Sometimes, due to not catering to your individual needs, you can make a disastrous purchase based on generalized preferences. So, it’s really important that you always put your physical requirements first when buying a wheelchair.
Plus, you should be able to shift easily from your wheelchair to seats, beds, and toilets.
Primary things to consider here: • Your physical measurements: Weight and Size. • Possible future changes in your body’smobility i.e. a fracture might worsen over time.• Possible changes in your physical needs i.e.change of residence.
A rule of thumb for the perfect seat-width: 3cm- 4cm greater than the expansion of your hips.
Rigid-Frame or Foldable Wheelchair?
There are two main types of wheelchairs.
Rigid-Frame Wheelchairs: Easy to propel but can’t be folded.
Powered wheelchairs or Manual wheelchairs?
Powered wheelchairs (with electronic movement and controls) are good but they are expensive and require the user to be in a good mental condition to not let any possible disaster happen out of his bad consciousness.
So, only if you are too much physically dependent and can’t propel yourself even a little, only then, you should go for a powered wheelchair.
Nevertheless, they have a serious disadvantage. Normally, wheelchair users are advised to keeptheir body parts moving. Constant effort to pull themselves play gold for them in terms of exercise-benefits.
Electronic controls make it easier to movewhich might lead to unwanted muscle loss and other medical conditions for a regular user.
Serious Caution: A perfect fit is even more crucial when it’s a powered chair as its speed can be dangerous if the seat is loose on yourwaste.
On the other hand, Manual Wheelchairs offer two kinds. 1. Self-propelled. 2. Non-self-propelled.
Self-propelled: Employs bigger rear wheels, suits those who wish to maintain a high level of movement-independence.
Important Individual Preferences & Requirements:
Some people like to frequently shift to a bed or sofa. They need to fold their wheelchairs more than often.
For those: Pick one that is easily foldablewithout using any tools.
Similarly for hot weather, Aluminium might suit.
For those who spend most of their time indoors: A compact wheelchair will work best.
For outdoor lovers, exclusive things to look for in a wheelchair are:1:. Suspension Frame2. Pneumatic Tyres or Mountain Tyres.
Rear, Mid or, Front-wheel drive?1. Rear-wheel drive: More versatile and handy for outdoor use. 2. Mid-wheel drive: Preferable for smooth indoor movement.3. Front-wheel drive: Helpful in effectively tackling side-stones and off-road rough terrain.
To put it in a nutshell, it’s all about prioritizing one factor over others.
And, last but not the least, Control System.
Some wheelchairs are incorporating theInternet Of Things to make life much easier for wheelchair users. Now, you can controlelectronic appliances i.e. Television, Gate Camera, Room Lock, etc. using your wheelchair controls.
But, this is at the expense of more money andrisk of the system being more vulnerable to potential security attacks. Beware and decide wisely!
Remember: Wheelchairs are individually customizable. That is, you can adapt your wheelchair for your own preferences no matter even if they change with time.
All in all, every chair has its own pros & cons, but your physical needs should come first. You don’t want an all-rounder chair that does everything but easing your movements and comforting your body.
Contact us if you’d like more information about need assessment or varieties of both manual and powered wheelchairs at KARMAN HEALTHCARE.
We appreciate your interest and are eager to help you. Let’s find solutions for you together.