Transport wheelchairs are ideal for moving around and out of the house. They are necessary for mobility and suitable for those having office careers or who love adventuring in different environments. When moving around in your wheelchair, you must ensure it is enjoyable, safe, and easier to maneuver. Therefore, you need to be keen during the selection process.
It is typical to get undecided when selecting a suitable wheelchair due to the various features, factors you must consider, and the varieties available in the market. Here are some guidelines to help you select an ideal wheelchair for mobility, comfort, and other needs to save you that burden.
1. Propelling the wheelchair
You can always get different wheelchairs suitable for different needs, environments, and people. Before you search online for wheelchair transport near me, you need to consider your ability to propel the wheelchair.
Another consideration is the ability to self-propel. If you can push the wheelchair alone, you need a manual wheelchair. If you can’t propel it, a power or scooter wheelchair will be ideal for you. The other consideration is the environment. Using it around the home, you can have the manual since the wheels do not get easily dirty, and your hands will always be clean; otherwise, consider the powered wheelchair.
You should prioritize comfort whenever you buy a wheelchair for frequent use. Wheelchair comfort is guaranteed by the factors discussed below.
Materials for the seats
Most wheelchairs have seats made using nylon or vinyl, which deplete over time. The one advantage of such seats is that they are easy to clean even when stained. They may be comfortable when new but get uncomfortable as time goes by.
Consider seats made from leather with an additional cushion layer made from foam or fiber. Though a bit pricey, the most comfortable cushion should be the gel cushions. They can withstand friction and pressure when used every day.
Seat depth and width
The seat should be bigger to give you enough room to adjust your sitting position or posture. Also, get a chair that fits you perfectly. The seat width is usually available between 14 to 20 inches. You need to try them out to ensure you select the best one.
The seat height is also another essential aspect to consider. A higher seat may be more comfortable than a lower one. The ideal sizes range from 20 to 21 inches. The height will also determine how easy it is to transfer from one location to the wheelchair—for example, moving from the chair or bed to the wheelchair.
The armrest also provides additional comfort for most wheelchairs. You need to consider those with extra features such as removable flips. The armrest should also be wider and made from comfortable materials, not metal. They should also be at table height to enable you to tuck them easily or fold them when you want to exit the wheelchair or do other activities. Moreover, they should have durable materials that can withstand weight pressure.
Leg rest is critical for additional support and comfort. It comes in different designs and materials. You should consider those made from rubber to withstand shock when used on rough surfaces. They should also be foldable to ensure they are easy to swing and adjust. This adjustment enables you to transfer from the chair to other places.
Flexibility determines the ability to use different environments, ease of handling, and storage. You can consider the following aspects when selecting a flexible wheelchair.
The chair height
The wheelchair’s height should depend on the person using the wheelchair. A taller wheelchair will be suitable for taller people; however, they are difficult to handle and store. It may be challenging to fold and fit them in spaces such as car trunks. The shorter ones are much easier to handle, fold and store.
Weight should be a key consideration when transporting a wheelchair or moving around. You should get a lighter one that you can quickly load and offload from the car. It should be lighter for anyone to push regardless of their weight.
If you love traveling, you can consider pediatric wheelchairs; they are lighter than manual wheelchairs and easy to operate. You can also consider manual wheelchairs, which tend to be lighter than power wheelchairs because they have few components. The powered ones are usually heavy but suitable for people who want to move shorter distances.
The wheels play a significant role in the wheelchair. They ensure stability and safety when riding on different surfaces. You need to consider the wheel’s width. The thinner the width, the more uncomfortable you will get riding on rough surfaces. Larger wheels can easily withstand shock when riding on uneven surfaces.
4. Wheelchair accessories
Sometimes, it is best to consider wheelchair accessories before making the final pick. These accessories will enable you to type, read, write and gain extra comfort. You can buy a tray for these needs. You also need to consider a bag for extra storage. Furthermore, you can customize your wheelchair based on your needs and preferences.
Before selecting a wheelchair, you must understand your needs, capabilities, durability, and comfort. These considerations will help you choose the most comfortable and flexible wheelchair in different environments. You also need to consider any extra accessories such as trays and bags.