How to Choose the Right Wheelchair?
What is a wheelchair?
A wheelchair is a chair on wheels that is primarily designed for use by users with mobility difficulties, both temporary and permanent use.
There are 2 main categories of wheelchairs, Manual Wheelchairs and Electric Wheelchairs. To choose a suitable wheelchair is essential as users of wheelchairs are dependent on the wheelchair for mobility purposes majority of the time.
Why is choosing the right wheelchair important?
Choosing the right wheelchair is as important as choosing the right bed as we spend around a third of our life resting on the bed. The right wheelchair with the right width and functions determines the comfort for the individual using the wheelchair, this is especially so for those who are highly dependent on wheelchairs for their daily needs like commuting. Other than the use themselves, the right wheelchair will also improve the caretaking experience of caretakers, creating a more enjoyable experience.
Owning a fitting wheelchair can also achieve the goal of empowering the individual to be largely independent.
Types of Wheelchair
At Medical Assistance4u, we currently offer Manual Wheelchairs and Push Chairs.
Wheelchairs have larger wheels which contributes to the stability of the wheelchair, making it suitable for users who weigh more than 80kg. With grab rims on the wheels, users are able to self-propel for less dependency on their caregivers.
Similar to wheelchairs, recliner wheelchairs have larger wheels and higher stability. The added function is the reclining function that is suitable for users who are fully dependent on wheelchairs for their daily needs. Recliner wheelchair, coupled with adjustable footrest, reclines the user to a sleeping position for higher comfort level and improved blood circulation.
Pushchairs have smaller wheels compared to wheelchairs, resulting in lower stability. The lower stability of pushchairs limits its suitability for users who weigh less 80 kg.
Foot rest – Removable/ Flip up
Non-fixed footrest is a good option to have for user who requires their caregivers to transfer the user from the hospital bed to the wheelchair and vice versa. Having fixed footrest is a possible hazard, obstructing the transfer of the user and might even cause the user and the caregiver to be injured. There are 2 types of non-fixed footrest:
a. Removable Footrest
b. Flip up footrest
2. Calf pads
Calf pads on wheelchairs provide support and elevation of the users leg for blood circulation and prevents swelling.
3. Flip up armrest
Flip up armrest, like the non-fixed foot rest, is a good option to have for user who requires their caregivers to transfer the user from the hospital bed to the wheelchair and vice versa. Having flip up armrest removes the obstruction during the transfer of the user from the wheelchair to the bed and vice versa.
4. Foldable – Compact for portability
Compactibility of a wheelchair is the key factor to seamless travel. Wheelchair such as travellite wheelchairs have the following features:
- Collapsible backrest
- Removable footrests
- Foldable seat
5. Chair width
Wide-width wheelchairs have seat width of an average of 54cm. Wide-width wheelchairs are more suitable for bariatric patients who are larger in size.
Normal wheelchairs in the market have seat width of 46cm on average. Due to its narrower width, these wheelchairs are more comfortable for users who are smaller in size.
Wheelchair brakes is a safety feature put in place to ensure the safety of both the user and the caregiver, especially when transiting down a slope.
At Medical Assistance4u
We currently offer Manual Wheelchairs and Push Chairs and wheelchair accessories. With medically trained staff, our team at Medical Assistance4u can provide you with consultation services to assist you to find the most suitable wheelchair.