How to Choose A Electric Wheelchair for Elderly Adults

Electric Wheelchair for Elderly

Are you in the process of finding an electric wheelchair for elderly loved one? This decision is crucial, as a suitable electric wheelchair can significantly enhance their comfort, independence, and overall well-being. For those who rely on a wheelchair for mobility, a model that caters to their unique needs is a game-changer, improving their quality of life in ways we can’t imagine.

If you have started your search, you will know many options are available. The number of features, sizes, functions, and prices can be overwhelming if you are inexperienced, making your choice of electric wheelchair for elderly even more difficult!

To help you find the best electric wheelchair for elderly people, we have created a quick guide with the key factors to consider: do you need the chair for walks, the park, or the street? Are you looking for an option for long-term use or just a few minutes daily? Do you need a small, lightweight chair?

Keep reading this post! We will answer your questions and explain everything you need to know to find the right option, including usage, frequency of use, size, ease of transport, etc.

Let’s dive in!

1.Is your loved one ready to use an electric wheelchair?

Before you begin your search, the first factor to consider is determining if your loved one needs or is ready to use an electric wheelchair. Here are some of the most common physical problems that could be a sign that they need a power wheelchair:

  • Muscle weakness: As we age, it is common to experience decreased muscle strength and tone, making climbing stairs or walking long distances challenging.
  • Joint pain: Conditions such as arthritis or osteoarthritis can cause joint pain and inflammation, making movement difficult and increasing the risk of falls.
  • Balance problems: As we age, changes in the vestibular system and decreased vision and hearing can affect balance, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Fatigue: Lack of physical endurance and rapid fatigue are common in older people, making it difficult to perform activities that require prolonged exertion.

Note: Why senior mobility is so important? Learn how to lessen the risk of falls. Here is a complete guide of mobility exercises for elderly people. Read now.

2.What are the benefits of using an electric wheelchair for elderly adults?

There are several benefits offered using an electric wheelchair to improve the quality of life of people:

  • Increased autonomy and mobility: The person can move independently, allowing them to participate in social activities, shop, and enjoy outdoor outings without entirely depending on the assistance of others.
  • Comfort and safety: Electric wheelchair for elderly is designed to provide comfort and stability. They have adjustable seats and safety features, such as seat belts and anti-tip brakes.
  • Reduced fatigue and physical stress: Your loved one can stay active longer without becoming physically exhausted.
  • Improved quality of life: By overcoming physical limitations and enjoying greater mobility, seniors can maintain their independence and participate in activities that bring them joy and satisfaction.

3.What are the types of electric wheelchair for elderly?

Another point to remember is that not all electric wheelchairs for elderly are the same; there are different types of electric wheelchairs designed to meet the specific needs of older adults.

Here’s a brief description of each type so you can decide which is the best electric wheelchair for elderly adults:

  • Travel/Portable/Lightweight Electric Wheelchairs: these are designed to be compact, foldable, and easy to transport. They are ideal if you are looking for a lightweight, portable option for travel or commuting use. However, remember that they have smaller batteries and a limited range but offer convenience and maneuverability in tight spaces.
  • Heavy-Duty (HD) Electric Wheelchairs: Due to their design, they can support greater weight and offer more resistance. They are ideal for older people who are overweight or need more support and stability. These wheelchairs usually have reinforced frames and more powerful motors for optimal performance.
  • Standing Power Wheelchairs: These wheelchairs offer the ability to stand or adopt different positions, which can benefit older people with circulation problems, posture, or who wish to interact with their environment at a higher height. In addition to mobility, these power wheelchairs provide health benefits, such as improving digestion and breathing and preventing the formation of pressure ulcers.

Note: We recommend considering individual needs and preferences and consulting with a healthcare professional or mobility specialist for specific guidance.

4.How do you choose the right electric wheelchair for the elderly?

