For someone with compromised mobility, a mobility aid like a wheelchair can mean having freedom of movement, often unassisted. It is critical for people with disabilities to choose the best wheelchair for freedom of movement, better control, maneuverability, less effort, and maximum comfort.
The right choice of a wheelchair will allow seniors to be socially active, make them self-reliant, and confident, and also reduce the chances of skin or urinary tract infections. They can also be more involved with their families and society. Follow on for How to Choose the Best Wheelchair for Movement and Comfort!
Different Types of Wheelchairs
There are many different types of wheelchairs based on posture and convenience. These include:
These wheelchairs are operated manually by users, typically using their hands or helpers pushing them.
The folding frame manual wheelchair is best for people who need to travel a lot because they offer easy transportation, a high degree of adjustability, and are relatively lightweight.
These wheelchairs are robust and can be folded for convenient storage and carriage. Due to their low weight, they are easier to maneuver and push. For heavier persons, a heavy-duty wheelchair is recommended due to its extra-strong construction and strengthened upholstery for better performance and durability.
Another popular kind of disability-friendly mobility aid in the manual wheelchair category is the standing wheelchair that can be adjusted from a sitting position to one that makes it possible for the user to almost stand up using a hydraulic pump.
All wheelchairs may have additional features like cushions, backrests, headrests, brakes, trays, and even power systems to move the wheels.
Users can choose a powered wheelchair that uses a battery-fitted motor that spares them from the physical effort to move indoors, outdoors, or with the assistance of a caregiver.
These wheelchairs provide extra maneuverability, speed, stability, and comfort, allowing users to conserve energy and remain more active. You can choose from front-wheel drive, mid-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive models depending on the need for stability, turning radius, and maneuvering in limited spaces.
While you can buy a powered wheelchair off the rack, you can also upgrade your manual wheelchair by adding a power drive system that may be direct-drive or belt-drive, depending on how the motorized system is attached.
Important Selection Criteria
When compared to manual wheelchairs, powered models are more expensive. If you have no need to move around a lot and are comfortable with using your upper limbs to move and maneuver the wheelchair, you can buy a manual wheelchair.
However, a powered model is a better buy if you need assistance, want to travel for longer distances, and enjoy greater freedom. If you need to carry around the wheelchair in a car, you will want a folding model since they are lighter and more portable, but the non-folding type is better for home use since it is stronger and more durable. According to Forbes, choosing the right cushion is also vital.
In addition to the above, some other important factors in the selection of a wheelchair include weight, stability, durability, and maneuverability. You will also want to consider aspects like weight distribution, seat width, and depth that are important for personal comfort.