Power to the People: Navigating the World of Power Assist Devices for Manual Wheelchairs - Beyond Mobility.

For users of manual wheelchairs, independence and mobility can sometimes be challenged by obstacles like fatigue, terrain, and distance. This is where power assist devices (PADs) step in, offering a helping hand – or should we say, wheel – to empower a more active and fulfilling life.

Benefits for Both User and Carer:

Investing in a PAD isn't just about individual mobility; it benefits both the wheelchair user and their carer. Users gain:

  • Reduced fatigue: Whether climbing hills, traversing long distances, or navigating uneven terrain, PADs take the strain, preserving energy and reducing pain.
  • Increased independence: Conquer hills, explore further, and maintain an active lifestyle with the extra push of a PAD.
  • Boosted confidence: Regaining mobility and tackling challenges head-on can significantly improve self-esteem and confidence.

 

For carers, PADs bring:

  • Reduced physical strain: Assisting with propulsion can be tiring, especially over long distances. PADs lighten the load, making pushing easier and preventing carer fatigue.
  • Enhanced safety: Maneuvering challenging terrain is often easier with a PAD, making outings safer and reducing the risk of accidents.
  • Greater peace of mind: Knowing your loved one can navigate obstacles more easily brings peace of mind and allows for more relaxed outings.

 

Exploring the Options: A Look at Different PAD Types:

At Beyond Mobility, we offer different types of Power Add-ons dependent on the user / carer requirement. There are 100's of devices on the market at varying prices - but also, varying quality

We've carefully selected the best power assist devices, that offer not only premium quality, but, a reliable backup of spare parts and a quick delivery time.

Let's delve into the exciting world of PADs, categorised by their placement on the wheelchair:

 

Front Mounted

The UNAwheel Mini front mounted power assist device from Beyond Mobility

Imagine a small motor attached to the front frame of your wheelchair. This is essentially a front-mounted PAD. These devices generally offer:

  • High power and speed: Often capable of tackling steep hills and reaching impressive speeds (like the Progeo MotoTronik), making them ideal for adventurous users who want to conquer demanding terrain.
  • Independent operation: Users can control the front wheel directly, offering a sense of direct control and engagement.

     

    Our pick

    Here are two of the best front mounted PADs on the market; 

    Progeo MotoTronik

    This powerful attachment boasts up to 15 km/h speeds and handles inclines of up to 20%, ideal for adventurous users seeking serious assistance. Available with attachments for multiple makes and models of wheelchair, as well as the ability to individualise some of the products attributes like battery capacity and motor power. 

    UNAwheel Mini front mounted PAD

    UNAwheel Mini

    Compact and discreet, this lightweight add-on offers support in everyday situations, perfect for users who value manoeuvrability, transportability and ease of use. 

    The UNAwheel Mini is the lightest front-mounted PAD available on the market, and is an incredibly cost-effective way of entering the front mounted PAD market. 

     

    Like what you see? Get in touch to arrange a demonstration

     

     

    Rear Mounted

    SmartDrive MX2+ Wheelchair Power Assist Device

    Think of a small motor attached to the rear axle of your wheelchair. This is a rear-mounted PAD. These offer:

    • Smooth assistance: They provide support without significantly altering the feel of your wheelchair, making them good for everyday situations and comfortable long-distance cruising (like the SmartDrive MX2+).
    • Improved range: Many rear-mounted models boast impressive battery life, allowing you to explore further without worrying about power
    • Discreet and compact: They generally have a smaller footprint compared to front-mounted options.

    Our pick

    SmartDrive MX2+ 

    The SmartDrive MX2+ is one of our most popular choices, which provides seamless assistive power. With the ability to conquer slopes and increase range, it offers intuitive controls and long battery life. 

    Mounting to virtually any rigid or folding frame wheelchair in seconds, the SmartDrive MX2+ is the leading rear-mounted PAD on the market. 

     

     

    Hub Mounted

    Decon E-Move Blackline - Hub-Mounted power assist device for manual wheelchairs. Available from Beyond Mobility.

    Small motors integrated directly into the hubs of specially designed wheels. This is a hub-mounted PAD. These provide:

    • Seamless integration: They can feel practically like an extension of your wheels, offering subtle yet effective assistance (like the Decon E-Move).
    • Discreet: They barely add any bulk to the wheelchair, making them ideal for portability and manoeuvrability.
    • Flexible options: Models like the Decon E-Drive are detachable, allowing you to transport your manual wheelchair and PAD easily. 
    • Perfect for carers: The Decon E-Drive offers multiple carer controlled options, making this a great solution for attendants. 

       

      Decon E-Drive 

      Designed for active lifestyles, this hub motor integrates seamlessly with your existing wheels, offering subtle yet effective assistance.

       

      Decon E-Move

      This detachable option provides on-demand power when needed, transforming your manual chair into a hybrid for flexible mobility.

      Key Attributes to Consider:

      Choosing the right PAD depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider:

      • Power and Speed: Different devices offer varying levels of assistance and maximum speeds, from everyday support to tackling challenging terrain.
      • Battery Life: Explore your typical usage and choose a PAD with a battery range that matches your needs.
      • Portability and Weight: Consider how often you travel and lift your wheelchair; lightweight and foldable options might be preferred.
      • Control System: Choose user-friendly controls that suit your dexterity and comfort level.
      • Compatibility: Ensure the PAD seamlessly integrates with your existing wheelchair model.

      Remember: Trying before you buy is key! Get in touch with us to explore different PAD options to find the perfect match for your unique needs and lifestyle. With the right device, navigating the world can be effortless, opening doors to a world of possibilities.

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