Wheelchair and Cushion Options for People with Disabilities

a man with an electric wheelchairChoosing the right wheelchair for you takes some serious consideration. The major factors to look into are lifestyle concerns, personal preference, physical ability, and the functional use of the chair. There are various kinds of chairs available on the market.

1800wheelchair.com offers power, manual, lightweight, travel, and heavy duty ones to fit people with all kinds of disabilities. The trade-off for improving ride quality is usually the weight and the price of the chair.

Manual Chairs

Everyday wheelchairs fall into either the manual or the power chair category.

Manual chairs cater to those with upper body strength because it requires users to propel themselves by pushing wheel rims forward. Modern chairs come in various colors, are lightweight, and are designed for superior performance. Lightweight chairs with a rigid or a folding frame are easy for transportation and for lifting into and out of cars. Folding units are portable and most can fit into the overhead bin of an airplane.

Wheelchair users can add features to improve ride quality. For instance, suspension systems smoothen the ride. Performance innovations made for wheels and tires can cater to off-road traction or high style. Lever-driven chairs and those that offer propulsion mean users do not have to push the rim of the wheelchair to move.

Power Chairs

People with disabilities who cannot or would rather not manually push their chair can use those run by an electric motor and batteries. Innovation has allowed the power chair market to expand and for wheelchairs to be faster and more powerful than before. These chairs are easier to turn and more nimble in tight spaces in comparison to manual ones.

Some models are rugged and designed for going off-road. Like manual chairs, there are also models that can be folded for travel. Power chairs can be customized for the various complex needs that people with disabilities may have. An occupational therapist (OT) or a reputable medical supplier can give advice and provide expert help on getting a power chair configured to fit specific needs.

Suitable Wheelchair Cushions

Proper wheelchair cushions can maximize benefits for users by maintaining alignment of the skeletal system, facilitating normal movement, and inhibiting abnormal ones. They can reduce or relieve pain and prevent abnormal pressures that lead to skin breakdown.

Wheelchair cushions do not work the same way for everyone. Each person is different in terms of their conditions, physical strength, medical issues, activity levels, and lifestyle concerns. Preference for a particular cushion will depend on factors like ease of transfer, comfort, and maintenance.

People with disabilities may be unable to achieve maximum or optimal function and comfort if the fit of a wheelchair cushion is not right. They can work with an OT or a professional with the necessary expertise to select a proper chair and cushion. It is often only after gathering sufficient information about an injury or a disorder that suitability decisions can be made.

There are many different types of wheelchairs and wheelchair cushions available. Users need to consider how and where a wheelchair will be used, transportation concerns, and their individual physical condition and preferences.