Manual Wheelchair Buyers Guide
We have composed this simple buyers guide to help you buy the correct wheelchair as the market can be a little over powering and confusing.
To keep things simple and to put you on the right path when looking we have split the different types of wheelchairs into 2 different types *Transit and *Self-propelled.
What’s a transit/attendant wheelchair?
This type of chair is designed for the user to be pushed in by an attendant, it will often have the brakes on the rear push handles for the attendant to use and will have smaller rear wheels than a self-propelled wheelchair.
What is a Self-Propelled wheelchair?
Basically, it’s a wheelchair with bigger rear wheels and push rims so that the user can propel themselves. The brakes will be within the reach of the user.
Sports/active wheelchairs also come under this category but they will usually have a lower stance, fixed frame and will be much lighter.
Whats the difference between tyre types?
Wheelchairs often come with either solid (puncture proof) or pneumatic (pump up) tyres. The difference aside from the solid tyres being puncture proof is the level of comfort. Pneumatic tyres offer a slightly softer ride but you will run the risk of getting a flat tyre.
Things to consider when buying a wheelchair
The seat size- Check that the seat is wide enough (take into account a thick coat you may be wearing over the winter months), but also deep enough. When you sit on the chair you don’t want the crease of your knee to be rubbing on the canvas or the cushion as over time this will become sore.
The wheelchair size -Will the wheelchair fit where you need it to go? through doorways, into bathrooms, does it fold for storage/ transport etc, etc.
The user limit of the chair- The width of the chair can be wide but the user weight limit could be low, so it’s always important to check.
Foot/leg rests-Make sure that the leg rests are able to be adjusted to suit you, everybody is different and you will have a preference to how you want to be sat in the wheelchair but from experience, its often best to have your knees very slightly elevated, reducing the pressure on the bottom of your thighs against the seat base.
Adaptations available-Wheelchairs come with no end of adaptations such as calf supports, elevating leg rests, head rests, lumber supports etc- not all chairs come with the option to add these so it’s worth checking what is and isn’t available for the model you are looking at.
There are various adaptations to make pushing wheelchairs easier, please check out our range of attendant power packs