From Lightweight Wheelchairs to Powered Wheelchairs to giant sized CaliforniaElectric Wheelchairs and WheelchairSelecting the right type of wheelchair for your mobility needs can be difficult, particularly if you are new to using them. Essentially, most of us know the basic categories a wheelchair falls into: manual chairs, electric wheelchairs and a third category, mobility scooters.
There are a large number of different styles and plenty of different makes and models to choose from, which of course for first time users can be a baffling business. The best way to start however is to remember that you know your own physical abilities and what you would like to be able to do –all you need to do is to apply that to the particular functions you are testing and if it’s a good fit, great. If not, then don’t stop looking –the right vehicle for your needs is essential, particularly if you need it just to get around from day to day.
If you have difficulty with upper body strength, a manual wheel chair can be hard to manoeuvre. Powered wheelchairs on the other hand can be operated using very simple controls, requiring the minimum of interaction from the user (Let’s face it, most of us would rather not have to fiddle with complicated controls all the time.) As well as the standard joystick control, there are a few other ways in which electric wheelchairs can be operated. Often referred to as alternate control methods, these are intended to allow users to operate other functions on the device aside from mobility, such as breath control, which means that the user can operate the device by blowing into a small tube. These chairs can be designed for a number of different types of terrain, for their ability to turn through tight corners without tipping, for speed, and with a number of different controls depending on the user’s individual circumstances.
For users who can walk, but with some degree of difficulty, a mobility scooter works in a similar way to most powered wheelchairs. Mobility scooters feature a control arm known as a tiller, extending from the front of the chair, which controls the device.
Thinking about how and where you intend to use your wheelchair is also important. Sports lightweight wheelchairs are often used for games such as basketball, however you may find that their lightness and performance based design lends itself to everyday use. Manual lightweight wheelchairs often allow users a little more freedom, as they are lightweight and can be folded away for storage when not being used, making things such as travelling easier.
Most electrically operated wheelchairsrequire a lift to raise and lower the device into the vehicle, but in general they are a great choice for general day to day mobility. Cost can be a major factor, particularly when it comes to insurance. In general, manual chairs are less expensive (Excluding some sports chairs), followed by mobility scooters, with electrical wheelchairs at the top of the price range.