Choosing a power wheelchair includes a few more steps compared to choosing a manual wheelchair. The needs of power wheelchair users differ greatly therefore there is a lot of variety of power wheelchairs on the market. Whether you are totally dependent on a power wheelchair or you need a power wheelchair to just travel longer distances, there is an electric wheelchair to suit your needs.
To understand the needs of each user, the following categories should be considered;
Body Dimensions: The user’s body size, whether it is affected by a disability or not, will affect the choice of seats available to the power wheelchair user.
Lifestyle (Environment): The user’s lifestyle will affect their choice of chassis they choose. Whether they are going to be using it indoors, outdoors, long, or short distances are all taken into consideration.
Purpose of Use: In addition to improving carrying out daily actions, power wheelchairs can be a great aid for rehabilitation with the guidance of a therapist.
Physical Condition: The reasons for loss of mobility are different for each user. First, we need to know if the user can sit up and support their upper body independently.
What type of power wheelchair seat for body size
The user’s physical condition will determine the type of seat they can choose for a wheelchair. Broadly speaking, the three categories to keep in mind when choosing a seat are;
- the user’s body size
- their ability to support their upper body
- special circumstances such as amputees
The Canvas Chair
The material of eFlexx, a lightweight folding power wheelchair, is simple and light. The canvas back cushion can be removed and replaced with an adjustable backrest for the user who needs a more customized seating system.
The Standard Chair (Sling)
The sling seat is designed for those power wheelchairs with a heavy-duty chassis. The Sling seat has a medium height back that provides a basic level of trunk support and the option to upgrade to power positioning.
Contour Backrest (Captain)
The captain seat can be compared to a car seat. The captain seat has built-in lateral support that contours to the user’s body. With a high comfort level, user’s can rest in the captain seat, however, they need strong trunk control to be able to operate the recline function. Captain seat is the only power wheelchair seat available with up to a 20” seat width.
Positioning High Adjustability (KISS)
KISS is a fully adjustable seating system. KISS is the type of wheelchair seat suitable for children and adults with progressive diseases. Additional accessories can be added to accommodate each user’s needs. The KISS seating system can be upgraded with power tilt, power recline, power articulating legrest, and power elevating seat.
Customizable Power Tilting, Reclining, and Lifting (Lectus)
The EVO seat is highly adjustable to meet each individual’s needs. The multi-adjustable seat is equipped with a multi-adjustable seat, armrests, and legrests. The unique power lifting can elevate the user up to 40 cm, further increasing their independence.
All-in-one Power Standing, Tilting, and Reclining (Altus)
With what seems like a never-ending list of functions,
The EVO Altus really does have all the features needed for a wheelchair user to be totally independent. The power standing can be achieved from the sitting or laying down position. Altus is designed to support and help users with very limited body functions.
[Read more about the full functions and advantages of the power standing, lifting, tilting, and reclining functions here. To learn about which user could benefit from which of these power functions, read here.]
The type of seat that the user chooses is crucial. This is why someone with more knowledge and expertise typically has to prescribe a power wheelchair for the user. If the user chooses the incorrect seat, they risk secondary injuries and being stuck with a wheelchair that is uncomfortable, unsuitable for their needs, and expensive. In the next blog, we will talk about what kind of chassis the user can choose that will match their lifestyle.