Learn how to choose the best manual and motorized wheelchair for your needs. How does a user personal needs influence the purchase of a wheelchair?
Buying an appropriate wheelchair is not always straightforward. Everyone has unique needs. As a result, selecting one wheelchair over another will depend on three highly personal factors: suitability for the user, the use, and for the surroundings.
In general, all wheelchairs are replaceable, from wheelchair tires, arm pads, brakes to cushion and footrests. All these options are configured in terms of seat and back size and position, as well as adjustable and detachable armrests and footrests. However, while purchasing a wheelchair, you must consider other factors, and the range is so vast that you may get overwhelmed. As wheelchair specialists, we recommend that you follow these instructions to locate the one that best meets your needs.
How does a user personal needs influence the purchase of a wheelchair?
When purchasing a wheelchair, the first thing you must ask yourself is what characteristics it must have to adapt to your condition, bearing in mind elements such as whether you can transfer yourself from the wheelchair (to a vehicle seat, bed, or toilet) or whether you have problems with posture control. Wheelchairs that are electric, manual, or ultra-light are available.
The second factor to consider is the capabilities that your wheelchair must have. If you’re using it for outdoor mobility, you need high performance wheelchair with off road wheelchair tires to withstand the tough terrains.
If you’ll have to fold it up often, the most practical option is to consider wheelchair that folds up easily and require little storage space. If you want to use it for sport and enjoyment, the most practical options are the lighter versions. For small space accessibility, you’ll need one with foldable footrests.
If you need other technical assistive mobility devices such as anti-decubitus cushions, lifts, cane holders, and so on or other kinds of wheelchair attachment, seek for one that is compatible with all of them.
Finally, we’ll discuss the environment: buying a wheelchair for outdoor usage is not the same as buying one for indoor use, nor is buying one for an urban area the same as buying one for a rural environment. The wheelchair tires for an outdoor wheelchair is different for tires for wheelchair used indoors.
You must also consider the climate of your chosen location. If you live in a humid area, your wheelchair must be rust-resistant, and if you live in a chilly city, bear in mind that when you wear thick clothes, you will want more space to move around comfortably.
The medical ailments and situations that limit a person’s ability to use a wheelchair are numerous, which is why the wheelchair selection is so diverse. The initial decision must be made between an electric wheelchair and a manual wheelchair, which is generally determined by the user’s level of autonomy.
Electric wheelchairs are often used by persons who are unable to push themselves due to a lack of upper-limb strength or because they are unable to handle the effort for whatever reason.
The degree of autonomy also impacts manual wheelchair selection: self-propelled wheelchairs have bigger back wheels and are meant for those with a high degree of freedom, whereas non-self-propelled wheelchairs are narrower, have smaller back wheels, and must be pushed by another person. Both of these varieties may be found in the QUICKIE brand of manual wheelchairs.
The material of the wheelchair is also an important consideration. Wheelchairs are mostly comprised of four materials:
Wheelchairs that are electric, manual, or ultra-light are available.
- Steel make rigid wheelchairs that are heavier, more durable and robust.
- Aluminum wheelchairs are lightweight and easy to move
- Titanium wheelchairs are more lighter than aluminum versions.
- Carbon fiber is an ultralight weight material with exceptional durability
Another crucial consideration when purchasing a wheelchair is whether to go with a rigid or folding frame. Because there are no joints or hinges, the chassis of the chairs with a solid frame is substantially lighter. Foldable chairs, on the other hand, are easier to move, but they use less energy: the pulse energy in a folding wheelchair is lower than in a rigid one. Keep in mind you can also transform your existing wheelchair into an off road mobility vehicle with off road wheelchair tires.