Living with multiple sclerosis can be an incredibly hard challenge. Your physical limitations and weaknesses can make it difficult for you to get around, especially as the disease progresses. For most people who live with MS, this means they invest in an electric wheelchair, but not all of the electric wheelchair models available are well-designed for people with MS. If you are planning to invest in a power chair to help you remain mobile, you really should be attentive to the different features. Here's a look at some of the features to be looking for in an electric wheelchair if you have MS.
Look for a wheelchair with a lightweight build.
With MS, you will likely need your wheelchair for outings especially, whether it is a short trip to the grocery store or to doctor's appointments. This means you will want to be able to take your mobile device with you when you travel. Picking an electric wheelchair with a lightweight build will make it easier to handle if it has to be loaded onto your vehicle by hand. Even if you have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, the lighter weight of the chair will make it less stress on the lift to get you and the chair safely inside.
Look for a wheelchair with simple hand controls.
Some electric wheelchairs are designed a lot like motorcycles with handlebars you turn and maneuver in whatever direction you need to go. If you have severe muscle weakness, these wheelchairs can be a pain to operate. It is better to find a chair that offers a small hand control system with a joystick or buttons. If you also have issues with dexterity or your MS has left you somewhat paralyzed, you can find wheelchairs outfitted with a breath-activated device as well.
Look for a wheelchair that is recommended by your caregivers.
Your doctor, your physical therapist, and other medical professionals usually have a lot of good advice to offer when it comes to picking a specific electric wheelchair model. Because MS can affect each individual in different ways, you may have specific needs that need to be met. Your caregivers know your limitations, strengths, and weaknesses, and they are highly familiar with what is available. Therefore, it is always a good idea to work with your caregivers to track down the electric wheelchair model that will best cater to your mobility needs as someone with MS.