What is the difference between a Power Wheelchair and an Electric Wheelchair?

electric wheelchair

Among the physical disabilities that significantly impair a person’s well-being, a large share is occupied by mobility-impacting issues. Diseases such as severe arthritis, cerebral palsy, polio, and stroke along with injuries, particularly those affecting the spinal cord and brain, hinder a person’s walking and weight-bearing capabilities. Therefore, such individuals are advised to use some kind of mobility aid to help them move around independently. Among these aids, the use of wheelchairs, including the electric wheelchair, is common. However, with such diversity in their types, patients often get confused about which one to buy. Let us take a look at which wheelchairs are preferred by the patients and why.

Individuals can live a balanced life while using a wheelchair
Individuals can live a balanced life while using a wheelchair

Statistics Regarding the Need for Mobility Aid in the US

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the US alone, every 1 in 4 individuals, or 27% of the total population suffer from some kind of temporary or permanent disability.

Among these, nearly 16 million adults are in need of some kind of mobility aid which includes wheelchairs, walkers, and canes along with other assistive devices.

Considering this massive number, many companies have been manufacturing wheelchairs with a variety of features to fit every patient’s needs. Among these, power wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs are gaining importance these days.

What are Electric Wheelchairs?

An electric wheelchair or scooter is a mobility device that is operated mainly by the patient’s upper body strength. It has handlebars or tillers that control mobility and can be used when the individual applies a significant amount of force.

Electric wheelchairs can be easily charged by plugging in. Their shapes are well-formed as well as strong and can bear weight for longer periods. However, electric wheelchairs cannot be easily customized which renders them inferior in some cases.

What are Power Wheelchairs?

Power wheelchairs, although charged by electricity just like the electric ones, are very easy to operate. Being affixed with a joystick, these can be moved by a single click.

Moreover, power wheelchairs have multiple features which are absent in electric wheelchairs.

For example, the presence of mid-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive, the power wheelchairs can be easily used outdoors in the lawns, on the dirt, through the sidewalks, etc.

Similarly, with swivel and comfortable seats, the power wheelchairs are highly comfortable and easy to use for the patient.

A man utilizing an electric wheelchair
A man utilizing an electric wheelchair

Comparison of Features and Specifications

Although there is a slight difference between the electric and power wheelchairs, it is good to know which one has better features. A comparison between an electric and a power wheelchair has been presented in the following table:

ParametersElectric wheelchairPower wheelchair
SizeComparatively smallerComparatively larger
WeightLighter than power wheelchairsHeavier than electric wheelchair
Intended useIndoorsBoth indoor and outdoor use
DurabilityLess durableHighly durable
AdaptabilityLess adaptableHighly adaptable
Charging needsMore than power wheelchairsLess than electric wheelchairs
Steering instrumentHandlebars or tillersJoystick
Suitability for extended useLowerHigher
CustomizationUsually not an option Can be done based on individual needs
CostBetween $1,300 to $3,000Between $900 to $5,900
WarrantyUp to 5 yearsUp to 5 years

Brands of Electric and Power Wheelchairs 

Some of the most commonly purchased electric and power wheelchairs include the following:

  ● Intelligent Lightweight Foldable Power Wheelchair

Intelligent power wheelchair is a lightweight, foldable, and portable product with a net weight of only 43 pounds (lbs). It is highly durable and is equipped with a 360-degree joystick to allow maximum rotation when used with its electric magnetic braking system.

Moreover, the Intelligent power wheelchair can be folded in merely 3 seconds. Its 2 lithium batteries help provide backup power when one of them needs charging.

Furthermore, a 7.5 cm thick seat cover, affixed with a seat belt, helps prevent bedsores as well as seat depression along with providing full protection to caudal, lumbar, and neck vertebrae.

The product has great stability owing to its adjustable anti-leaning rear design and provides high comfort to the patient.

  ● Pride Jazzy Power Wheelchair

A jazzy power wheelchair is a portable and robust product equipped with an Active-Trac suspension system.

Due to its uncomplicated usage method as well as maneuverability, it significantly enhances the user experience. It can be operated at a speed of 4.5 miles per hour (mph).

Although it is not foldable, the product is equipped with a turning radius of 26.5” and a width of 29.3”.

The cost of the Pride Jazzy wheelchair is $4,500 which might sound high but is suited to the product due to the features it has to offer.

  ● Pride Go Mobility Wheelchair

Pride Go mobility wheelchair is one the best mobility products available in the US market in the current year. Being foldable and portable, it can be easily packed and transported. With a width of 22.5” and a turning radius of 25.4”, it has a weight capacity of 300 pounds (lbs).

Moreover, its speed is 3.7 miles per hour (mph) which is comparable to all the other available brands. With a cost of nearly $1600, it is one of the most budget-friendly options that can grabbed today.

Comfort provided by the wheelchair allows people to enjoy a normal life
Comfort provided by the wheelchair allows people to enjoy a normal life

All types of wheelchairs mentioned in this article, along with multiple other medical supplies, are available at Health Supply 770 at the most affordable prices.

Furthermore, the prices are even lower during the weekly deals they offer on certain items. Do check out the links at the end of the article for making a purchase.

Conclusion

Individuals affected with some kind of temporary or permanent physical disability often need mobility aid. Among different options, the use of wheelchairs is often preferred over other mobility devices.

Multiple kinds of wheelchairs including electric or power wheelchairs are often considered dominant over manual ones due to their ease of use. With features like quick charging and high durability, these products are gaining further prominence.

Reliable suppliers like Health Supply 770 should be approached for buying top-quality medical products as their reliability speaks for itself. 

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