Power wheelchairs often have many available features that users can choose from when ordering. Here are some benefits of the elevate and stand features that many leading power wheelchair manufacturers offer on their products.
The elevate feature is where the seat lifts up vertically to increase the height of the user. Mia is 5 feet 10 inches tall, and now that she is a wheelchair user, she says she often misses not seeing the world at the level she used to when she was walking. But chairs with elevate offer Mia a solution.
“Elevate is nice because you can finally get eye level with people."
Another benefits of the elevate feature is less stress on the wheelchair user’s neck when having conversations. In a chair with no elevate feature, the user has to look upward to talk to people who are standing, which can cause tension to build up in the neck muscles. And a benefit of using the elevate feature around the home is being able to reach counter tops, cabinets, or even upper shelves in the refrigerator.
Yet another positive for choosing elevate is to help with transfers. “I do a lot of traveling,” says Alanna who uses the elevate feature when she’s transferring from her chair into the bed.
“And different hotels have different beds with different heights. Some beds are a lot shorter, some beds are a lot higher … It makes transferring a lot easier rather than having to strain your muscles or your back, or having to have someone there with you to help you. You can be a lot more independent.”
Chairs on the market today offer elevate features ranging from 7-inches to 14-inches depending on the specific model.
Some power chairs also offer a stand feature which allows the user to stand in a fully upright position. The biggest benefit of the stand feature is pressure relief, which decreases the chances of a pressure sore developing or worsening.
“When you’re in a standing position, you’re getting complete pressure relief off of your bony prominent areas like your ischial tuberosities and your trochanters.” says Casey, a wheelchair manufacturer representative.
The benefits of both the elevate and stand features on power wheelchairs are clear. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover the costs for these features, as they are most often not defined as medically necessary. But this shouldn’t stop you from seeking out these features if you feel they could benefit you. “If it’s something you want, then we should figure out a way to get it for you,” says John, a senior vice president of sales for a leading wheelchair manufacturer.
What wheelchair features are most beneficial to you? Share your thoughts with us, and you could be featured on AbleThrive.