To choose a suitable electric wheelchair for elderly people, it is necessary to consider some elements that provide safety, convenience, and comfort to the elderly so they can enjoy greater mobility in their daily lives. Here are the most important aspects to consider:

  • Indoor or outdoor use: It is first necessary to determine whether the power wheelchair will be used primarily indoors or outdoors so that a model can be selected to suit the specific environment. Power wheelchairs designed for indoor use tend to be more compact and maneuverable, while those designed for outdoor use tend to have sturdier tires and are capable of traversing rough terrain.
  • Frequency of use: The time required to use the wheelchair depends on the older adult’s mobility limitations, with some having more constant use and others only using it for long distances. For that reason, when choosing a wheelchair, it is crucial to check that the battery time is able to cover the elderly person’s daily use needs.
  • Transportability and storage: Choosing an electric wheelchair for elderly with a foldable and lightweight design is crucial for seniors who travel or need to store it in tight spaces. For that reason, it is necessary to look for compact and easy-to-transport electric wheelchairs so that they can travel by plane without complications or be stored in the trunk of the car without problem.
  • Design dimensions: Another essential feature to consider is the size of the seat and the height of the electric wheelchair to ensure a comfortable fit and good postural support. For this reason, it is necessary to choose a chair that has the correct dimensions for the elderly person, considering their weight, height, and individual preferences.
  • Performance: Evaluating crucial aspects of power wheelchair performance, such as weight capacity, adaptability to different terrains, postural stability, performance on slopes, turning radius, maneuverability (joystick controller and keyboard), braking system, maximum speed, and battery autonomy, is essential to choosing the most suitable option for an older adult.
  • Built-in accessories: In power wheelchairs, accessories are essential to improve comfort and functionality and allow better adaptability to the needs of the elderly. Some critical elements that the chair must have to meet this objective are footrests, armrests, cushions, and storage options.

5.How much is an electric wheelchair for elderly?

The average cost of an electric wheelchair on the market generally ranges from $2500 to $4500. This price can vary depending on factors such as:

  • Brand: A wide variety of brands offer wheelchair models with different aesthetics, functionalities, and materials of different quality that affect their cost. Generally, brands already positioned themselves in the market tend to offer chairs at a higher price.
  • Type of power wheelchair: there is a diversity of wheelchairs, such as travel, portable, and lightweight, that tend to be less expensive than heavy-duty or upright power wheelchairs because they usually offer additional functionalities and features.
  • Customization: The ability to customize the electric wheelchair for elderly people can increase its cost because it requires more investment to incorporate accessories such as specialized cushions, adjustable armrests, or storage bags tailored to the customer’s requirements.
  • Advanced features: Incorporating technology such as advanced control systems, power seat elevation, reclining backrests, or advanced suspension systems in power wheelchairs requires an additional investment cost, and for this reason, they have a higher price.
  • Battery capacity and autonomy: Power wheelchairs with larger battery capacity allow for longer distances because they offer longer optimal operation before requiring recharging. Therefore, the longer the battery life, the higher the cost of the wheelchair tends to increase. 
    For more detailed information on the cost of electric wheelchairs, please refer to our article: How much is an electric wheelchair for elderly adults?


Electric wheelchairs are the best option for elderly people who have common physical problems associated with aging because they promote their independence by allowing them to move easily in their environment. However, to get the most out of these wheelchairs, it is necessary to choose the right electric wheelchair for elderly’s specific needs.

To choose a suitable electric wheelchair, it is crucial to consider factors such as indoor or outdoor use, Frequency of use, portability and storage, dimensions, performance, and accessories. There are different types of electric wheelchairs, such as travel/portable/lightweight, heavy-duty (HD), and upright so that the user can choose a customized mobility solution.

Although the cost of an electric wheelchair can be high, it is a worthwhile investment because it allows older adults to improve their quality of life by facilitating participation in daily activities, maintaining social connections, and regaining a sense of freedom.

electric wheelchair for elderly

We encourage you to meet the needs of the older adults you love by choosing an electric wheelchair that fits their specific requirements. Please take advantage of the importance and comfort offered by electric wheelchairs to help them live their lives to the fullest, performing all the desired activities without any obstacles.

Find a quality power wheelchair at XSTO Mobility!

Addition Sources of Senior Life:

  • Senior Planet – We’re a distinctive, diverse collection of people aged 60 and older who are busy changing the way we age by embracing opportunities to reshape our lives, connect with and help one another, and change the world for the better —all while learning, growing, and having fun!
  • Community Senior Life – We are dedicated to providing a safe community for our senior residents to enhance their quality of life through innovative services offered by a committed and professional staff.
  • Senior Life Source – We are curating purposeful, compassionate experts to join us as panelists. If you would like to make a difference, please contact us to review your passion and portfolio.
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