“Wheelchairs are something which nobody likes; not even by those who need it.”
“Scientifically speaking, they are a necessary evil. You need it, but you don’t like it”
“Philosophically speaking, it explains that life is a cycle; in the first stage of life, a baby is in bed all the time for a few months, and then his parents (or any other individual) use a wheelchair to take him outside or from one room to another. Similarly, at the final stage of life, old persons (generally) use a wheelchair, but finally, they are limited to the bed only.”
Wheelchairs are chairs with wheels used by persons who have difficulty walking. This problem may be because of any illness, injury, or disability. But, it is very much related to old age persons and persons suffering from spinal cord injuries like hemiplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia. Some other diseases which may bring the person to the wheelchairs are brain injury, osteogenesis, cerebral palsy, and some other types of neuron disorders.
Wheelchairs come in various sizes and types, depending on the age of the person, the type of immobility one is suffering from and the disabled person’s individual need. Almost, all wheelchairs come with the following basic parts -a seat, footrests, and four wheels; two smaller ones (also known as the caster wheels) at the front, and two larger ones at the back.
The first basic classification is done based on its operation; manually operated or automatic. In manually operated wheelchairs, the seated occupant has to turn the rear wheels manually, or by a different individual who pushes them with the use of handles behind the seat. In automatic wheelchairs, the propulsion is done electrically by motors and controlled by the seated occupant himself/herself through a remote/joystick or push buttons fitted in hand rests. Some highly advanced wheelchairs come with such a technology that they can climb upstairs, move across uneven roads or gravel, and can be raised to a height to access objects placed at higher places. These types of wheelchairs help people to become more independent, and more mobile.
Many diverse types of wheelchairs are used for different reasons. Hence, it becomes very important to understand the shortcomings and safe operation before finally choosing one. For this purpose, a quick review of some of the best brands of wheelchairs is suggested. Although all major brands have their limitations and advantages.
Some of the best brands of wheelchairs are as follows:
Ottobock: Most suitable brand for athletes participating in the Paralympics. Most of the flag-bearers in the Paralympics are found using this brand.
Medical Depot: One of the most advanced wheelchair manufacturers, and is well known for its user-centric products and services. The goal of this brand is to make its customers more active, more independent, and happier. It understands the complex problems put forward by its customers and adds new details to its products that will suit the demand of the customers
21st Century Scientific: A leading global brand that offers high-performing, highly durable, and all-terrain wheelchairs to its customers throughout the world.
Invacare: A brand that pays the highest focus on providing medical care to needy people. It is considered to be the best brand for the patients.
Permobil is specialized in the manufacturing of complex rehabilitation wheelchairs in the world. It is one of the oldest companies, offering its products and services for more than forty-five years.
Pride Mobility: A prominent name in designing and manufacturing mobility products, this brand is especially famous for its technologically advanced wheelchairs with innovative features. This brand has changed the core ideology of the face of the wheelchair manufacturers.
Sunrise Medical: A worldwide company with its offices in United States, China, Spain, Mexico, Germany, and United Kingdom. It is the fastest-growing company and has gained a very positive image among its users, in a very short period.
Levo: A thirty years old company, and the only manufacturer that has achieved the milestone of combining sitting and standing positions in its wheelchairs. Its products are highly appreciated by the major international bodies in the medical field.
Graham Field: One of the most decorated brands in the field of ‘mobility’. Its innovative technology and dense network across the globe make it appear on the list of top wheelchair manufacturers of the world. Not only this, this brand is equally renowned in the market for other medical devices frequently used in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, and for people who are being cared for at home.
Hoveround: Existing for more than two decades now, is a brand working intelligently and honestly in regaining independence, freedom from assistance, and confidence among the patients.
This list is self-explanatory, but still not complete. Many other brands need to be mentioned here. These brands are KosmoCare, VMS Careline, Arcatron, StrongBack Mobility, HealthPedal, Karman Healthcare, Troy Technologies, and many more. The selection of a wheelchair depends on an individual’s own choice, need, and comfort.
Following are a few points that must be taken into account before purchasing a new wheelchair:
Lightweight ‖ compact design for smooth and hassle-free transportation ‖ easily foldable ‖ provides the user with safety and comfort ‖ The seat and back cushion are easy to clean ‖ The footrest can flip up for easy usage ‖ Convenient to use for both the user and the caregiver ‖ Supported user weight of 100 kg ‖ rear-wheel breaks for user safety ‖ foldable frame style ‖ durability ‖ design ‖ water-resistant upholstery ‖ a convenient seat.
In the end, I would like to wish that nobody ever needs to use a wheelchair. This article is absolutely NOT about the promotion of wheelchairs. The main objective of this article is to provide more suitable information for those who are really in need of them.