Fun fact! Everyone is different! We come in all sizes and shapes and therefore we require different sizes and styles of everything. This train of thought also applies to wheelchairs. Since there are many needs and requirements, there are options available to accommodate just about everyone. Each patient has varying levels of functionality; therefore a patient that suffers from rheumatoid arthritis may not need all the features as someone who suffers from quadriplegia.

Different Types of Wheelchairs

All wheel chairs aren’t the same. As we age, the occurrence of an injury or disability increases. The use of a wheelchair can help maintain our mobility and quality of life. According to the 2005 census survey, 3.3 million Americans reported using a wheelchair at some point in time. Many people think a wheelchair is just a seat with wheels. That is nothing but a lie. Manual wheelchairs can be manipulated by the user or by a caretaker or even tilt and recline for those who need pressure relief. Power chairs are run by rechargeable batteries and can make the user extremely mobile. Understanding your needs can help you select the right wheelchair for you.

Basic Wheelchairs

A basic or standard wheelchair is the most familiar one. They feature a foot/leg rest as well as armrests which come in desk length or full-length allowing them to be customized to the user’s needs. Their seating options usually range from 16-20 inches to accommodate all body types. Some chairs, such as the Karma Fighter C-MAG-F24 Standard Wheelchair, have adjustable backs. Its back can adjust from standard to hemi height. You can also opt for narrow, which is usually no more than 16 inches. A chair that is a great personal, as well as commercial, choice the Smart Care SC809B Manual Wheelchair is a durable, low maintenance option. With permanent arms and a ergonomic seating option, it provides safe reliable transportation.

Lightweight Wheelchairs

For those who like to travel, these lightweight wheelchairs are perfect. They offer many of the same options as the basic or standard wheelchair, but some offer a removable wheel option as well as an adjustable back. This allows the wheelchair to be stored in a trunk or maybe even a back seat depending on the vehicle being used. This gives patients the freedom to be mobile and independent. For convenience and flexibility, the Scure P 105 Ultra Light Power Wheelchair With Lithium Battery provides lightweight transportation and has a lithium powered battery backup.

Bariatric Wheelchairs

Sometimes due to a medical condition, patients require a wider chair that needs to support greater weight. While most wheelchairs can safely support approximately 300 pounds, a bariatric wheelchair can handle heavier patients. For instance, the Karma KM-BT10 Multi-functional Bariatric Wheelchair has a good weight capacity as well as proven mobility and stability.

Transport Chairs

These chairs are built for transport and not self-propulsion, therefore requiring a caregiver. Typically they offer a 12 inch rear wheel that is not designed for the user to reach down and propel them forward. Many offer hand brakes so the caretaker can have greater control and may have a folding back for easier storage. These types of chairs may not have as many options available as others and seating options are limited. One option that provides easy storage and lightweight materials is the Karma KM-2500 Premium Wheelchair. It’s perfect for safe comfortable patient transport. Another chair that is designed for safe and efficient patient transfer is the Karma KM 5000 F-16 Recline Premium Wheelchair. It is a reclining wheelchair that gives complete support to the back. These are made from lightweight materials to keep the weight down so they may not be appropriate for bariatric patients.

Reclining Wheelchairs

One feature that can be important to some users is the ability to recline. This allows the user or caretaker to avoid pressure sores and can provide comfort. A versatile, lightweight wheelchair that fits this definition is the Smart Care SC902GC Premium Recliner Wheelchair. For someone who might be looking for a wheelchair that can recline perfectly, the Smart Care SC902GC Premium Recliner Wheelchair gives a smooth comfortable ride and is available with multiple seat widths and arm styles.

Power Chairs

Chairs of this nature are powered by rechargeable batteries and can be used by just about anyone who has some form of hand/arm control. Even those affected by quadriplegia can use a power chair as long as they are able to move their head. For a simple handling power chair that offers durability and comfort, the Ostrich Mobility Tetra Ex Power Wheelchair features a tight turning radius which is perfect for in-home use. No matter what physical challenge you may face, there is no reason to sit out. The many wheelchair options available to patients today can allow anyone to maintain their freedom to enjoy this crazy world we live in!!