Wheelchairs come in many different types.
Wheelchairs are available in two main categories, each with a different type to meet the needs of users. However, all wheelchairs are classified as either electric wheelchair or manual wheelchair(also known as Transit).
The main design purpose of electric wheelchairs is to allow the user of the chair to operate the controls to move the electric wheelchair forward without the need for someone to push the chair.
The electric wheelchair is designed with a motor and a controller on the armrest. This allows the user to move the chair using only the controller
These chairs usually have handles on the backrest that can be used to push the user of the chair. The motor can be converted into manual or electric mode
If you often travel with someone, it is best to use a manual wheelchair. Their smaller designs make them easier to push.
Compared with electric wheelchairs, the only disadvantage of manual wheelchairs is that the user cannot move without assistance. Because manual wheelchairs do not have motors and controllers, the user cannot control the wheelchair to move forward.
There are no hard and fast rules about the type of chair you should choose. If you're not sure whether you want to push yourself, you should opt for a power wheelchair. This gives you the best of both worlds. Since the rear wheels are larger, this should be balanced with the wider chair.
Things to Consider
There are other factors to consider when choosing a wheelchair. They are not always obvious, but they can have a big impact when you use the chair.
Weight is an important factor if you plan to transport the electric wheelchair by car. It can also impact how hard it is to push the chair. The lighter the frame, the easier it is to lift into a car. The chair will be lighter and easier to maneuver, making it easier for the user to push.
The lighter the electric wheelchair, the easier it is to push. While the lightest electric wheelchairs are usually best, their cost increases dramatically. The majority of standard chairs have a steel frame. Aluminium frames are used to make lighter chairs, which can be more expensive.
When calculating the weight of a wheelchair, it is important to consider the number and type of removable parts. Some wheelchairs also feature removable wheels and arms. Steel frames can be used to reduce the weight when lifting the chair.
The majority of electric wheelchairs can be folded upwards by pulling on the seat. The wheels are pulled together by a scissor-action folding mechanism. Detachable parts can include the wheels, the arms, and the footrest depending on the type of wheelchair.
The footrests are usually equipped with a lever that allows for quick removal. The back may be able to be folded down to half its normal height. The electric wheelchair can be easily stored once all the parts have been removed.
When making a decision, you should also consider how often you plan to use the electric wheelchair. Some electric wheelchairs are intended for occasional use, like short trips to the shop or to appointments, while others are meant for constant and frequent use.
You should choose an electric wheelchair that is suitable for the frequency of your use. An electric wheelchair designed for occasional use is not durable enough to be used every day.
Electric wheelchairs that are intended for frequent use provide greater comfort and relief from pressure for the user. They also offer a more pleasant experience.
Solid rubber or pneumatic tyres will be used on the rear wheels. Pneumatic tyres are better at absorbing shock than solid rubber, but they can puncture. Solid tyres are puncture proof but offer a harder ride. Most rear wheels are equipped with a quick release button that allows them to be quickly removed. The chair is smaller, which makes it easier to transport.
Front castors are usually fitted with solid tyres that can be rotated 360 degrees. Anti-tip wheels are usually positioned just a few inches above the floor. The wheels prevent the wheelchair from tipping forward and are an important safety feature on self-propelled wheelchairs. You should be aware, however, that anti-tip wheels may be an obstacle because they limit the slope that you can ascend. It can be frustrating if you are being pushed by someone else. Most anti-tip tires are adjustable in height and can even be removed if necessary.
Most footrests can be swung outwards, or inwards. Swing-away footplates are important for safe transfers, allowing you to stand in front of the electric wheelchair without having to step on the footplates. It is important to be able remove the footplates completely when transporting an electric wheelchair, as this reduces the size of the frame. You can get elevating legs rests if you have to lift your legs for a long time or if you have to keep your leg straight, for example due to a plaster cast. You can get shorter, padded stump extensions.
They are necessary for support when seated. They can be an obstruction to transfers, especially if you are using a transfer board. Many electric wheelchairs come with removable armrests that can be removed for sideways transfers. The frame will be lighter when the armrests are removed, which can help with transporting the electric wheelchair.
Swing-up arms that pivot at the rear are an alternative to detachable arm. It is easier to transfer if you don't have to remove the arm completely and then find a place to store it.
Some chairs come with armrests that can be removed and swing up, giving you the best in both worlds. Another impediment caused by arms is that they can prevent access to tables. Normal armrest height prevents the user from sitting up at a table because the arms will hit the edge. Designers have therefore developed armrests that are cut away to lower the height closer to the legs, allowing the wheelchair be pushed under the table. The trade-off, of course, is that the wheelchair occupant will have a shorter armrest.
The armrests on some wheelchairs can be adjusted in height. This is especially useful if you are using a wheelchair with a pressure pad that may add several inches.
