Permanent disability reduces the freedom to move from one place to another. These people become dependent on others for their movement to take them to any place. However with the invent of latest model of wheelchairs, it becomes easier for disabled person to attain some mobility without the help of attendant. Immobility, temporary or permanent, can now be overcome to certain extent thanks to good quality wheelchairs and especially power wheelchair. There are different types of wheelchair available on the market, if you are looking for lightweight wheelchair in UK, then continue reading this article.
Disability and Wheelchairs
Some people say that there are more disabled people now than ever. That’s simply not true. What has happened is that people with disabilities are being treated best than ever. That not only means that they survive more than they did in the past, but also that they are much freer to appear in public without being harassed or discriminated, as it was unfortunately the case in the past.
Awareness about disabled people has resulted in several technological developments aimed at making them feel better and allowing them to recuperate the ability to take care of themselves.
Perhaps manual wheelchairs are the most useful invention for disabled people who lost their ability to walk, or who can walk for only very small distances.
Manual Wheelchairs Vs Electric Wheelchairs
Although wheelchairs have been around for centuries, they weren’t used at first for disabled people. It was high officials or rulers that used them, in order to be more comfortable when moving around. These wheelchairs weren’t really manual wheelchairs as we know them, as they weren’t designed in a way that the user could use his or her arms to make the wheelchair move. Instead, one or more of the servants of the ruler pushed the wheelchair and took his or her master wherever he wanted. It wasn’t until the 18th century that manual wheelchairs as we know them started appearing.
Although motorized and electric wheelchairs have been developed, manual wheelchairs continue to be very common. There are some advantages that keep manual wheelchairs from being replaced fully by motorized and electric wheelchairs. One of them is price. While movement and freedom is priceless for disabled people, it isn’t for insurance companies, who usually refuse to pay for motorized wheelchairs. In some cases, they also refuse to pay for manual wheelchairs. Because the price difference between manual wheelchairs and motorized wheelchairs is so big, many people choose to buy manual wheelchairs when they decide to invest their money.
Advantages of Manual Wheelchairs
Another advantage of manual wheelchairs is their weight. They are much lighter than their motorized counterparts, and thus they are easier to load into cars and vans. They also tend to occupy less space, which is helpful when carrying it over stairs and other obstacles.
Finally, manual wheelchairs allow disabled people to exercise their arms. Because they tend to live a sedentary life, this is very good for getting them to do exercise while moving from place to place. If motivated enough, some disabled people can even participate in wheelchair sports. So, as you can see, manual wheelchairs might not have the features that motorized wheelchairs have, but they are still a very useful and affordable option for improving the quality of life of disabled people.
Manual wheelchairs have a number of advantages and many active people prefer to use a manual wheelchair as much as possible. Motorized wheelchairs have to be plugged in so that that battery can recharge. One of the main disadvantages of using manual wheelchairs has to do with the upper body. These great devices do precisely that, giving the user more range of motion than ever, distinctively for those who lead a dynamic lifestyle, take part in sporting activities or spend time traveling. Consider the advantages below as well as your personal strength and energy levels as you will need plenty of both to operate a manual wheelchair.
- If you forget to plug it in the night before, you might only get halfway to your destination before you hear that sickening whine of the battery giving out.
- Yes, the exercise is good for those who push themselves, however, over time this same motion can lead to injury; something that wheelchair users try to avoid whenever possible.
- Lightweight wheelchairs are very easily transported down and up stairways due to their super light makeup and portability, which make them the ideal choice for individuals who do not need a wheelchair all the time.
- Manual wheelchairs come in a variety of weights and configurations, from standard to ultra lightweight, and even sport recreation wheelchairs.
- Manual wheelchairs, on the other hand, can always be used because they have no battery.
Disadvantages of Manual Wheelchairs
Other disadvantages of a manual is having to inflate the tires and keeping the body of the chair in line. The chair can be collapsed and put up until needed. With an electric wheelchair, you don’t have to depend on someone else to push the chair, allowing you the independence of moving about. That’s what makes them a great backup should you find yourself with a dead battery. Many factors must be considered before a person can choose between a manual or a power chair.
Many people who suffer from paralysis choose to go with the power wheelchair, especially those with severe paralysis. The adaptability of an electric wheelchair is astounding. A rigid adjustable wheelchair has the benefit that its dimensions can be adjusted to fit the body size of the wheelchair user. The advantages of a Folding Wheelchairs are plenty because of the freedom and mobility it brings to its’ user. The majority of power chairs are controlled by a joystick mounted on the left or right armrest.
People who have only control of their mouth and breathing have been set up to move their wheelchair using special controls, for example. If the wheelchair user finds the fit of the wheelchair is not ideal, the wheelchair can usually be adjusted to meet their needs. This is where the importance of making the right choice comes in. The joystick is very simple to use and is actually the same type of controls that an electric wheelchair would have had when they were first invented. But adjustability requires brackets, bolts and screws.
