When choosing a power wheelchair there are a few important physical specifications which must be considered in order to fit you with the most comfortable and efficient power wheelchair. Some people who really need a power mobility device to improve their needs often make the mistake of purchasing a chair from a friend or neighbor in order to save on cost or save time by not consulting their doctor. The effort may be a good attempt to get a power wheelchair but the result will be continuous issues because the used power wheelchair was not fitted with you in mind. This is because the specifications were compiled for the friend or neighbor it’s being purchased from. Let’s get started on the physical considerations for power wheelchairs you should be paying attention to.
Power Wheelchair Physical Considerations
Getting the correct seat height, width and depth are crucial and will largely decide if the individual will be able to complete mobility related activities of daily living (MRADLs). There are a few physical considerations to account for when looking at a power wheelchair. Below you will find a brief description of each.
Making sure the chair is wide enough is probably the most important measure to consider with a power wheelchair. Width is determined by measuring the widest point between the hips and knees while the individual is sitting comfortable. An additional 1” should be added to ensure comfortability. Wheelchairs are usually referred to as 16”, 18” or 20” sizes (additional sizes available depending on weight).
Seat depth is the second most important measurement to obtain when someone is being fitted for a power wheelchair. To calculate this, while the individual is seated comfortably with legs bent at the knee at a 90 degree angle, measure from the back of the pelvis to the back of the shins. You will then subtract 1” from that number to determine the seat depth.
In cases where one leg is longer than the other, the shorter leg should be used to determine seat depth.
The correct seat height is also important for adequate functionality during mobility related activities. The measurements should place the individual in a comfortable position with completing activities such as washing dishes, working at a table or desk, transferring to and from a toilet, bed, other chairs, etc. The thickness of the cushion should be subtracted from the height needed.
Taking these physical considerations into account for your power wheelchair will ensure your power wheelchair is not only properly fitting, but also comfortable and efficient. Qualifying for your power wheelchair is fast and easy with Aeroflow Healthcare. Simply fill out the Qualify Through Insurance form and you will be on your way to a new power wheelchair that will be fit just for you. For immediate assistance please give us a call at 888-345-1780; we look forward to hearing from you!