Before you buy a power pack for a wheelchair, consider the points below:
- It is advisable to discuss your mobility needs with a healthcare professional or family member.
- Power packs generally fit on attendant-propelled wheelchairs to assist the person who is pushing.
- If you have a manual wheelchair supplied from NHS you must get permission to fit the power pack or you might be eligible for a power pack to be supplied from that service.
- If you receive benefits because of a disability or illness check if this includes funds that can be put towards mobility equipment.
- If you are purchasing a power pack take the wheelchair to the retailer to check it is suitable for fitting a power pack.
- It is advisable for the wheelchair to have cable brakes mounted on the handles to assist the person pushing.
- Consider whether your carer can operate a power pack. Before you purchase, practice over rough ground and on slopes, up and down, for at least 20 minutes. Controls are sensitive and need practice.
- If you will be transporting the wheelchair with power pack in a car you will have to remove the pack to fold the chair, check you or your carer can do this and replace the pack securely and that they can lift the pack and chair in and out of the car. Even in parts, power packs are heavy.
- The power pack will need charging from the mains electricity, consider who will do this and where it can be done in your home to avoid becoming a trip hazard.
- Identify a local reliable repair service for repairs and servicing.
- Check the weight limit of the wheelchair and power pack is adequate.
- There are some power packs available for self-propelled wheelchairs but these are from specialist suppliers only.
Power packs start from around £500