When you're in the process of buying a power wheelchair, spending time evaluating different parts of several different chair models will help you to find the right product for you. Don't be afraid to make a list of a few chair models that you think will be a good fit, and then comprehensively compare their designs and features. One area that you might initially forget to consider is the foot plate. This is the part of a power wheelchair on which your feet rest. Here are some foot plate details that you'll want to think about as you shop.
As you look at the foot plates of a few different power wheelchairs, you'll likely notice that this part can vary in size from model to model. In general, a larger foot plate offers more advantages. Not only will it feel more suitable if you have large feet, but it will allow you to move your feet around a little while you're seated. With a small foot plate, it might sometimes feel as though your feet are hanging off this surface, which isn't ideal. Small foot plates also impede your ability to position your feet in different ways.
The foot plates on some power wheelchairs are mounted in place, preventing you from adjusting them. Other models have foot plates that offer a fair bit of adjustability. For example, you'll be able to not only raise and lower the foot plate, but also change its angle. An adjustable foot plate is highly advantageous. If you're on the shorter side, for example, you'll be able to raise the foot plate until your feet are comfortably resting on it. You may also find that adjusting the angle of the foot plate offers comfort for your feet and legs. Generally, the foot plate is easy to adjust with a knob or lever.
Another topic to think about as you evaluate the foot plate on a few different power wheelchairs is how much traction this surface provides. While you might occasionally see foot plates that are fairly smooth, most of these parts have a ridged surface. The ridges provide traction that can help to keep your feet firmly in place, even if the foot plate is wet as a result of you using the wheelchair outdoors. Traction on the foot plate is important for safety, as it will allow you to get in and out of the chair without slipping.
Reach out to a power wheelchair supplier to learn more.