Enhance your lifestyle with a power assist device by adding it to your existing or new fixed or folding frame wheelchair. It reduces the energy expenditure required for effortful propulsion and reduces the overall frequency of upper limb movements during distance mobility.
Power Assist – helping you make the choice
Venesha Moodley, Clinical Educator
(B. OT, Postgrad Cert in Clinical Rehab)
At Astris PME, we continue to improve lives by availing a broad range of power assist options to be able live your preferred lifestyle. Understanding your preferences will assist in deciding on the most suitable options to explore further.
Some factors that need to be considered prior to settling on your preferred power assist unit;
- Your needs and physical capacity
- Environments you would like to access
- Activities you typically participate in
- Other resources available to you; for example, assistance in transferring the wheelchair and power assist to and from a vehicle
Managing a power assist option on your wheelchair also requires skills relating to memory, perceptual abilities and cognitive skills. Goals for providing a device can be diverse and highly individual. It may be beneficial to have a discussion with your Occupational Therapist about whether a power assist option would be suitable, and the process of trialing the appropriate option.
Power assist options may be separated into 4 categories, namely:
- Front power add-ons (Klaxon Klick)
- Push rim activated power assist chairs (Alber Emotion, Quickie Xtender)
- Rear power assist add-ons (SmartDrive® or Alber SMOOV)
- Other (Todo Drive or Light Drive)
There are numerous benefits to using power assist options which can be attached to fixed or folding frame wheelchairs. Some of these benefits include:
- Reducing stress and strain on the upper limbs – shoulders and wrists.
- Reducing demands on the heart and respiratory functions.
- Increasing efficiency in daily activity participation and social access.
- Permitting access to challenging environments.
- Facilitating improved capacity to manage your work day to remain employed.
- Enabling storage into a standard car boot without the need to invest in purchase of larger vehicles and additional costs associated with vehicle modifications.
- Eliminating the need for home modifications to accommodate larger power chairs.
For more information on available Power Assist options download the comparison chart HERE
Joshua Gunn - 15 years old
Joshua loves getting outdoors with his family. He really enjoys supporting his siblings during their sporting events and regularly attends their soccer matches and athletic sessions. The all-terrain tyres on his Helio wheelchair with the added Servo power assist device was his preferred option to access variable ground surfaces, particularly grass on the soccer fields and hilly areas. Joshua has cerebral palsy and due to tightness, he presents with mild difference in strength in both hands. The features of the Servo augments propulsion to manage greater distances with less effort. Joshua’s risk of developing stress and strain injuries to his shoulders and wrists due to long term self-propelling is therefore reduced and he is able to continue attending his much enjoyed sporting activities.
Note: To suit individual needs, many of these devices may require additional extras and personalised configuration. Please talk to one of our Product Consultants who can advise you and provide a detailed quote or arrange a trial. 1300 131 884.