What is a wheelchair?
A standard wheelchair, also known as a manual wheelchair, features large rear wheels and smaller front wheels. It is designed to be pushed by a caregiver or manually propelled by the wheelchair user. The design allows the user to reach the rear wheels and move themselves while seated. Standard wheelchairs are collapsible, transportable, and user-friendly for both wheelchair users and caregivers.
What is a transport chair?
Transport wheelchairs are compact, smaller-wheeled chairs specifically designed to be pushed by a caregiver. These chairs are lightweight, easy to navigate, and ideal for travel or outdoor use. They serve as an excellent companion to larger manual or electric wheelchairs.
Distinguished from standard wheelchairs, transport chairs feature smaller wheels and a narrower body, enhancing ease of pushing and maneuvering. It's important to note that transport chairs cannot be manually propelled, requiring assistance from a caregiver for operation.
What is a power wheelchair?
A power wheelchair, or electric wheelchair, is like a motorized ride for folks who might find it tough to walk or push a regular wheelchair. It runs on a rechargeable battery and an electric motor, and you can steer it using a joystick or other controls. It's a game-changer for people who need a bit more help with moving around due to limited strength or energy.
What are the types of Manual Wheel Chairs?
Type 1 Wheelchair
These wheelchair models are designed for users with occasional wheelchair needs. The Standard chairs in this group typically have a weight of over 38 lbs and are commonly constructed from steel. Type 1 wheelchair variants come with features like detachable arms (for easier transfers and close positioning to surfaces like counters) and footrests that can swing away or be elevated.
Type 2 Wheelchair
Similar to Type 1 wheelchair choices, the significant distinction with Type 2 wheelchairs lies in their weight. Type 2 wheelchair options are lightweight, falling within the 25-38 lbs range and typically crafted from a mix of aluminum and carbon fiber. Tailored for more active wheelchair users, Type 2 wheelchairs feature swing-away or elevating footrests and easily removable arms for enhanced access and side transfers.
Type 3 Wheelchair
When opting for a Type 3 wheelchair, you'll experience a notable increase in customization options. Similar to Type 2 models, these wheelchairs are lightweight, falling within the 25-38 lbs range, and include removable armrests and footrests. Specifically designed for highly active users, Type 3 wheelchairs boast anti-tippers for fall prevention, an adjustable center of gravity to optimize chair performance, and quick-release axles for convenient, tool-free wheel removal.
Type 4 Wheelchair
Type 4 wheelchairs share similar features with Category 3 models but stand out with ultra-light materials such as aluminum and titanium. Ideal for daily use and travel, these type 4 wheelchairs, particularly the rigid type, are designed without folding mechanisms. This choice minimizes the need for nuts, bolts, and additional components associated with folding, resulting in a lighter and more streamlined device.
Type 5 Wheelchair
Type 5 wheelchairs, also referred to as Manual Dynamic Tilt wheelchairs, are perfect for those needing a tilting seat frame due to limitations in shifting body weight. These models, which do not fold, include swing-away footrests, quick-release axles for effortless servicing and transport, anti-tippers, and adjustable-height arms that can be easily removed. Highly customizable, Type 5 wheelchairs cater to individuals with very limited mobility.
Bariatric wheelchairs are designed to accommodate individuals with higher weight capacities, providing a comfortable and supportive mobility solution. Here's all you need to know about bariatric wheelchairs:
Bariatric wheelchairs are built to support higher weight capacities compared to standard wheelchairs. Weight capacities typically range from 300 to 700 pounds or more.
These wheelchairs feature a robust and durable frame construction, often made of reinforced steel or heavy-duty materials to ensure stability and strength.
Bariatric wheelchairs have wider and deeper seats to accommodate larger individuals comfortably. The seat width is usually 20 inches or more, providing ample space.
Components like the frame, wheels, and axles are reinforced to withstand the increased load. This ensures durability and longevity of the wheelchair.
Bariatric wheelchairs may feature wider rear wheels for better weight distribution and stability. This is crucial for maneuverability and ease of use.
The armrests and footrests are designed to offer support and comfort. They are often detachable or swing-away to facilitate easy transfers.
Bariatric wheelchairs are equipped with a reliable braking system to ensure safety and control while in use.
While bariatric wheelchairs are sturdy, some models are designed to be foldable or disassembled for easier transport and storage.
Manufacturers may offer customization options, allowing users to choose specific features based on their preferences and needs.
Features to Consider When Buying the Best Wheel Chair for You
When in the process of purchasing a wheelchair, it's crucial to consider several key components.
The following insights will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of available options
For daily wheelchair use, comfort is crucial, especially in the seat. Usually made of nylon or vinyl, some chairs may require additional cushions or custom back support for extra comfort. Seat dimensions, including width and depth, are essential for a perfect fit and optimal user comfort.
Add a cushion to a wheelchair seat for extra comfort, support, and stability. Gel cushions enhance comfort, positioning cushions improve posture and mobility, and preventative cushions reduce friction and pressure during prolonged use.
Seat type and size
Some seats can be customized based on your wheelchair's frame style. Seat size is defined by width (armrest to armrest) and depth (backrest to front edge). Wheelchairs offer various seat widths, usually ranging from 14 to 20 inches, with 18 inches being the most common. Seat depth is adjustable and should be measured while the user sits naturally.
Seat height, denoting the distance from the ground, typically ranges from 20 to 21 inches in most wheelchairs, suitable for users 5 feet tall and above. For users shorter than 5 feet, a lower seat height may be more conducive to easier transfers.
Chair height, the overall height of the device, affects transport and maneuverability. Taller wheelchairs may pose challenges for car storage, while shorter ones are easier to fold or collapse.
For easy transport and travel, consider the weight of your wheelchair. Transport and pediatric chairs are lighter, with weights ranging from 19 to 65+ pounds, while manual chairs are lighter than power wheelchairs.
Armrests offer extra comfort and support, often removable or flip-up for easy transfer and transport. Many are designed at table height for convenient use under standard tables.
Leg rests, like armrests, offer extra support and comfort in various styles. Consider if you want them to swing or adjust, as this can affect chair transferability.
Wheel choice impacts stability and ride convenience. Options include rubber or semi-pneumatic wheels, affecting the chair's performance on various surfaces.
Silver Sport 2 Wheelchair
boasts an appealing powder-coated silver vein finish for easy maintenance and a durable steel frame.
- Powder-coated silver vein steel frame
- Embossed vinyl upholstery is durable, lightweight, attractive and easy-to-clean
- Urethane tires mounted on composite wheels provide durability and low maintenance
- 8" front casters, adjustable in three positions
- Padded armrests provide additional comfort
- Carry pocket on backrest provides additional convenience
- Comes with swing-away footrests or elevating leg rests with tool-free adjustable length riggings
- Plastic foot plates with heel loops on footrests
- Comes with push-to-lock wheel locks