Wheelchairs can be liberating or they can be aggravating. For people who are in need of a mechanism for movement, wheelchairs offer a range of mobility options that can have people on the go again. The various styles and designs in which wheelchairs are made can make choosing the correct device for your needs overwhelming. Finding the right wheelchair for your needs will enable you to lessen the hassle and achieve maximum function.
As wheelchairs are designed for various types of activities and uses, their sizes, weights, styles, and capabilities all have effects on the user’s experience. Ultimately, when selecting the right wheelchair, especially for a first time user, working with an occupational therapist is recommended. However, there are a few tips that can help you cut down through the decision making the process of selecting the right wheelchair for your needs.
Manual wheelchairs are typically intended for people who have use of their upper body strength, needed for short periods of time, or infrequent use. These types of wheelchairs are maneuvered by the user propelling the chair forward or backward by physically pushing the wheels.
The modern models of manual wheelchairs are considerably less in weight than those of a few decades ago, making them easier to fold and load into vehicles as well as to maneuver around in general. While these styles of wheelchairs have made strides in their design options such as added suspension systems that smooth the ride, they primarily are standard utility chairs that are lacking in extra frills.
If a person is unable to push themselves with their upper body use or strength, then the better option is a power wheelchair. These designs are powered by electric motors and batteries and controlled by using a joystick for direction. The traditional style resembles a motorized standard-issue wheelchair, where other styles such as the platform model power chair are more advanced.
The list of equipment options on power wheelchairs are varied and can range from lighter weight easy to transport to off-road ruggedness. Depending on your level of needs, the power chairs can offer extensive capabilities that allow you to have more independence as well as mobility. However, the bulkier the wheelchair is, the more in-depth your transportation plans will need to become.
Points To Keep In Mind
Once you have a clear idea of your needs, it is best to test a few wheelchair models if possible before you purchase or rent one. Your weight, height, and physical needs all come into play when choosing the most comfortable fit for you. You will also want to keep in mind the level of use in which you will be required of the wheelchair, if you only need it for trips that require a lot of walking or if you need it to complete daily tasks. All of these considerations will help you determine what wheelchair best suits your needs.
Contact Thrive For Life today for all of your wheelchair needs.