Choosing the Right Manual Wheelchair

Posted on May 15 2012


Most people utilize a wheelchair for mobility assistance and those who are adjusting from being ambulatory to having to utilize a wheelchair, can feel overwhelmed with the choices available. With the large variety of choices one has in the world of wheelchairs, facing the decision of choosing one and having to learn all the differences in a short time, can really frustrate an already overwhelmed person. In light of this, we have compiled a small general guide to explain the general differences between manual wheelchairs in order to make yours or your loves ones choice easier.

Transport Wheelchairs: These wheelchairs are perfect for the user who does fine in the home, but has trouble walking long distances or for lengthy periods of time. Lightweight and portable, transport chairs are great for use at a family event, the shopping mall, or the grocery store.

Standard Wheelchairs: Standard wheelchairs are exactly how they are described. Designed to allow people mobility in short distances, a standard chair is the wheelchair commonly seen at a physician's office, nursing facility, or emergency room. Most standard wheelchairs are foldable in the event of transport, though there are models available that have rigid non-adjustable frames. Some models also come with elevating arm and leg rests for comfort and enhanced support.

Lightweight Wheelchairs: Lightweight chairs are great for those who are in them for many hours at a time. The design of many of these chairs includes a lower seat height than the standard, which allows the user to propel with their feet over relatively even surfaces. This keeps the hands free to be used to accomplish other tasks, if needed.

High-Strength and Lightweight Wheelchairs: Great for people who need support for posture, these chairs are a great choice for the very active user. With added strength to its body, these chairs are designed to go more places without complications. As with regular lightweight chairs, these chairs can also be propelled by the feet, leaving the user with more independent use of their hands.

Super Lightweight Wheelchairs: Made out of either aluminum or titanium, these chairs weigh considerably less than any other chairs on the market, with the titanium models weighing the least. These chairs are the race car of the wheelchair world. Built for performance, durability and maneuverability, users can go almost anywhere in these chairs. They are perfect for everyday use and can be individually tailored to fit specific needs.

Bariatric Wheelchairs: These wheelchairs are generally the heaviest out of all the models. Structurally sound to carry more weight than the average chair, bariatric wheelchairs also offer larger seat sizes with reinforced upholstery. Frames are also reinforced and made larger for enhanced safety. Bariatric wheelchairs also enjoy many of the same options as regular wheelchairs, but those options may vary according to what model you own.

For more information about wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment, visit our website or our informational Health Resources page online. You can also call for further assistance in choosing the right wheelchair for you at 1-888-687-4334.


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