Wheelchairs are important mobility devices that help people function in everyday life without the full use of their legs. Power wheelchairs are ideal for people who lack the upper body strength to maneuver traditional wheelchairs.

Here are four tips that can help you shop for a power wheelchair to fulfill your mobility aid needs.

1. Find a power wheelchair at the correct elevation

Power wheelchair users come in all shapes and sizes. However, smaller wheelchair users, such as children and little people, may require additional elevation. Power wheelchairs can be found in various sizes, and additional cushions and booster seats can be added to provide additional height.

2. Choose a type of control system that is easy for you to use

Power wheelchairs are motorized for easy use. They feature control systems that allow users to choose the speed and direction of their power wheelchair and to brake as necessary. The type of control system that's best for you will depend on several factors, such as your disabilities and level of comfort with different types of controls. People with the use of their hands can take advantage of hand-operated controls, such as levers and buttons. People who are unable to use their arms can use mouth-operated control units that may feature a straw that can be blown into to start the wheelchair's motor. Purchasing a power wheelchair in person will give you the opportunity to try out different types of control systems.

3. Decide between travel and full-size power wheelchairs

Power wheelchairs are constructed in different ways, depending on their intended usage. Full-size power wheelchairs are suitable for everyday use. These wheelchairs are large and comfortable, typically featuring headrests and footrests to promote good ergonomics. However, these wheelchairs can be difficult to travel with. Travel power wheelchairs are designed to be easily dismantled. These wheelchairs can be folded and stored on cars, airplanes, and buses. If you can only afford one power wheelchair, you should consider the places you are most likely to use it and select your wheelchair accordingly.

4. Shop for safety features

Finally, you should carefully consider the safety features available on each power wheelchair. Power wheelchairs are safe and effective when used correctly, but there is still an element of risk when using any motorized device. Features like seat belts and dead man's switches can act as fail-safes in the event of an accident. If you're prone to fainting, seizures, or other lapses of consciousness or control, it's a good idea to look for power wheelchairs with many safety features.

Reach out to a company like Wheelchair Haven to learn more.