Wheelchairs come in various shapes, sizes, and features specifically designed for people with certain disabilities. Having to sort through different types, features and prices of wheelchairs online can be long and tiring, so in this article, we’ve compiled different types of wheelchairs and other important things to know before buying one. This article does not contain every possible kind of wheelchair out there, but it is comprehensive enough to help guide you on the right wheelchair to get for a loved one.
Types of Wheelchairs
Manual wheelchairs are moved by the person sitting in them. By holding the handle near the wheels, the user can move the chair forward, backward, and turn it. Manual wheelchairs can also be pushed by someone standing behind the person in the wheelchair. Because of this, manual wheelchairs have handles behind the backrest.
There are different kinds of manual wheelchairs that are made for different uses. For example, lightweight and foldable chairs are often easier to move from a chair into a smaller vehicle. Heavy-duty chairs, on the other hand, can hold more weight and are usually more durable.
Powered wheelchairs are electric wheelchairs that run on batteries and have controls that move the user forward. People who use powered chairs can go longer distances without getting tired and they have more freedom than when using a manual chair.
One problem with powered wheelchairs is that they are heavier and bigger than manual chairs. This is because powered chairs need at least a battery and a motor to move. Power wheelchairs come in many different styles. The most basic power chairs allow the user to move around, and most of the time, the controls and steering are done by hand.
Pediatric wheelchairs are made to be used by children. They can be manual, powered, and specialised wheelchairs, but they are all made for children. Some special paediatric wheelchairs are made to help kids with certain mobility disabilities be more independent.
Paediatric wheelchairs are designed to help children get used to them quickly and feel comfortable using them, and improve their self confidence among their peers.
Positioning wheelchairs let the user move around in their wheelchair. These chairs are electric and run on batteries so that the person can move around and change their position.
Some positioning wheelchairs, for example, can lean backward. Some wheelchairs can move the user’s feet and legs up and down. Putting your body in different positions with a positioning wheelchair can be good for your health in many ways. Also, these can help people with movement difficulties do more on their own.
Most sports wheelchairs are manual and come in different sizes and shapes. There are chairs for basketball, tennis, racing, and even rugby that are made for those sports. Advancement in sports wheelchairs have created more opportunities for persons in wheelchairs, and wheelchair sports have increased in popularity.
Standard sports wheelchairs for basketball have wheels that are tilted outward. This helps the athlete keep their balance better and gives them more room to move their upper body. Most of these chairs have four smaller wheels under the two big wheels to make them more stable. Sports wheelchairs also cover the athlete’s legs to keep them from getting hurt on the court.
There are many different styles and shapes of all-terrain wheelchairs, each with varying travel abilities. All-terrain wheelchairs have features like bigger wheels and longer frames that help them stay balanced on uneven ground. All-terrain wheelchairs are heavy and hard to move, but they can go places where many other wheelchairs can’t.
Standing Power Wheelchairs
This wheelchair gives the person sitting on it the ability to move safely from a sitting position to a standing position. The motorised wheel base of a power standing wheelchair also lets the user get around in the world.
People who have trouble moving around will get even more health benefits from using electric standing wheelchairs. The human body was made to stand up, so when people can’t stand up, it affects their health negatively. With the help of motorised technology, power standing chairs make it easy for the user to move into a standing position.
Things To Consider When Buying a Wheelchair
Dimensions and Size
Size is very important in making a choice of a wheelchair. You want to pick one that fits you perfectly. If it is too small, you may have difficulty getting in and out of it, and if it is too large, you may find yourself slipping out of it.
The right size of wheelchair for you depends on your weight, size and age. There are different wheelchairs for persons of all weights, sizes and ages, and you will always find a perfect one for yourself.
Some wheelchairs have weight limits and it is important to take note of this before picking a wheelchair for yourself.
Arm-Rest and Foot-Rest
Make inquiries about the arm and foot rest or even try them out before making a purchase. The arm and foot rest should be strong enough for you to place your weight on them when you have to get in and out of the wheelchair. Wheelchairs come with different designs of arm and footrest, and it is important to get one that makes movement easier for you.
Ease Of Storage And Transport
It is not enough to think about your own mobility alone when buying a wheelchair, you must also think about the mobility of your wheelchair. You want to have a wheelchair that you can easily fit in your vehicle, and fold easily without any difficulty. Your wheelchair shouldn’t be too heavy or bulky to be taken in and out of your vehicle, and to be placed somewhere when you’re not using it.
Durability Of The Wheels
The wheels on your wheelchair are so important. They should last a long time and fit your needs best. If you use your chair outside a lot, look for wheels with stronger tyres that can move on different surfaces. Look for tyres that are easy to take care of and won’t cost a lot to fix. Your wheelchair wheels should be perfect for your home surface and give you a strong grip.
How much back support you’ll need depends on your age, your weight and your mobility. If you will need a lot of support, a wheelchair that can be tilted into different positions is best for you.
Getting a wheelchair that you totally love and enjoy is very important. If you will be spending a lot of time in your wheelchair, you want to make sure that it fits your lifestyle perfectly, your body shape, weight and size, and you enjoy it so much in every way
Wheelchair prices vary depending on your needs and desired specifications. Before you start searching for your ideal wheelchair, you might want to assess what sort of budget you have in mind.
We hope this guide has helped prepare you ready to search for your perfect wheelchair. If there is anything else we can help with, or you’re looking for more advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.