable chairs, also known as travel chairs.  They may work best for people who don’t use a wheelchair all the time.  They disassemble or fold up for easy storage or transporting in the trunk of a car.  The battery must be removed in order to fold the chair.  Even though the chair folds for storage in a car trunk, it may be awfully heavy to lift into the trunk.  The battery itself often weighs 30 pounds.

There are power chairs that don’t fold.  A non-folding motorized wheelchair often works better than portable chairs for people who spend all day in their chair.  There are chairs designed for use indoors and chairs designed for indoor/outdoor use.  Indoor/outdoor chairs usually have larger wheels and a heavier build than chairs designed for use indoors only.  Your lifestyle will determine which type of chair is best for you.

Non-folding chairs are often easier to customize than portable chairs, so if you have special needs or simply want to customize your chair, that is something to consider.

A portable motorized wheelchair costs anywhere from about $1000 - $3000.  Other motorized chairs cost around $1500 - $4000.  Custom features will cost more, of course.

Customizing Your Motorized Wheelchair

Power wheel chairs can easily be customized to meet your specific needs.  You can purchase special backrests that assist with posturing and provide extra back support.  You can purchase special seat cushions that also assist with posturing, prevent slipping, and help to prevent skin breakdown.  You can purchase special footrests and armrests, as well.  There are also other wheelchair accessories available, such as bags that attach to the back of the chair and cup holders.

Recommended Products

If your looking to purchase Power Wheel Chairs, we recommend you take a look at Amazon.  They offer a wide range of power chairs at reasonable prices, and they have an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction.  They are the largest and best known of the web retailers, and you can really learn a lot about their products by reading the customer reviews.  They also offer parts to customize your wheelchair, such as backrests, seat cushions, and other accessories.  Your can follow this link to the website to learn more about their products and prices.



More than a motorized wheelchair on our medical wheelchair page

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