You know how vital mobility is if you ever had a broken leg or ankle. Having to stay put in one position, not being able to go to work or do basic daily activities makes the situation even worse. Being immobile can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life  and will often make a medical situation worse by losing their independence.

If you are unfamiliar with a wheelchair, you might be asking yourself how you can use it to help yourself or a loved one to be mobile again. .

We will take a look at the various kinds of wheelchairs and what to look for when using them. A wheelchair can help the user regain some of their independence and improve their lifestyle.

When was the wheelchair invented?

In 1932, Henry Jennings invented the first foldable wheelchair that used steel tubing, but the history of the wheelchair goes back to China in 525 CE and was even used by royalty. Spain’s King Phillip II was seen in a wheelchair that had foot, head and arm rests however it was not self-propelled.

What are the various sizes of wheelchairs?

Wheelchairs are available in sizes from kids size up to large frame adult size. All wheelchairs have a maximum weight capacity, so keep the person’s size and weight in mind when evaluating a wheelchair.

Does insurance pay for the wheelchair?

Insurance companies will cover all or most of the wheelchair costs if you have a wheelchair prescription from your doctor and it will also have to be medically necessary. If you don’t have insurance, you can find a good used one at a medical supply store. Many organizations and nonprofit groups also help those with limited income to get wheelchairs.

How do I make my home wheelchair accessible?

There are a few things you can install in your home to make it more accessible for a wheelchair user. The first thing to do is to make sure the door frames are wide enough so that the wheelchair and its wheels can fit through comfortably. If you have steps leading to your front door, a ramp should be installed to make getting into and out of the house easier.

A bathroom should be installed on the level where the wheelchair user will be spending most of their time. If you are not handy enough to make these changes for yourself, find a local contractor who specializes in renovating homes for wheelchair users.


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