Wheelchairs increase your mobility and provide you with the comfort of easy movement only with a seamless effort.
Sometimes, due to not catering to your individual needs, you can make a disastrous purchase based on generalized preferences.
So, you must always put your physical requirements first when buying a wheelchair.
Plus, you should be able to shift easily from your wheelchair to seats, beds, and toilets.
Primary things to consider here:
Your physical measurements: Weight and Size.
Possible future changes in your body’s mobility, i.e., a fracture might worsen over time.
Possible changes in your physical needs i.e.change of residence.
A rule of thumb for the perfect seat-width: 3cm- 4cm greater than the expansion of your hips.
Note: Only buy the wheelchair on which the Max-Weight-Allowed is explicitly mentioned.
It should be at least 5 lbs more than your body weight.
Rigid-Frame or Foldable Wheelchair?
Rigid-Frame Wheelchairs: Easy to propel but can’t be folded.
Foldable Wheelchairs: Easier to transport and more adjustable for evolving needs. However, they are harder to propel.
Powered wheelchairs or Manual wheelchairs?
Powered wheelchairs (with electronic movement and controls) are good, but they are expensive and require the user to be in a good mental condition not to let any possible disaster happen out of his bad consciousness.
So, only if you are too much physically dependent and can’t propel yourself even a little, only then should you go for a powered wheelchair.
Nevertheless, they have a serious disadvantage. Normally, wheelchair users are advised to keep their body parts moving. Constant effort to pull themselves play gold for them in terms of exercise benefits.
Electronic controls make it easier to move, leading to unwanted muscle loss and other medical conditions for a regular user.
Serious Caution: A perfect fit is even more crucial when it’s a powered chair as its speed can be dangerous if the seat is loose on your waist.
On the other hand, Manual Wheelchairs offer two kinds: 1. Self-propelled. 2. Non-self-propelled.
Self-propelled: Employs bigger rear wheels, suits those who wish to maintain a high level of movement independence.
Non-self-propelled: Its rear wheels are smaller, and you need at least one person to push the wheelchair to let you move. Yes, another handicap.
Important Individual Preferences & Requirements:
Some people like to shift to a bed or sofa frequently. They need to fold their wheelchairs more than often.
For those: Pick one that is easily foldable without using any tools.
If you like to play sports, prefer a lightweight and extra-mobile wheelchair, preferably made of Carbon Fiber or Titanium (expensive, though.)
The environment in which you will use the wheelchair is another critical factor, i.e., for a humid environment, better not buy Steel or Aluminium wheelchair as they might be eroded very soon.
Similarly, for hot weather, Aluminium might suit.
For those who spend most of their time indoors: A compact wheelchair will work best.
For outdoor lovers, the only things to look for in a wheelchair are:
1, Suspension Frame
2, Pneumatic Tyres or Mountain Tyres.
Rear, Mid or, Front-wheel drive?
1, Rear-wheel drive: More versatile and handy for outdoor use.
2, Mid-wheel drive: Preferable for smooth indoor movement.
3, Front-wheel drive: Helpful in effectively tackling side-stones and rough off-road terrain.
To put it in a nutshell, it’s all about prioritizing one factor over others.
And, last but not least, Control System.
Some wheelchairs are incorporating the Internet Of Things to make life much easier for wheelchair users.
Now, you can control electronic appliances, i.e., Television, Gate Camera, Room Lock, etc., using your wheelchair controls.
But, this is at the expense of more money and the risk of the system being more vulnerable to potential security attacks. Beware and decide wisely!
Remember: Wheelchairs are individually customizable.
That is, you can adapt your wheelchair to your preferences no matter even if they change with time.
All in all, every chair has its pros & cons, but your physical needs should come first.
You don’t want an all-rounder chair that does everything but easing your movements and comforting your body.
Contact us if you’d like more information about the need assessment or varieties of manual and powered wheelchairs at TOUSDA.
We appreciate your interest and are eager to help you.
Let’s find solutions for you together.