Should I Get a Manual Wheelchair or Electric Mobility Scooter?

Oct 19, 2022 | Mobility Products

When people start to have mobility challenges, the first response is often to just stop going places and doing things. Many with disabilities or through regular aging are pushed indoors because they find it hard to get around.

While this may seem like a good solution, it can limit your quality of life and may affect those around you in ways you had not imagined.

I was born with Spina Bifida and have had various seasons of mobility challenges throughout my life, due to surgery and now, natural aging. I have used a wheelchair in the past but had not needed one for about 20 years.

Around 2015, my mobility began to decline and affect my ability to go out as much as I had in the past. On a number of occasions, my wife, family, or friends would go to events, and I would just sit it out – either by staying home entirely or waiting in the car.

Many a vacation was taken, where we saw most of the sights through the window of a car because I didn’t have a wheelchair.

For the longest time, I thought I was the only one affected by my mobility challenges, but that was an oversimplified view of how my mobility challenges were affecting my wife.

I discussed it some time ago on my YouTube Channel. Click to view.

Your family and friends want to see you thriving and enjoying life, not stuck inside all day.

Thankfully, I came to my senses and got a wheelchair – and I can’t believe it took me so long to get it. I LOVE my wheelchair. It has given me so much more freedom than I had before.

Electric Wheelchair/Scooter or a Manual Wheelchair?

Look around your neighborhood and you likely see many older people rolling around in mobility scooters. While they may be useful in getting people out and about, they’re not always the best or only game in town.

As an active, independent wheelchair user, I love my manual wheelchair. It allows me to get around stores and restaurants easily and it’s great when I’m outdoors, on concrete, which is where I spend most of my outdoor time. What I love most is how portable and light it is.

I don’t want an electric wheelchair or scooter, because they’re just too big and heavy.

I drive a small SUV with standard storage capacity and it fits my wheelchair fine. If I moved up to a scooter or other motorized wheelchair, I would need a larger vehicle, possibly a ramp – or one of those bumper storage options.

In my opinion, these are expensive and not what I want at this point in my life.

But, a manual wheelchair isn’t always great. There are times when I need some extra power. Think about going for a long walk around your neighborhood, or going to a zoo or theme park for example.

While you could likely make it around using your manual wheelchair with some help from a friend or loved one, I think there’s a better option.

Electric Handcycle/Motorized Wheelchair Attachments

electric handcycle wheelchair attachment

These handy attachments are made by various manufacturers. They attach to both folding and rigid wheelchairs to basically convert a manual wheelchair to an electric wheelchair. These are game changers for people who like their manual wheelchair for its size and flexibility, but sometimes need a little extra help for long distances or rough terrain.

An electric wheelchair scooter attachment clamps to the front of a wheelchair lifts the front casters off the ground and places weight onto a single electric scooter wheel. From here, you drive just like riding an electric bike or ATV. Having grown up with ATVs and mini-bikes, this brings back memories!

The awesome thing about one of these wheelchair scooter attachments is that it comes off and my manual wheelchair goes back to “normal” in no time. I have the best of both worlds. Manual wheelchair when I want it, and electric scooter when I need more power than my arms and shoulders can handle!

Currently, we carry these electric wheelchair attachments from two different manufacturers. The EZRide+ is a budget-friendly option perfect for users who have lower-cost folding wheelchairs, but it can fit many different types of wheelchairs.

With a rechargeable battery that lasts for hours, you can get out and about and begin enjoying life again. And give your arms a break!

Another great option is the Cheelcare Companion, which is made in Canada and is perfect for users with both folding or rigid wheelchairs.

We do have other options as well and would love to help you find the perfect electric wheelchair attachment for your wheelchair model and type.

Reach out to us via our website live chat, or on Instagram or Facebook. 

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