Wheelchair accessible vehicles tend to take the spotlight here at BraunAbility, and with good reason. But as the world leader in producing such vehicles, we would be lost if we didn’t take some time to consider and shine a light on the other major element to mobility: your wheelchair.
We don’t manufacture wheelchairs here, despite our founder, Ralph, creating the first tri-wheel power chair in the world, but it is a topic we do know our fair share about. The world of power chairs is not unlike the world of cars. Thousands of models exist from manufacturers across the globe. Some are bigger (your coupes), and some are much larger (your SUV), yet all exist to serve the same function. However, as anyone who has driven numerous vehicles can tell you, no two cars are made the same.
Vehicles are tools, and as a tool, they serve as an extension of our bodies. These extensions allow us to do things our flesh and bone selves cannot normally accomplish. Such is the true beauty of the machinery, yet in such lies the complications. Some people drive trucks because that is what they need. I drive a small coupe for long-distance efficiency because that is what I need. Power wheelchairs are just like this, different ones exist to serve different functions for different lifestyles.
So how do we know which one is perfect for us? Enter the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. I was happy to find a series of videos on their website in the “Paralysis Resource Center” section that evaluates power wheelchairs in a side-by-side comparison. There are numerous videos here, so there is a lot of material here to start your search.
No matter what you are leaning towards though, make a list of a few critical details that must be in your power chair:
- Are there any height restrictions like the entry into my van that I must be aware of?
- What do I need to carry with me that I need capacity for?
- Are there any tight spots I regularly need to fit through?
These items are simply to get your mind going because no two situations will be the same across the board. So make a list, check it twice, and watch those awesome videos from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and you’ll be well on your way to finding our own personal chariot.
Micah Christensen is a freelance writer for BraunAbility and loves to share the stories of our customers and dealers. Follow BraunAbility on Twitter! @BraunAbility