A Basic Guide to Wheelchairs
Wheelchairs come in a wide range of options and features to suit different needs. It can be confusing to differentiate between the many models, and therefore we have created a simple guide for you to start off:
Wheelchairs vs Pushchairs
Traditionally, wheelchairs have larger back wheels. This allows the user to push themselves without assistance, and because of the smooth bearings, mobility is relatively easy. Suitable for users who don't require much assistance.
On the other hand, pushchairs have smaller back wheels that are non-reachable by hand. Users will not be able to push themselves and hence require a caregiver to assist.
✓ Both wheelchairs and pushchairs can be folded easily and are mostly car boot friendly.
Lightweight vs Detachable
Lightweight wheelchairs and push chairs weighing as light as 8kg can be easily managed and brought around on a daily basis. However, they come with fixed arm rests and foot rests that cannot be removed, therefore these are generally recommended for users who have higher mobility.
Detachable wheelchairs and push chairs gives you the option to flip away the arm rests and detach the foot rests, allowing full access to the seating position and quicker transfers. The user does not have to stand up, turn, and sit down again. Caregivers can easily carry the user from a nursing bed or use a transfer aid to transfer user the wheelchair without any obstacles.
Wheelchairs also come in different forms, catering to additional needs. Reclining wheelchairs allow the user to lie down fully, and also prop their legs up.
Heavy Duty wheelchairs can hold up to 125kg of user weight, and have seat widths of 56cm. The stainless steel frame is reinforced to accommodate the increased weight. This allows larger users to sit comfortably on the wheelchairs and still be pushed around easily.
Before deciding on a Heavy Duty wheelchair, do check that the door widths at home have a minimum of 75cm to allow the wheelchair to pass through.
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