A wheelchair is perhaps one of the best discoveries made in the modern times. Wheelchairs provide excellent mobility and enable a person to tread outside without being confined to a limited space. Technological advancement has stepped in to make our lives even simpler since we now have an option to choose from a variety of wheelchairs right from a manual wheelchair to an electric wheelchair. Affordability is another important factor to be decided on before purchasing and hence there is a need to focus on wheelchair price.
Despite such factors being put into consideration, it does not imply that wheelchairs are only for people with disabilities in their lower extremities. It is a common sight to watch elderly people being pushed around in wheelchairs inside shopping malls today. You may use a wheelchair in case you have an injury in your leg or simply because you find it difficult to walk long distances due to advancing age.
Benefits of a Wheelchair Over Other Mobility Options
Wheelchairs are a great option to improve mobility and thus enable a person to go out and socialize, get educated and independent. Today, a wheelchair is available in various types that provide comfort to users and reduce the chances of additional health issues such as pressure sores. Electric wheelchairs take away the need for the presence of another person to operate it thereby saving the cost of employing helpers.
There are many alternatives to wheelchairs but they are either uncomfortable or expensive. The main dilemma, therefore, would be to decide on the best mobility option suited to your needs. Let us try to understand these alternatives and their features based on cost and viability.
A Walking Stick
This is the most common and the cheapest alternative to wheelchairs available in the market. While using a cane or a walking stick at home would be a good option, it offers limited support and comfort while you go out of the house. They do not offer great support in cases of weight-bearing injuries and there is a constant worry about them snapping into two quite easily and increasing the probability of an added injury.
Another option that comes in after you have eliminated the walking stick is the use of crutches. Crutches are available in two versions in the market – auxiliary and Canadian. Auxiliary crutches are the basic under the arm crutches while Canadian crutches are the ones that come with a cuff to the forearm. While crutches are a great option to move around within your house, they require a good amount of strength in the upper body and are also uncomfortable to use if you have to move around a lot. Like walking sticks, they are also prone to cause you an injury if they slip out under you!
Walkers are a better option than walking sticks as they provide better stability and mobility. Walkers come three and four base supports with and without wheels. However, they can spoil your posture and create back problems if used for a prolonged period and are limited to indoor use without being much help with the stairs.
Knee Walkers and Seated Scooters
These are modern technological innovations that enable you to easier mobility and a better support while moving about. The biggest disadvantages that these options have are a high cost and maneuvering difficulties when used in a home.
The Need to Choose Wheelchairs Wisely
In today’s modern scenario, wheelchairs come with a variety of add-ons and features. You can choose from options such as manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs which come with features such as automation, being lightweight and user-friendly. You must be able to gauge your requirement for a wheelchair depending on factors such as the nature of your disability, level of mobility, chances of developing additional health-related risks and usage while keeping in mind a suitable budget to avail the full benefits of your investment.
Availability of Modern Technological Solutions
Your typical vision about a wheelchair with two wheels being pushed around by a carer does not hold true anymore. Wheelchairs have evolved into something totally different with some mind-blowing features to aid the convenience of users and take the technology factor a notch higher. We will be discussing some totally cool wheelchair options available in the market today.
As the name suggests, a lightweight manual wheelchair is low on the weight factor and high on comfort. You can either buy a variant that is rigid in its dimensions or a foldable one. They have light frames and are easily portable.
Ultra Light Wheelchair
These wheelchairs are super light and are designed to weigh between 14 to 17 kg. They can be easily folded and stashed in a small corner or under the bed to save you some space.
Also dubbed as power wheelchair, this model operates on an electric motor. This wheelchair is useful for people who travel long distances as it comes with terrain control and more comfort. It is also useful for people who suffer from cardiovascular problems as it helps to reduce the physical burden and fatigue.
These wheelchairs are designed to help a user recline comfortably while using it. These come in handy when the users are suffering from conditions like orthostatic hypotension and severe hip extension contractures. Designed to divide the pressure of the body, it also helps to prevent sores and skin degeneration.
Identify the Right Wheelchair for Your Needs
Most of us see a wheelchair as a wheelchair and have no qualms about it. There should be some criteria to be considered before you make that decision to purchase the one that is best for you. You need to think about factors such as:
- The user’s age and gender.
- Body type – thin, overweight or muscular.
- The places where the wheelchair is planned to be used.
- The activities being planned to be undertaken while using the wheelchair.
Top 3 Wheelchairs Available in the Market
Ottobock Motus Everyday Active Manual Wheelchair
- It has a height adjustable rack to allow for better convenience.
- The wheelchair is foldable which makes it portable.
- The handles are designed ergonomically and have a sleek finish.
- The seat is made of special knit spacer fabric which allows for better air circulation.
- It offers 48 different wheel settings to adapt to your specifications.
- The front frame is angled and provides improved forward stability.
- The knee level lock lever is sturdy and is easy to operate.
- This wheelchair is not designed for kids.
You can find additional information about the wheelchair below:
JSB W03 Wheelchair Foldable for Patients with Mag Wheel
- It comes with a chrome plated steel frame and has a seat width of 20 inches.
- It has a weight bearing capacity of 100 kg.
- The weight of the wheelchair is approximately 19 kg.
- There is a 24” rear wheel for users to operate the wheelchair.
- The front wheels come with attendant brakes for safety.
- It is ideal for the use of elderly and people with fractures.
- The wheelchair is easy to navigate and comfortable.
- The tyres are sturdy.
- It is on a heavier side in weight when compared to similar models from other brands.
You can find additional information about this wheelchair on the link given below:
Ottobock B-500 Online
- It has a weight bearing capacity of 140 kg.
- It provides an optional suspension for the chassis.
- The users are given two options to choose from for the seat material – Recaro N-Joy or Recaro N-Joy Plus.
- It provides an electric back angle adjustment.
- It provides an electric seat angle adjustment of upto 45 degrees.
- Provides and electric seat height adjustment along with adjustable leg rests.
- The wheelchair is not foldable so it may occupy a large space.
You can find additional information about the wheelchair below:
Zooming Past Hurdles
Lack of mobility is not an issue in the modern world. Technological innovations have surpassed the average human expectations and people with special abilities have no need to hide from the world. In fact, they have been provided with a better opportunity to showcase their talent to the world and prove that nothing is indeed impossible!