But the design itself is not completely performance-oriented. Requiring very little effort, the joystick control is the best option for those with severely limited mobility and paralysis. Similar to folding wheelchairs, adjustability results in added weight and loss of efficiency. The casters are fitted behind the footrests just so you can fold the wheelchair. Plus the extra parts add several pounds of weight. This sort of architecture puts unbearable strain on the casters which may cause an unexpected accident at any given moment.
A wheelchair is a wheeled device which is designed to aid individuals with mobility impairments. It is pushed forward either manually by turning the wheels by hand or through numerous automated systems. It is used by people who cannot walk or who can walk for only a small distance. Manual wheelchairs require human power to move whereas electric wheelchairs can move in all directions or even turn around on a spot, being operating with the help of a simple joystick.
In recent times, the latest high-priced electric wheelchairs have become stronger and more resistant, capable of enduring hardship and wear, while still being very reliable. They have frames which are designed to handle more weight. Some of the new models even have spring suspensions that allow for a smoother ride over uneven territory. Each model has its own particular handling characteristics. They are specifically designed for indoor use, outdoor use or both.
The disabled person controls the speed and the direction of the electric wheelchair by operating a joystick on a controller, which is the most delicate and the most costly part of the chair. An electric wheelchair can offer many powered functions like tilting, reclining, leg and seat elevation and other features that are necessary for the person’s health and comfort.
They also use electric motors to control and move the wheels. There are many other possible modifications and functions such as a standing wheelchair, a pediatric wheelchair, a mobility scooter, a sports wheelchairs, etc. Currently, these chairs normally cost between $1600 and $7500 online. There are normally three general styles of electric wheelchairs: rear wheel drive, mid-wheel drive, and front wheel drive.
Rear-wheel drive wheelchairs are the most conventional and most fashionable in style. They are usually faster than the others. Front-wheel drive wheelchairs are very common as they provide more turning functions. Mid-wheel drive wheelchairs have the tightest turning of all the chairs but they do tend to be unsteady when you try to stop and re-start. They have caster wheels in the back and a extra set of anti-tip wheels in the front.
Electric wheelchairs use electric motors to move the wheels. They usually use dry or wet rechargeable batteries. Dry ones are more popular and they are used more often than before. Because of these electric wheelchairs, traveling of handicapped people is on the rise and the people using them have a much easier access to places. Whether traveling on a vacation or for education, electric wheelchairs have become crucial for disabled people.
Choosing the right wheelchair in UK
Whether it is at school, at play or anywhere else, a pediatric wheelchair can help a child to move freely. The Lightweight Manual Wheelchair is an immense upgrade, over a heavy wheelchair that can cause your condition to worsen and may also lead to further physical problems. Reclining wheelchairs are specially designed to allow a person to comfortably recline at incremental angles safely and comfortably. A standard manual wheelchair is one of the most basic types of wheelchairs. The pediatric wheelchairs of today have unmatched sophistication that provides freedom of movement to children that was once not possible.
- In the last decade wheelchairs that are lightweight and foldable have become the norm in industry.
- Typically used for accommodation of severe hip extension contractures, orthostatic hypotension, and pressure re-distribution for prevention of skin breakdown.
- It comes with four sets of wheels, the ones in the front being small and the ones at the back being larger.
- A good pediatric wheelchair can give the child a number of positions to choose from that include sitting and standing as well as laying down.
- Ranging from 29-34 lbs., our series of lightweight wheelchairs covers a wide range of conditional needs and lifestyle options that may cater to you.
Ultralight Wheelchairs are designed with an eye towards optimizing performance for the active individual. The larger wheels enable the user to push the chair themselves. The height/weight of the wheelchair user, wheelchair and any other mobility equipment will determine the ability to enter, exit and maneuver within various wheelchair vans. Mid wheel drive powerchairs have three sets of wheels, one at the front, one at the back and a set in the middle which propel the chair. Performance is dramatically increased in these extremely light chairs, as the rigid frame transfers all of the energy from the push of the wheel into forward motion.
This type of wheelchair is very easy to use during travel as it is fully collapsible. The key dimensions will also help determine what seating positions are available to the wheelchair user. These powerchairs look a lot different to standard powerchairs, but the mid wheel drive makes them feel much more stable and also means that it can turn around in the tightest space. Deciding between a manual or motorized wheelchair is often a very personal decision since both offer advantages and disadvantages. All transport chairs come with “flat free” rubber tires.
In general, average to small people will have more options that those who are larger or taller. The biggest differences can seem visible and obvious, but there are other important factors which may not be related to the vehicle at all. There are no more worrying about getting a flat or filling up you tires with air. The standard seat height is 20-21″ off the ground. This will work if you are over 5′ tall. If you are shorter than 5′ you may have a hard time exiting the wheelchair and a shorter seat height will be necessary.