Deciding on a wheelchair can be a tough task.
You really have to know what you like and what you need the chair to do before you make a decision. Today, we’re going to help you learn a bit about different types of wheelchairs so this process is a little bit easier.
There are probably more wheelchair varieties than you could have ever imagined, so we’ll go over the most popular types and give you some advice on how to choose the right one. You want to be comfortable and happy with your wheelchair. Let’s make this big decision together.
The Different Types of Wheelchairs
Wheelchairs generally fall under the following categories: electric, manual, pediatric, all-terrain, and bariatric. There are many others that serve specific purposes, like being in an airplane or playing sports, but don’t have that much daily practical use.
Manual wheelchairs are what you’d traditionally picture when you think about a standard wheelchair. They’re common in hospitals and long-term care facilities because they’re the smallest and most economical choice.
To operate a manual wheelchair, you propel the wheels with your arms. Sometimes there’ll be a handle on the wheel to assist in this. For that reason, these are usually reserved for people that have full use of their upper body.
For people that tire easily, or have little use of their upper body, there’s the electric wheelchair. They’re a good option for the elderly and anyone with mobility issues because they allow anyone to move around quite easily.
Using the hand-throttle, you can direct the wheelchair anywhere without any help, so they’re a popular option. The only downside is the cost and their overall size. It can be hard to get into tight spaces and even harder to transport in automobiles and airplanes.
Pediatric wheelchairs are made for children. You can purchase both manual pediatric wheelchairs or electric pediatric wheelchairs, depending on the child’s ability to propel themselves.
One of the more niche products is the all-terrain wheelchair, which is a type of electric wheelchair with larger wheels that allow the user to go over different kinds of terrain. They’re a great option for someone that has lost mobility, but still enjoys going out for long trips on non-concrete paths.
Bariatric wheelchairs are specialized for people that struggle with weight problems. They’re built with a much sturdier frame with a wider frame of motion to support people that can’t be on their feet for long periods of time but still need their full range of motion.
A bariatric electric wheelchair will come with a thick, cushioned seat and all-terrain wheels that allow you to get around an apartment complex or retirement home quite easily.
How to Decide On a Wheelchair
Now that you know what different types of wheelchairs provide, you can better make your decision. Think about what your needs are. If you lack mobility, the best choice for you is probably an electric wheelchair, but if you’re buying for a child, then you’ll need a pediatric wheelchair.
Different makes and models will have different bells and whistles. Shop around and find the right wheelchair for your needs and improve your quality of life.
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