Best Lightweight Electric Wheelchairs Of 2022 – Forbes Health

2022-03-12 06:16:22 By : Mr. Tai Sheng

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A lightweight power wheelchair is a more portable version of a standard motorized wheelchair. They often resemble manual wheelchairs, but have a control unit generally mounted on the armrest, says Beth Eisenbud, an associate information specialist with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a charitable organization focused on finding treatments and cures for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders. These wheelchairs are ideal for people with limited mobility who want to travel, as well as people who don’t have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, because they can be easily folded or disassembled for storage in a car trunk.

To choose the best lightweight electric wheelchairs for seniors, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on approximately 50 products from top brands, evaluating them based on price, product weight, maximum weight capacity, travel range, top travel speed and portability. See which lightweight power wheelchairs made our list. Note: Prices are accurate as of the publication date and subject to change.

This folding power chair, which can travel 15 miles on a single charge, is made of a durable lightweight aluminum alloy. Its seat is 19 inches wide, and the entire wheelchair is only 25 inches wide. It can travel at speeds up to 5 miles per hour.

This super lightweight wheelchair is a convenient choice for travel. It’s easy to store, whether you’re in a car or on an airplane. It can travel up to 3.7 miles per hour and drive for 13 miles without needing to be recharged. The chair is made of a durable lightweight aluminum alloy.

The Forcemech Navigator, which excels in power and stability, can travel at speeds up to 5 miles per hour. Meanwhile, it has a 17-inch wide seat, and the entire wheelchair is just 25 inches wide, keeping it portable.

This sporty foldable wheelchair has lots of thoughtful features, including a storage basket, cup holder and a rear storage pouch. Its seat is 18 inches wide, and the chair is suitable for use on various types of terrain.

This well-designed, lightweight wheelchair has a 17.5-inch wide seat, and the chair itself is a generous 26.75 inches wide. It prioritizes comfort, especially for heavier users, while remaining travel-friendly.

To determine the best lightweight electric wheelchairs for seniors, the Forbes Health editorial team analyzed data on approximately 50 products from top brands, evaluating them based on:

Lightweight power wheelchairs are often made of aluminum, as opposed to heavier materials like steel that are used to construct traditional electric wheelchairs, says Thomas Henley, the owner of Henley Medical in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “Their claim to fame is that they fold up,” he says. “Or they come apart and people can lift the different parts into the trunk of the car, and then they can transport them.” (That disassembly includes removing the batteries for increased lightness.)

In cases where a person uses a bulkier wheelchair, they would typically need a special van and lift to transport it, adds Henley. Lightweight power wheelchairs are therefore considered particularly convenient.

Lightweight power wheelchairs are ideal for seniors and people with mild mobility issues who need to travel or run a quick errand. They should not be used by people with “significant progressive disabilities,” says Henley. “If you think of a person who has multiple sclerosis, and they’re using a walker and want to go to the mall or to their grandson’s ball game, a lightweight folding power chair would be just the ticket for them.”

“The more severe the disability is, the more likely they’re sitting in a traditional-style power chair—and the less likely they would be in a lightweight chair,” adds Henley.

He also notes that using a lightweight power wheelchair can help the user maintain a sense of independence. “It’s very, very handy to … go where you’re going, and your loved one doesn’t have to be pushed in a manual chair. They have their independence,” he says.

Since these chairs are easy to store in cars and on planes and trains, they help make traveling more pleasant. “It’s a good solution for many people,” says Bill Fertig, the Virginia Beach-based director of the United Spinal Association Resource Center. Fertig, who’s a full-time manual wheelchair user, says lightweight electric chairs are great for “major excursions” like visiting a zoo. Another benefit: “They’re affordable,” he says.

Plus, Fertig adds, they’re “super long lived”—some can go as far as 16 miles on a single battery charge.

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Golden Technologies LiteRider Envy Power Wheelchair

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Drive Medical Cirrus Plus EC

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Merits Health Dualer P312A

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Eisenbud and Donna Lowich, a senior information specialist with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, suggest considering the following factors when shopping for a lightweight electric wheelchair:

Lightweight power chairs also have weight limits for the user, which can vary significantly, so make sure the one you’re interested in will work for you. Eisenbud and Lowich also recommend discussing the chair with your doctor and perhaps visiting a seating clinic to make sure this type of wheelchair is the best choice for you.

You can buy a lightweight power wheelchair online, says Henley, or you can visit a “reputable dealer” like a medical supply store. He recommends the latter because lightweight power wheelchairs tend to break rather often. If you purchased your chair directly from a local dealer, you can get it serviced more easily, he says. “If you buy off the internet, it’s difficult to get service, which you will need eventually.”

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Angela Haupt has been a health writer and editor for more than a decade. She was previously the managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report, where she spent 11 years covering and editing wellness and conditions topics. She helped launch the popular Best Diets rankings and continued to oversee the franchise throughout her time there. Angela has also written about health and wellness for publications such as the Washington Post, USA Today, Everyday Health and Verywell Fit. She’s passionate about helping people make healthier decisions through accurate journalism that delivers the facts and puts them in context.

Alena is a professional writer, editor and manager with a lifelong passion for helping others live well. She is also a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) and a functional medicine certified health coach. She brings more than a decade of media experience to Forbes Health, with a keen focus on building content strategy, ensuring top content quality and empowering readers to make the best health and wellness decisions for themselves.