Approximately 1.85% of the world’s population require a wheelchair. The wheelchair is one of the most crucial assistive devices for disabled people. It enables them to access opportunities (such as education, work and social activities) and live an independent life

Furthermore, wheelchairs improve the overall quality of life of individuals with muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries or Cerebral palsy, as they reduce the progression of deformities, co-morbidities and pressure sores. Best of all, they improve processes such as digestion and respiration, and the individual’s quality of life. 

So, what are the differences between a manual wheelchair and a powered wheelchair? And what are the main advantages of using an electric wheelchair versus your everyday, traditional wheelchair?

Manual wheelchairs vs Powered wheelchairs

A manual wheelchair requires the user to propel themselves forward using their hands, an action that requires significant upper body strength. On the other hand, powered wheelchairs use features such as joysticks and touchpads to move the chair. 

What are the main advantages of using a powered wheelchair?

  • Accessible

Powered wheelchairs can typically fit even the smallest of indoor spaces. Furthermore, hills, bumps, different terrains and ramps are easier to navigate, enabling wheelchair users to travel without any restrictions. 

  • Safe

With a powered wheelchair, the centre of gravity is much lower, meaning that the user is less likely to tip over. This feature reduces the chance of any accidental rolling and wheelchair-related injuries. 

  • Empowering

Electric wheelchairs are empowering as they can be easily operated using touchpads or joysticks. Most of them are foldable and take up minimum space, enabling the user and their carer to travel without additional hassles. 

  • Customisable

Most powered wheelchairs available on the market are highly customisable – meaning that you can adjust them according to your requirements. Users and their carers can easily attach accessories like adjustable leg rests, oxygen carriers, cushions and safety flags. They can also change the recline and tilt angles to suit their needs. 

  • Suitable for all wheelchair users

Electric wheelchairs can be used by all wheelchair users, irrespective of height and weight. Most electric wheelchairs can be adapted according to the individual’s unique needs. It’s especially ideal for wheelchair users with upper-body mobility issues as they don’t need to make any extra effort to move the chair. 

Can you turn a manual wheelchair into an electric wheelchair?

Yes, you can! 

Benoit Systemes’ Light Drive2.1 enables you to motorise your manual wheelchair without having to purchase another wheelchair!

The Light Drive2.1 allows you to switch between manual mode and electric mode in 20 seconds. It’s the perfect add-on for climbing steep slopes and navigating tricky terrain. You can rest assured that there won’t be any tipping accidents or wheelchair-related injuries, as the Light Drive2.1 is fitted with a braking system and an anti-tipper wheel for maximum safety. 

Furthermore, it adapts to any wheelchair brand and model, can be transported by car and plane, is completely removable and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. 

If you’re thinking of purchasing the Light Drive2.1, you’ll also be pleased to learn that our team has been trained by Benoit Systemes at their HQ in France. We also have a technician who specialises in these units, meaning that you can refer to our team should any issues arise.

Interested in scheduling a demo? Contact us on 21 240 144 or info@unicare.com.mt.