6 Tips for buying a Wheelchair
Entering the world of wheelchairs can be a daunting and challenging process with such a vast and variable range available. There are so many different options, styles and designs that can make it a difficult task. But, if you take the time to sit and think about what you require, the entire process will be a lot simpler. So how do you choose which one is the right one for you? The following are a list of tips and considerations to help you out when you’re trying to decide on the perfect wheelchair.
CONSIDER THE SIZE OF THE WHEELCHAIR USER
Wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes and thus it is important to choose one that fits just right to ensure maximum comfort and safety.
For larger and heavier clients, it is recommended to use bariatric wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are designed and built to carry a heavier load ensuring proper support and comfort such as in the 51cm Seat Bariatric Wheelchair – SWL 190kg and 56cm Seat Bariatric Wheelchair – SWL 190kg.
For children and teenagers, it is recommended that wheelchairs with smaller seat widths and depths be used to ensure the child/teenager is sitting firmly and securely in the chair. Some children do need specialised wheelchairs, so be sure to contact your health care provider for advice.
SELF-PROPELLED VS TRANSIT WHEELCHAIRS
Manual wheelchairs can be split into two design types, self-propelled wheelchairs and transit wheelchairs. Self-propelled wheelchairs allow the wheelchair user to move themselves independently whereas transit wheelchairs require someone to manually push them. When deciding which model to choose, consider the wheelchair user’s degree of independence and strength.
If the wheelchair user wants independence and has ample strength, self-propelled wheelchairs offer a much more independent experience such as the Lightweight Self-Propelled Wheelchair Black Frame. These wheelchairs have been constructed with hand-rims placed on the large posterior wheels. This allows the user to move the wheels and thus the chair.
If the wheelchair user does not require independence, a lightweight wheelchair frame provides an easier chair to transport. These wheelchairs can usually be folded such as the Lightweight Economy Transit Wheelchair. This makes the chairs easy to pack-up and move around, including putting in the boot of the car.
CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT THE WHEELCHAIR WILL BE USED IN
Wheelchair capabilities change dependent on their design, material make-up, size and wheels. It is important to consider these aspects when choosing the wheelchair that’s going to be right for you.
If you’re looking for a wheelchair that can be used at the beach or in a pool, special wheelchairs such as The Platypus Beach/All Terrain wheelchair and The Swimming Pool wheelchair are made with specific materials such as open weave fabric and PVC construction allowing the wheelchairs to be used in these environments. The large Wheeleez wheels on The Platypus Beach/All Terrain wheelchair permit the wheelchair to be used in all sorts of terrain and environments including on sand and dirt paths.
CONSIDER PATIENT TRANSFERS AND GETTING THE USER IN AND OUT OF THE WHEELCHAIR
It is important to remember that all wheelchair users will be moving into and out of their chair throughout the day, thus it’s important to consider how this will be done.
Many wheelchairs have been constructed with adjustable armrests and leg rests such as in the Lightweight Self-propelled Wheelchair Black Frame and the 51cm Seat Bariatric Wheelchair – SWL 190kg. These adjustable armrests and leg-rests facilitate easier lateral transfers. This will make it easier to assist wheelchair users in and out of their chairs where they are not able to do so themselves.
Every wheelchair is different, and each wheelchair offers a different range of uses based on their design features, frame-type, wheels and construction. It is important you consider these different features before you choose your wheelchair to ensure you’re obtaining the maximum number of benefits the chair has to offer. We always recommend getting advice from your health care professional prior to choosing a wheelchair. Here at Safety and Mobility our staff are equipped with extensive knowledge on all our products and are happy to help you search out the perfect one.