Wheelchairs are designed to help those with physical disabilities regain mobility. They have been a great help to caregivers who have to transport the disabled person from one place to another. Wheelchairs have helped the disabled to reclaim some form of independence in their lives. We will now look at the various types of wheelchairs on the market and how they work.

Early wheelchairs were manual and easy to operate. They began as simple chairs and bicycle wheels attached instead of chair legs, and then a hand rim was fixed to the tire to allow the user to maneuver it on their own.

To make the wheelchair more stable, extra wheels were added, usually one or two smaller ones. If the patient was unable to use the hand rim to propel the wheelchair, handles were added to the back of the chair so an attendant could push the patient.

Common Wheelchairs in Use

Explaining Power Chairs

This was how the modern wheelchair was developed and now there are many spin off from this initial design, to suit almost any physical disability.

Electric powered wheelchairs use rechargeable batteries to power the electric motor, which then moves the chair. Joysticks are used to control all the movements of the chair, forward, backward, left, and right turns.

Batteries have to be recharged when required.  Automated wheelchairs have the ability to detect obstacles on the route and change directions accordingly. Push button controls are available for those who cannot work the joysticks.

Brain controlled wheelchairs are the most advance wheelchairs available and are designed for those with acute mobility problems. Movement of the chair is controlled by brain impulses. These wheelchairs are very costly however; they can be very useful in the extreme circumstances.

Sports Wheelchair Difference

Wheelchairs are now available for many types of activities for the physically disabled, such as sport wheelchairs for playing basketball and other sports, terrain wheelchairs for the adventuresome types, transport wheelchairs for regular travelers, wheelchairs especially for children and even wheelchairs for pets with physical mobility problems. These are all a spinoff of the original design but have the same basic function – mobility.

Wheelchairs have also been developed for people with specific conditions such as those who are paraplegic and have lost any use of their lower body below the waist. Standing and stair climbing wheelchairs are a further advancement of the original wheelchair. Wheelchairs have allowed those with physical disabilities to regain their independence and be more active socially.


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