You or a loved one may find yourself in need of a wheelchair at some point in your life. Whether you need assistance due to a temporary injury or you need to rely on the chair due to old age or a progressive condition, wheelchairs are one of the most common mobility aids available today.
The idea behind the wheelchair is simple – the chair is usually constructed with two larger wheels and two smaller wheels so that the user can self-propel the chair with their hands. Wheelchairs often feature handles so that another person can push the chair, and some wheelchairs are battery powered so that the user can control them by means of a joystick.
As you delve into the world of wheelchairs, you’ll quickly find that there are many varieties of chairs, each built for a different purpose. Transport wheelchairs are built so as to only be pushed by an assistant, while sport wheelchairs are created to be easy to quickly maneuver so that the user can participate in sports activities. Reclining wheelchairs increase user comfort and help to avoid pressure sores, while standing wheelchairs provide an entirely different positioning.
You may find that you have very specific preferences for what you want in your wheelchair, and that’s okay – many wheelchairs have options which allow you to semi-customize the chair. Different styles of foot pads and leg supports are available, and many of them swing away for easy access to the chair. Some supports are removable so that you can decide what support you want and need, and many chairs offer various wheel positions for improved handling and ease of use.
Wheelchairs are designed to be easy to handle and maneuver, and with a little practice you’re sure to settle into your new wheelchair.
Consider the Chair’s Weight
The weight of a wheelchair can really affect how comfortable it is to use. If you will be propelling the wheelchair yourself, then it’s best to look for a wheelchair with a lighter weight, especially if you are new to using a wheelchair.
When choosing a wheelchair, it’s important that the chair is a good fit for you. Make sure that you take the time to measure yourself so that you can order a chair which will fit you correctly.
Know What You’re Looking For
Before you start browsing wheelchairs, take a few minutes to come up with a list of the features that are most important to you. What is your intended use for the chair – will you be using it to participate in sports activities, for help while recovering from an injury, or for increased mobility while you’re out running errands? Your intended use for the chair, paired with your specific needs will help to steer you towards the type of wheelchair that is right for you.