Wheelchairs are used for a variety of reasons such as for those who are injured, weak, sick, paralyzed, in pain, pregnant and unable to walk on their own. Wheelchairs are commonly used in homes, shopping malls, hospitals and doctor's offices. You may be searching to buy a wheelchair for yourself, a family member or friend. Our wheelchair buying guide will bring you on a journey to find the perfect chair that is best suitable for your needs.
First, let's explore the different types of wheelchairs available on the market today:
Self-Propelled/Manual Wheelchair - The Self-Propelled, also known as the manual wheelchair has larger wheels so that you can grip them easily in order to steer and guide yourself in the direction of your choice.
Push/Attendant-Propelled Wheelchair – This wheelchair is usually pushed by an attendant or caregiver. The wheel size is smaller compared to the Self-Propelled wheelchair. You will see these wheelchairs are places such as hospital, nursing homes and doctor's offices.
Electric Wheelchair – The electric wheelchair allows the user to take control and maneuver the chair in any direction they wish. The electric wheelchair is commonly used by those who need to use a wheelchair on a long-term or permanent basis.
Usually your doctor will advise you of the time frame you will need to use a wheelchair. Those who require short-term use of the chair include individuals that have recently had surgery, have a broken leg, are weak and unable to walk on their own until recovery from their ailment. If you need to use a wheelchair for a short period of time you can purchase, borrow or rent a wheelchair. Those who have a permanent condition will be required to have a wheelchair long-term. In this case, you will want to choose the wheelchair that has the highest-quality materials plus is durable and strong. It should also allow you to be comfortable and independent.
Individuals who love the outdoors don't have to give up their favorite hobbies or their adventurous side. There are electric wheelchairs such as the KD Smart Chair that are sturdy and have durable tires that will easily take you across harsh terrain. The KD Smart Chair specifically can climb 12 degree inclines with ease. These types of wheelchairs are also capable of being an indoor wheelchair as well.
Whether you are looking for a long-term or short-term wheelchair that are a few key features that you will always want to seek out in a wheelchair.
Modern battery powered electric wheelchairs have unique handling and driving characteristics which include Front-Wheel Drive, Mid-Wheel Drive and Rear-Wheel Drive.
Most powered wheelchairs have a joystick and keypad alongside each other in order to control the speed and direction of the chair. They usually are adjustable and can be placed in a comfortable position for the user. When the user moves the joystick into a specific position the brakes will automatically disengage and allow the chair to move smoothly; the joystick also controls the speed. The keypad can activate other functions the chair may have, depending on the model. There are other types of controlling options if the user's hands have limited ability. Alternative controlling options include head controls, foot controls, sip and puff, speech controls and chin controls.
Although wheelchair batteries may look similar to the type that are used in cars, they are quite different. The batteries that are used to power wheelchairs are lead acid batteries and lithium-ion which are becoming very popular due to their light weight and long lasting power.
Speak to your doctor regarding his approval for the use of a wheelchair. Once you have the approval, Medicare will usually cover up to 80% of the cost of your wheelchair. At times there may be yearly deductibles involved. If your health insurance or Medicare won't cover the cost of your wheelchair, there are some wheelchair companies such as KD Smart Chair that offer financing options that require convenient monthly payments.
During your journey of exploring different types of wheelchairs keep in mind that it is going to be part of your life, either temporarily or permanently. Choose carefully and wisely when buying your new wheelchair. Remember not to settle until you find the perfect fit for you and your lifestyle.