Wheelchairs were created to make it possible for anyone whose mobility has been reduced to reclaim their independence. They may not regain the total freedom they once had, but thanks to the many types of specialty wheelchairs now available, they are still not as limited as they once might have been in the past.

From manual to electric, there are a host of styles and types to choose from. In this article, we will cover the most popular ones, so that you can decide which one is best for you.

Exploring the World of Specialty Wheelchairs

Manual Wheelchairs

When you think about wheelchair for disabled people, the manual wheelchair always pops to mind. These manual wheelchairs have a rigid frame and can be propelled by someone pushing from behind or the by the user using the hand rims on the large rear wheels.

With the help of technological advances, the manual wheelchair has seen many different types for different disabilities and lifestyles.

Lightweight Wheelchairs

These lightweight wheelchairs are as per their name lightweight and easy to transport in cars. They are made of lightweight materials like aluminum and plastic and only weight 15 to 20 lbs.

Folding Wheelchairs

Sometimes called the portable wheelchair, this folding frame is one of the most popular manual wheelchairs on the market today. Two different types of folding wheelchairs are available.

First is the X-frame, this type can be folded flat. Second is the folding back, this types reduces the height of the chair which makes it easier to transport in a car that has limited space.

Sport Wheelchairs

Designed for use by wheelchair athletes, the sports wheelchair has a wider wheelbase and is lower to the ground. They are usually made of composite steel, plastic and aluminum materials. They are made to turn very easily and the wheels are designed for speed and traction.

Electric Wheelchairs

Electric wheelchair or power wheelchair have allowed people with a disability to be more independent. Power scooters have also been instrumental in helping with the maneuverability of disabled persons.

Specialty Transport Wheelchairs

Also referred to as bariatric wheelchairs, these were designed for heavier patients, usually over 350 lbs. They have firmer, denser frames that evenly distribute the patient’s weight. The frames are designed to absorb bumps and shocks, providing the users with a smoother ride.

These wheelchairs are also equipped with heavy-duty batteries and all terrain tires and gives the heavier patient increased independence and mobility. They can be fitted with special seats that can lift to allow their person to reach higher or tilt to allow for an easier transition from the chair.

Heavy Duty Wheelchairs

These wheelchairs are different from the bariatric chair. They are designed with a wider wheelbase making it more stable and smoother ride. This kind of wheelchair can operate on almost any terrain.  The improved turning radius and manoeuvrability have made them suitable for indoor and outdoor purposes.

Shock absorbers and long lasting batteries make longer treks outdoors possible. They easily handle changes in grades and with the improved braking system, backsliding is no longer an issue with this type of wheelchair.


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