6 Benefits of Power Assist Devices for Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs have long been a popular choice for those wanting to keep their independence and freedom. However, they’re limited when it comes to traveling long distances, navigating rough outdoor terrains, or tackling steep inclines. To address these issues, power add-ons have emerged as a popular solution for manual wheelchair users. 

This article will explore the NAVIGO Joystick Power System, a highly acclaimed power add-on option for manual wheelchairs. Learn more about its features and benefits here. 

What Is a Wheelchair Power Assist Device?

A power add-on is a device that can be attached to a manual wheelchair, transforming it into a powered wheelchair without the need to replace the entire thing. This allows users to adapt to their changing mobility needs without significant lifestyle changes or costly investments. 

Yamaha’s NAVIGO Joystick Power System

One of the leading power add-on options available is the NAVIGO Joystick Power System. Developed by Yamaha, a renowned name in the mobility industry, the NAVIGO Joystick Power System offers a range of features designed to enhance mobility, including, but not limited to: 

  • Easy installation - The system fits most wheelchair frames and can be adjusted to fit the user’s needs. The wheels on the power system can be quickly removed, so it’s easy to take with you or store when you’re not using it. 
  • Customizable driving parameters - You adjust the ride's speed, turning, stopping, and smoothness with the joystick controller. The ergonomic controller is straightforward and has buttons for left or right mounting. 

How Can You Benefit From a Power Assist Device?

  1. Better Mobility

Power add-ons make it easier for manual wheelchair users to navigate challenging terrains and obstacles. The added power from these devices reduces the effort needed to propel the wheelchair, so users can travel longer distances and manage inclines without excessive physical strain. 

  1. More Independence 

By adding a power assist to your manual wheelchair, you won't have to depend on others for help when going over tough surfaces or going up steep slopes. You'll be able to take charge of their movement and confidently explore your environment. 

  1. Easier Transportation

Power assist devices like Yamaha's NAVIGO Joystick Power System are helpful tools that make getting around easier and save time. With these devices, you can move through busy streets and crowded places more smoothly — getting you to where you want to go faster. 

  1. Lightweight and Portable

Most joystick power systems are made to be lightweight and portable. You can easily take your device and wheelchair in the car to stay independent and do things outside the home. They can also be used with transportation options like Para-transit, dial-a-ride, and taxis. 

  1. Long Battery Life 

The NAVIGO Joystick Power System features a durable battery that can sustain extended travel. With an average battery range of over 9 miles for nickel batteries and 19 miles for lithium batteries, users can confidently embark on longer journeys without the fear of running out of power. 

  1. Great for Navigating Hills

Most power add-ons are made to go on different types of surfaces. They can handle rough outdoor areas, steep hills, and even carpeted floors. 

The NAVIGO Joystick Power System has a unique feature that’s helpful when you have to go up hills, which is ideal for those who live in places with lots of them, like San Francisco. With this power assist device, you can go up slopes without having to work too hard

Who Would Benefit From a Power Assist Device?

  • People with multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, and other conditions that can affect upper limb strength and endurance. 
  • Older adults who are still active but starting to experience fatigue or pain when propelling their manual wheelchairs. 
  • Individuals who use a manual wheelchair for recreational activities like hiking or camping, as well as in a work environment where they need to travel long distances or maneuver in challenging environments. 

Do You Need Help Finding a Power Add-on for Your Manual Wheelchair?

Interested in exploring power add-ons for your manual wheelchair? Look no further than Freedom Mobility! Call 800-980-5696 or contact our RESNA-certified wheelchair experts to discover a wide range of mobility solutions and find the perfect add-on to suit your needs.