Travel Wheelchair Buying Guide
It is important to know the difference between a travel wheelchair and a regular wheelchair as the two are quite different from each other. These two types of wheelchairs both have their own specific uses and should not be replaced with one another. Unlike its counterpart, travel wheelchairs are very compact and lightweight making them ideal for transportation.
When it comes to transportation, travel wheelchairs are much easier to lift into buses or cars, which in return makes them an ideal choice for anyone looking into travel. What a travel wheelchair is not however, is a replacement for your manual wheelchair. As stated before, they are not a replacement for you primary source of mobility.
Purchasing A Transport Wheelchair
When purchasing a transport wheelchair, there are many different factors to consider. The seat cushion, arm rest, and foot support are important parts of the chair and should all be made of quality to avoid future headaches. Before your purchase, always make sure that the seat width is adequate as that is one of the most common limiting factors about wheelchairs.
The seat width of the chair will single handedly decide whether or not you will be comfortable in the wheelchair. The way to measure this accurately is to take a measurement of one hip to another and base your adjustments on that. Remember that it’s always better to be in a wheelchair that is slightly larger instead of too small.
Seat Cushions For Travel Wheelchairs
After seat width, the next important element is seat cushioning. Seat cushioning is crucial to making sure that you are able to stay in your chair without fatigue. There are three different types of seat cushions: comfort, positioning, and preventive. Comfort cushions are usually made of foam or gel and are designed to make your chair more comfortable.
Most quality wheelchairs will have cushions that are designed to prevent fatigue while sitting in your wheelchair. These chairs will also include positioning cushions. Positioning cushions are designed for adjusting posture.
They make sure that your posture doesn’t get negatively affected whilst sitting in the wheelchair. The third type of cushion is called the preventive cushion. Preventive cushions are made to prevent you from getting sores or pains while sitting in your wheelchair. This is very important especially if you plan on staying in your wheelchair for long periods of time without moving.
Components Of Travel Wheelchairs
When you’re looking at different wheelchairs, take a look at the type of arm rest to determine its usefulness. Most wheelchairs either come with a full arm rest or a desk arm rest. A full arm rest is usually the standard travel wheelchair design that allows you to keep your entire arm on the rest. This is ideal for comfort especially if you have a larger upper body.
The desk arm rest on the other hand, has a much shorter arm rest that allows easier access to desks or tables. Imagine the way an office chair interacts with a desk by situating inside of it. A desk arm rest can be comparable to this scenario. Obviously the desk arm rest lacks in comfort when compared to its full arm rest counter-part but what it lacks in comfort, some would say it makes up in mobility.
Footrest Types of Transport Wheelchairs
Two additional factors to consider for your wheelchair is the leg and foot rest. The differences of these two things are exactly as simple as they seem. A foot rest is designed to support your feet and ankles whereas a leg rest, you guessed it—is designed to support your entire leg. Foot and leg rests aren’t required for everyone so it’s best to consult with your doctor to see if one is recommended for you.
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