There will be a manual brake mounted on the rear wheel. They should be used when the electric wheelchair is stationary, or if a transfer is being performed.
Some attendant-propelled electric wheelchairs have brakes installed near the push handles. The attendant has greater control and the electric wheelchair can be slowed down when going down steep ramps or hills. The only disadvantage is that the wheelchair user cannot use the brakes.
Assessing the Correct Size
It is important to choose the correct size electric wheelchair for you. The wrong size electric wheelchair can cause pressure sores, damage to electric wheelchairs and warranty issues.
All electric wheelchairs come with a maximum weight limit. This weight limit should not be exceeded as it could invalidate the warranty or make your electric wheelchair dangerous. Most standard chairs have a weight limit of around 18 stone. You should consider a heavy duty electric wheelchair if you weigh over 18 stone.
You must ensure that you have the right seat size. It is important to distribute your weight evenly over the entire seat. It will help you to sit in the most comfortable position, and prevent pressure sores.
Most electric wheelchairs come with adjustable footplates that allow you to sit comfortably. The footplates can be adjusted to a comfortable height, so the height of the chair is not as important for an electric wheelchair. If you find it hard to get out of an electric wheelchair, a higher chair may be helpful.
You should be able to sit comfortably, but not so wide that the armrests aren't there. You may need to lean to one side if the seat is too large. Seats that are too narrow can be uncomfortable and increase the risk of developing pressure ulcers. Do not forget your outdoor clothing, e.g. When measuring for a wheelchair, don't forget to include your outdoor clothing (e.g. The most common seat widths for standard manual wheelchairs are 16", 18", and 20". Most popular is the 18" width.
Seat depth is another important factor. The seat depth is also important. If it's too shallow, you won't be able to support the entire length of your thighs and the pressure will go onto your buttocks. The seat may be too long and cause excessive pressure behind the knee. In addition, the backrest may not provide adequate support. As most manual chairs are not adjustable, you will need to match the depth of the seat of the chair with the depth that is ideal for the user.
The backrest height of most standard manual wheelchairs is fixed. The amount of padding will vary depending on the price. Standard chairs usually recline to a small extent, around 5 degrees. It can vary from one chair to another. If you want a chair that reclines more, compare the models and makes.
Normally, adjustable angle backrests are only available with chairs that cost significantly more. Headrests are available as an optional accessory that can be attached to any wheelchair. The headrest supports the head, and allows the muscles that support the head to rest if they become fatigued.
The armrests must support your arms in a comfortable manner. They should be at a comfortable height. If they're too high, your shoulders will hunch. The use of an electric wheelchair cushion will lower the height for most standard wheelchairs. Height adjustable armrests are usually only found on more specialized chairs.
We have a wide range of wheelchair accessories. These tools will help you to get the best out of your wheelchair while also maintaining it in top working condition.
Electric wheelchair cushions could be a topic for a separate buying guide. An electric wheelchair cushion's primary purpose is to increase comfort for the user while seated. The majority of electric wheelchairs allow you to use a cushion. It is therefore recommended that you purchase a cushion even if you only want a simple foam cushion.
Pressure sores can be prevented by using the more advanced pressure care pillows. They can occur if you sit in a chair for long periods of time. These can be made of a variety materials, and they are rated based on the level of protection that they offer to patients who develop pressure sores.
Basic foam cushions are ideal for users with low risk. Users with a medium level of risk should choose a cushion that uses memory foam or foam/gel combination. Gel or air-based cushions are best for high-risk users. If you feel you are in the high-risk category, you should speak to your therapist or GP.
Walking Stick Holder
They are useful if you have a non-folding stick that you need at the end. These clips are usually made up of a cup on the bottom frame to hold the ferrule and a clip higher up that holds the walking stick. These are usually inexpensive and simple to install.
You can choose from a variety of clothing options to protect you and your chair against cold and wet weather. The wheelchair Mac is the most popular, as it covers you from head to foot with a waterproof Macintosh. The elasticated blanket is another popular garment. It is made of fleece or waterproof material. With the elasticated edge of the blanket, it will not get tangled up in your chair. For more ideas, please visit our Weather Protection page.
They are perfect for carrying personal items while in the chair, and they can also be large enough to take some shopping home. Standard bags are similar to rucksacks, but have side loops that attach to the push handles on the back of the chair. These bags have one major disadvantage: they can't be accessed once the user is seated.
A bag that attaches under the seat and has an opening in the middle of the legs is another design. A pannier-style bag can be attached to the arm of the electric wheelchair and placed inside. The panniers have pockets that can hold a mobile, a purse or other items. Even leather panniers are available!
We hope that this electric wheelchair Buying Guide has helped provide you with information on how to choose the right electric wheelchair for your needs. Discover our full range of Wheelchairs and Accessories here.