Why You Should Test Drive a Power Wheelchair before Buying

by Medical XPress

Motorized wheelchair at exhibitionYou know that you should always test drive a car before you buy, but too few people recognize that a test drive can be just as important if you’re purchasing a power wheelchair or scooter. For those with reduced mobility, your wheelchair is a far more important part of your day-to-day life than any vehicle, and it’s essential that you’re purchasing one that meets your needs. Ensuring that you take that wheelchair for a test drive before you buy is just one step in the process to buying the right wheelchair for you. Keep reading to learn more about why you should come in for a test drive before buying a power wheelchair.

Check the Seat Comfort

A comfortable driver’s seat is important when buying a car, but you generally wouldn’t spend more than a couple of hours behind the wheel on any given day. For wheelchair users, however, you will likely spend the majority of your waking hours in the seat of your power wheelchair. This makes it even more important that the seat of the wheelchair is comfortable and fits you well.

A seat that’s too small or applies pressure to your body in an uncomfortable way can make you more prone to decubitus, also known as pressure ulcers or bedsores (though, obviously, they can happen in your wheelchair just as easily as they can happen in a bed). Decubitus can lead to other serious health problems, so a well-fitted, comfortable seat can go a long way towards improving your quality of life, while also simply making it more enjoyable to use your new wheelchair throughout the day.

You should also check to see how adjustable the seat of the wheelchair is. There may be times when you need to adjust the tilt or the armrests to relieve excess pressure after a long day in your wheelchair. This is another important feature to help prevent decubitus, so testing out those adjustments can give you an even better idea of just how comfortable your chair will be in the long run.

Learn about the Controls

You might think that a wheelchair’s controls are fairly straightforward. However, modern power wheelchairs have far more than a forward and backward button. These chairs often have multiple speed settings, and can be driven through very precise turns. Additionally, they can often raise and lower to help users reach higher shelves without assistance.

While you could learn about your wheelchair’s controls after it’s delivered to your home, it’s far better to get the introduction to these features during a test drive. When you’re in our store, one of our associates can walk you through all of the different settings and controls to ensure that you fully understand what each power wheelchair is capable of. This not only helps you to pick a wheelchair that meets all of your needs, but also helps to ensure you get the most out of any power wheelchair you purchase.

More importantly, ensuring that you fully understand all of your wheelchair’s controls before using it freely around your own home helps to keep you safe. Power wheelchairs should be operated properly at all times to avoid injury and/or damage to your property. We can help to ensure you know how to operate any chair you’re interested in properly so that you can use it safely in your own home.

Understand Its Capabilities

Finally, it’s important to note that different power wheelchairs have different capabilities and are designed for different uses. For example, some power wheelchairs are smaller and have a slightly less powerful motor, and are designed for indoor uses. This makes them great for navigating hallways and smaller rooms, but they don’t operate well outdoors, particularly going up steep slopes or over rough terrain.

Other power wheelchairs are bulkier, with a more powerful motor and larger wheels. These can navigate the rougher terrain and hills, but are more likely to collide with things or scrape up your walls if you try to use it indoors. We can help you better understand the intended use of each power wheelchair model, so you can find the right one for your purposes.

Come in for a Test Drive Today

Our Arlington Medical Supply location in Arlington, TX, has just recently been restocked with power wheelchairs of all kinds! We are open 7 days a week, and encourage you to come in for a free test drive at any time. Our team will be happy to help you with your next power wheelchair purchase.