Wheelchairs provide great convenience for people with physical problems. It is mostly used for patient transfer or for disabled individuals to participate in social life. As technology develops in the world and production opportunities increase, new types of wheelchairs are introduced to the market. Battery powered wheelchairs (electric wheelchairs) are one of the frequently needed disabled vehicles. It makes the work of both users and attendants easier. It provides freedom to people with disabilities. The devices have been developed in design and functionality over the years. It is diversified to meet the physical needs of the patient. Thanks to the battery-operated motors added on the metal construction, it creates many functions. In addition to the standard features, devices that can provide autonomous driving, turn into a bed, provide physical support according to the disability of the individual, and help the person to stand up and climb stairs have also been developed. Many models are produced not only for adults but also for children.
Battery powered wheelchairs are medical devices that facilitate the movement of people who have difficulty walking as a result of a disability or illness. Also known as motorized wheelchair or electric wheelchair in the market. It is used with the joystick on a control panel. On the control panel, there are keys and light indicators that enable to control the functions of the device. Types of powered wheelchairs:
- All-terrain power wheelchair
- stand up electric wheelchair
- Head-assisted power wheelchair
- home powered wheelchair
- Lightweight power wheelchair
- foldable power wheelchair
- Electric wheelchair up and down stairs
- Accompanying electric wheelchair
- Scooter type power wheelchair
Electric wheelchairs provide benefits for both disabled people and their relatives. It ensures the freedom not only of persons with disabilities, but also of other family members. It makes it possible for people with disabilities to do what they want on their own.
It is possible for disabled people to lead a more active life both inside and outside the house with wheelchairs. Models used at home can be used for bathroom and toilet purposes as well as providing the transfer of the patient within the home. Cordless models, on the other hand, make these opportunities possible with the control of the disabled individual and their companions. Apart from driving thanks to additional engines stand up Other functions such as The disabled person is fixed to the electric wheelchair by means of belts. Thus, there is no risk of falling. He or his companion can use the stand up function via the control panel. While there are devices that position it upright as if standing, there are also devices that position it at a slightly backward angle according to the patient's needs. Whether at home or at work, the person can get up and get things done, thanks to a wheelchair. There are also devices that can rise in a sitting position without making the user stand up.
People who have to use a wheelchair constantly should adjust their sitting comfort very well. If necessary, it should provide support with gel or air cushions. If the person has a curvature of the spine, he should supply support products suitable for his discomfort. Otherwise, wounds may occur on the skin or different injuries may occur.
The disability situations experienced by individuals are different and each individual has different needs. Therefore, it is not possible to talk about a single type of wheelchair for everyone with walking disabilities. It is necessary to supply power wheelchairs in different designs, features and equipment. Needs and budget should be determined correctly, and then the right devices and equipment should be procured. Wrong choices can cause both material and moral harm to the disabled individual. For example, in battery powered wheelchairs that stand up, it should be noted whether the lifting function is done manually or with motors. This function of those with motorized lifting feature via the control panel can be controlled.
Another issue to consider when choosing a model is the battery capacity. It is very important how far the device can travel with a fully charged battery. This is one of the most important issues affecting the price. It is also an issue to consider when supplying new batteries in the future. The weight and size of the battery is as important as its price. The weight and size of the battery comes into play when transporting the wheelchair. If the batteries are small and light and can be easily removed from the chair, it provides convenience during transportation. If the wheelchair is to be placed in the trunk of the vehicle, especially light models with small size and light batteries and which can be folded easily should be preferred. There are models whose skeleton is made of very light material. Their batteries and motors are also produced in small size and light weight. Thus, it is much lighter than standard power wheelchairs.
Recently, wheelchair charging areas have been built in certain places in major cities. Battery powered chairs can be charged here. Thus, the problems of staying on the road due to the battery problem have been minimized in these regions.
The characteristics of the motors are as important as the batteries. The part that provides the needed functions is the engine. For this reason, it is an issue that should be carefully considered when choosing a model. The power and features of the motors added to the wheelchair must be suitable for the functions needed. For example, if it is to be used in a hilly area, the engine power uphill level must be.
There are electric wheelchairs with accompanying drive developed for patients who cannot physically or mentally control the power chair. While the patient is sitting in front of the wheelchair, the attendant controls the device by standing on the back. The control panel can be added separately for the patient.
It is almost impossible for wheelchair users to go up and down stairs alone with a wheelchair. There are some devices developed for this. Devices that are used with wheelchairs and that enable the user to go up and down stairs have been developed. Security is kept at the highest level in these devices. There are also wheelchairs that do not have the ability to go up and down stairs, but can be used with stair climbing and descending devices. These are used by connecting to stair climbing devices.
All-terrain battery powered wheelchairs can be used efficiently in rough road conditions and rough terrain. Due to its high engine power and battery capacity, it can easily move on any road. The front and rear wheels are large. It has been developed for users to move easily even under difficult road conditions.
Depending on the floor to be used, the slope to be used, the distance to be traveled, the weight of the user and the discomfort of the user. appropriately equipped devices should be preferred. The standard and optional features of the wheelchair should be examined. Wheelchairs with different features have been produced for soil or asphalt floors. Battery capacities must also be produced accordingly. The motor and battery capacity of the device to be used in places where the slope is high should be high. Not only the engines and batteries, but also the wheels and metal parts must be suitable for the conditions. The device must both meet the needs of the disabled person and be suitable for the area of use.
When choosing a powered wheelchair, care should be taken to have spare parts and technical service support. Since these types of medical products are generally used outside the home, accidents may occur and some parts may be damaged. In such a case, necessary repairs should be made as soon as possible. In case of any malfunction, if the spare parts and service representative required for repair are not available, the devices may remain idle. There may be material and moral damages.