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#FutureFridays: How to Choose the Right Wheelchair


The wheelchair…a hated necessity or a beloved and useful tool? No one WANTS to end up needing to use a wheelchair on a regular basis, but thank goodness someone invented them. They allow for safe mobility and transport for a person who otherwise might have NO mobility at all. They come in different models for different user purposes. Today I’ll discuss the general types of power wheelchair options in today’s marketplace.

If a person has a mobility deficit requiring the need for a Power Mobility Devices (PMD), these generally come in two broad categories. First would be power 3 or 4 wheel scooters (like at Costco) or power wheelchairs. The scooters are generally used by a person who can manage short distances on their own but have a problem with longer distances. Second are power wheelchairs which are appropriate for a person with more advanced mobility challenges and need assistance both inside their residence and out. Scooters can sometimes be broken down into various parts for vehicle transport, then reassembled later. Power wheelchairs generally cannot be broken down like a scooter can. Either PMD type are very difficult to get paid for through medical insurance (regardless of what the TV ads say!).

Once it’s determined which of these products would work best for a specific person’s needs, it’s important to determine what the client intends to do with their product. There are smaller, lighter versions and more heavy duty versions. Each has advantages. Although the PMD’s of today can go quite far on a single battery charge, it’s not recommended to travel more than a mile or two from home and carry a cell phone to call for help if a problem develops. Safety is the first consideration but so is having fun and a good quality of life. Don’t let a mobility deficit slow you down!

Various models of these PMD’s are available at Gammie HomeCare. Just check out Tara, pictured above, ready to roll in her brand new GoGo Elite Traveler scooter!