Its is important to know the different types of standard manual wheelchairs before buying or renting a wheelchair.
A Transport Chair is designed to only be propelled by another individual and is sometimes referred to as a companion chair. Transport chairs have four small wheels instead of two small and two large. They come in different widths and weight capacities and are usually the same basic frame as a standard manual wheelchair. The biggest advantage of a transport wheelchair is that it is very light weight (around 18-19 lbs) and very portable. It usually has a weight capacity of 300lbs and always comes with a foot rest.
A Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs are the most frequently used wheelchair. The wheelchair weighs around 35 lbs. without the foot rest or elevating leg rest. The wheelchair seat width are 16”, 18”, 20” and a seat depth of 16” with a fixed or detachable armrests. They have two small casters in the front and two large wheels which are around 24" in diameter in the back which allows oneself to propel oneself. Almost all standard wheelchairs can support up to 250 lbs.
lightweight wheelchairs covers a wide range of needs and uses. They also come in aluminum or titanium and weight around 19 lb. Ultra Light weight wheelchairs are also available.
A Bariatric Manual Wheelchairs are for individuals weighing over 250 lbs. The seat width starts from 22" and weight capacity of up to 600lbs. Comes standard with swing away leg rests and removable desk length padded armrests. Double-embossed vinyl upholstery is durable, easy to clean and flame retardant.
A High Back Reclining Wheelchair greatly improves the comfort factor of being in a wheelchair. Many scenarios such as lying down, reclining under desks, and eating with food trays are much easier.
- Pressure Sores– The ability to recline helps distribute body weight and reduce pressure sores.
- Edema and Circulation– Wheelchair users who have edema in their legs benefit greatly from reclining. It helps improve circulation and the natural flow of nutrients throughout the body.
- Transfers– Transferring from a reclining wheelchair to a bed is much easier than the standard wheelchair. The wheelchair can be adjusted to the same elevation as the bed; the user only needs to slide from the chair to the bed.
- Hypotension– Hypotension is the medical term for low blood pressure. In many cases, elevating the feet reduces the symptoms of low blood pressure.
- Bladder and Bowel function– Reclining is also beneficial for bladder and bowel function. Certain forms of catheterization are also easier in a reclined position.
- Comes standard with a pair of elevating leg rest.
- Weight capacity up to 300lbs.
While using any wheelchair, care should be taken to engage the brakes on the back wheels before sitting. This makes sure that the wheelchair doesn’t pull back and cause an injury. Wheelchairs are foldable with removeable foot rest or elevating leg rest and can be easily transported in a car, train or airplane. The arm rest are removeable as it enables the paramedics to perform emergency procedures.