Which Wheelchair should you choose?
The decision to choose the right wheelchair for you or your loved one can be a difficult one. And with so many options, it's hard not knowing where to start.
A great way is by talking directly (or speaking through an advocate) to an occupational therapist and/or physiotherapist - they will help narrow down what might work well based on individual needs like ability level, lifestyle habits etc.
Check out some Wheelchair Tips:
Transit vs Self-Propelled Wheelchairs
Self-propelled wheelchairs and Transit wheelchairs are the two main types of manual wheelchairs that can be used.
In a transit wheelchair, the user cannot propel themselves while seated. To get around this problem they need assistance from another person or caregiver to push them along.
However, if you're using a self-propelled wheelchair then there won't be as many limitations on getting around because you aren’t reliant on someone to push you.
The self-propelled wheelchair is the most common type of wheelchair, and probably what you think about when someone mentions a 'wheelchair'. These versatile chairs can be propelled either by using your hands or pushed from behind with help from others.
The self-propelled wheelchair can generally be used by all types of people no matter whether they are elderly or handicapped. It's very useful for those that find it difficult find it difficult to walk or cannot stand for a longer period of time which requires them being transported seated, but still want to be able to control their own movements.
If you are considering a self-propelled wheelchair you will have to think about whether you really want to push yourself around all of the time. ... However, if you have the ability to propel it, a self-propelled wheelchair is the best option, because it's very light, easy to use and maintain.
Wheelchair frames typically come in one of two materials – Steel and Aluminium. Steel chairs are strong, robust, but usually quite heavy.
Aluminium chairs, on the other hand, are generally significantly lighter and easier to handle and maneuvre when empty.
The weight difference between these options can be significant; while a heavy, robust chair may suit someone looking for more stability or who has back problems, an ultra-lightweight version could prove useful if you plan on taking your chair with you everywhere
Frames are also often painted, so make sure you choose a colour you will enjoy traveling around town in.
As well as the frame itself a variety of materials and plastics are used to construct the seat, handles, foot straps, and cushions. The choice of these materials very much depends on personal preference.
When shopping for a new wheelchair, make sure you consider comfort, weight and size limits. You should also check that it will fit inside your home or car before purchasing.
Two of the most critical measurements to check are Seat Width and Seat Depth
When buying a new wheelchair, determine the seat width by measuring your hips. Then add five centimetres to this measurement for an appropriate fit so you can sit comfortably without feeling cramped or unable reach all of its controls with ease!
You can determine seat depth by measuring from the back of the hip to the back of the knee of the person while seated.
Need Any Help?
If you are at all unsure about how to measure your size or If you need help choosing the best materials for you, remember to call our trusty product specialists for personal advice.