A power wheelchair can make a huge, positive impact in the quality of life for the elderly and disabled. I see it every day in my job providing mobility aids for the elderly and disabled at a home medical equipment company. It is exciting to see a bed bound patient get up and move about the house on their own. Wouldn't it be nice if this experience could be portable and used out in public. But, aren't power wheelchairs heavy and hard to transport? Some are.... but some are lightweight and some even fold up! Here are some lightweight folding power wheelchair reviews that will make mobility portable for you or a loved one!
Last update on 2017-10-23 at 22:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As I stated above, the common problem with most power chairs is that they are heavy and do not travel well. Lightweight fold up electric wheelchairs though are lighter in weight and fold to a compact size. This makes them ideal for local travel in a car because they fit easily in the trunk. Even air travel becomes more possible and easier with a wheelchair that folds.
Shopping for and buying a power wheelchair is not something you do every day. Many people go their whole lives and (fortunately!) don't have to go through this process. To help you out though, here are some important tips about foldable electric wheelchairs.
When using the term "lightweight" about a power wheelchair, know that is a relative term. None of these lightweight motorized chairs are light as a feather. So, it is important to make sure you or a caretaker can easily assemble and reassemble the chair as needed. Make sure you understand these instructions and can repeat them easily.
Some of these chairs break down into smaller pieces that are easier to handle. Make sure you know what the weight of the heaviest piece is and maker sure it is a weight that the person loading it can handle.
Know the maximum weight that the chair will hold. Because these power chairs are lighter weight and foldable, they may not hold as much weight. Compare the weight of the person who will be riding in the chair with the maximum weight the chair will hold. I recommend a 10% cushion between the figures.
Look up the width and depth of the seating surface and compare that to the user of the wheelchair. Have the person who will use the electric wheelchair sit in firm chair like a dining chair and measure them. Measure across their hips (the seat width) and from the back of their rear end to the back of the knee (the seat depth). Make sure the user's measurements do not exceed the seat size. Also, make sure you are looking at the width and depth of the seat - not the size of the full wheelchair.
Measure the doorways at home that the chair will need to go through and make sure the power wheelchair will fit. I suggest a chair width that is at least 2" narrower than the smallest doorway.
Make sure the folding motorized chair you choose has proper support for the feet. I recommend swing away leg rests with foot rests that also fold up. That way, the user can move the leg and foot rests out of the way so they can get in and out of it easier. It is also good if the length of the leg rests are adjustable so that they fit the wheelchair rider.
Look for a chair with arm supports that are sturdy. Arm rests that flip back may help with getting in and out of the chair because the user will be able to use the side to get out in addition to the front. Ones that are adjustable in height are even better. This keeps the user from having to hunch over to reach the armrests and will result in better posture.
Make sure the joystick mounts to either the right or the left side of the chair. It is also nice if it adjusts in and out to match the arm length of the user.
Battery size varies in these models. Make sure you know how far the power wheelchair will travel ("the range") between charges and make sure that fit your needs. The chargers are portable also for on the go charging if needed.
While these chairs are very convenient, they are not suitable for every one. People with congenital orthopedic deformities or progressive neurological disorders probably should not use one. The problem is these chairs do not offer options for positioning support for elderly or disabled people who are not able to sit upright on their own. Mounting support devices like lateral pads, custom contoured backs, etc is difficult at best and would prevent the chairs from folding up.
It is hard to beat a lightweight folding power wheelchair in terms of convenience, portability, and improving mobility. These mobility aids go almost anywhere and open up travel options for people with difficulty walking.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any experience with folding power wheelchairs! Do you have a model you are happy with and recommend?
I work daily with seniors and the elderly in my position as a wheelchair specialist at a home medical company. I see the struggle they have maintaining their independence and living their daily lives. Most are completely unaware of the options and products out there that can improve their independence, mobility, and safety in their home. I created this site to help seniors, elders, and their caregivers make smart buying decisions about the many independent living aids on the market.
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