A Helpful Guide to Power Chairs

What is a Power Chair?

A power chair helps aid those who experience mobility issues and is typically used by individuals who have a medical condition that results in difficulties in walking. Power wheelchairs are often used because individuals are unable to use manual wheelchairs. While there are different types of power wheelchairs, each one will have a base and then it is equipped with four or more wheels. There are different seating options for comfort levels and many can be used both outdoors and indoors. There are different accessories that can be added for more convenience. Learn more about what is a power chair.

How Much Does a Power Wheelchair Weigh?

Every power chair will have similar components, but the weight of the chair can vary. Since there are a variety of wheelchair options available, they can even be customized based on the needs of the user. Different power wheelchairs may use different battery types, which plays a role in how much a power chair weighs. Some wheelchairs are designed to be more portable, lightweight and designed for travel. These are built with lighter materials. However, some are designed to be sturdier and support larger weight capacities. In addition to the battery, the seating installed will also contribute to the overall weight of the chair. Some wheelchairs offer reclining sport seats or elevated seating, which will also impact the overall weight. If you add accessories to your power chair, such as cane holder, oxygen tank holder, or storage baskets, accessories also contribute to the overall weight.

How to Choose Between a Scooter and Power Chair?

When choosing between scooters and power chairs, there are a few things to consider. One important difference is how a scooter and power chair will operate. Scooters are equipped with handlebars, while a wheelchair is equipped with a joystick. The range of an individual’s mobility can determine which product is best. Electric scooters will usually have up to four wheels, while electric wheelchairs can have six or more wheels. Scooters don’t have as many seating options, although seats can be adjustable and can sometimes swivel. Electric wheelchairs come equipped with height adjustable foot platforms that can flip up when not in use. The legroom on a scooter will also vary, depending on the type that is chosen. Three-wheel scooters will usually offer more room for those who are taller. Another factor to consider is how you will use your mobility product. Both can be used outside and inside, but power chairs will have more maneuverability indoors and scooters can be better suited for outdoor use.

Does Medicare Cover a Power Chair?

If you qualify, Medicare may pay for a power chair. Wheelchairs are only covered if they are deemed medically necessary and there are certain steps that will need to be followed to get it approved. The first step is to schedule a face-to-face exam with the doctor to discuss your mobility. The doctor will need to consider if a manual wheelchair, scooter, or walker can be used before a power wheelchair. The doctor will then write a prescription for the power chair. The prescription and other necessary documentation must be received by an appropriate DME provider. Plus, the paperwork must be done within 45 days of the examination, and then the provider will work with your doctor to find the best power chair to meet your needs. Learn more about Medicare power chair coverage.