When it comes to wheelchairs, there not all the same. From the footplate to the armrest, to the seat, there are a number of things on one that can be customized. Whichever is nest for your needs, know that having one can greatly improve your life. When you are disabled, having a wheelchair allows you to live your life the way anyone else would; you are able to get around freely in school, work and in general. In this piece, you will learn what makes electric wheelchairs different from manual varieties and what you can do to customize yours in order to fit your needs.
There are two main types of wheelchairs–mechanical ones move by the person sitting it using their strength to push it or by having someone stand behind it and push it. On the other hand, electric wheelchairs allow the user to simply press a button and have the chair move.
Unlike mobility scooters, wheelchairs are usually easy to maneuver, allowing the person to get in and out of stores and public places much easier. If you prefer to use a mobility scooter instead, however, no worries; look at our mobility scooter Best Buys to check out the top mobility scooters we have tested out!
Purchasing A Wheelchair For A Loved One
When purchasing a wheelchair for a loved one, be prepared for him or her to be hesitant. Many people who need a wheelchair are embarrassed or ashamed to use one. They think people will look at them differently. If you notice this is the case with your loved one, have a talk with them. Let them know people will not look at them differently and that having a wheelchair will help to greatly improve their life. Ideally, get them to try out a wheelchair first prior to actually purchasing one. They may be surprised at how much they like it.
One can purchase a wheelchair or hire one privately. Most people in the UK get their wheelchair through the NHS wheelchair service. To learn more, take a look at our guides regarding how to acquire a wheelchair, as well as wheelchair hire.
More About Manual Wheelchairs:
In general, manual wheelchairs are best for people who:
- Need a wheelchair most or all of the time for mobility, whether indoors or outdoors
- Those who have some ability to walk, whether with a walking frame or walking stick, but are unable to do so for long distances. A manual wheelchair can help people when they are out and about.
Manual wheelchairs require the use of arms, so only people who have the strength in their arms should be using them. If the wheelchair user cannot use their arms for this purpose, attendant-propelled wheelchairs are best, so someone can push them in it. Note that many self-propelled wheelchairs are equipped with push handles so that another person can help, when needed.
The back wheels on a self-propelled wheelchair are larger and contain an outer pushrim users turn in order to propel the chair. Since the wheels are so bulky, the chair can be difficult to fit into the trunk of a car. Therefore, when picking a self-propelled chair, find ones with quick-release wheels.
On the other hand, the back wheels of attendant-propelled wheelchairs are lighters, making them easier to get around. Certain obstacles are more difficult to get around with these chairs.