Manual wheelchairs

Determining the best wheelchair for you

Do you need a wheelchair, but you are not sure what type is ideal for your body? Or you might be having doubts on buying manually operated wheelchairs. This page can help you decide.

Like the automobile, the wheelchair was developed to meet the different needs of different users. Modern wheelchairs have different styles and models. Each has different purpose and permits a lot of adjustments. Wheelchairs were changed according to foot support positioning, arm support adjustment, joystick positioning and upholstery placement. These are called powered wheelchairs or power wheelchairs.

Wheelchairs are divided into two main categories: scooters and powered wheelchairs. The two differ on the way they are steered. A conventional powered wheelchair has an electronic control, such as a joystick, that causes different amounts of power to go to each of the rear wheels to control both speed and direction. A scooter only has handlebars at the end of a tiller that is attached to the front wheel which is used to mechanically turn the wheelchair. Scooters require more arm movement and hand function than powered wheelchairs.

You can identify scooters by its seat that is mounted on a pedestal attached to the floor of the scooter. It usually has three or four wheels. Most four-wheeled scooters have front wheels that are connected together. So when the tiller is turn left and right, the front wheels turn left and right together. The tiller controls the movement, but it is the lever attached to the handlebars that controls the speed.

Powered wheelchairs have three different drive wheel types. The front-wheel drive chairs are built with large front drive wheels and casters in the rear. The mid-wheel drive chairs have larger wheels on the rear and casters on the front. The rear-wheel drive chairs are designed in such a way that the main drive wheel is centered under the user's center of mass. Others are called specially powered wheelchairs, such as stair climbing powered wheelchair that are designed for off-road use.

A powered wheelchair has base that contains the motor, battery and wheels. The seating system is mounted on top of the base. Wheelchair of this sort usually has four wheels and is controlled by input switches.

There are also wheelchairs that can be folded and are specially designed for use in traveling. Traveling with wheelchair requires a personal vehicle that is modified to contain the wheelchair. These wheelchairs have batteries that are housed in separate boxes that are easy to remove.

If you are still not satisfied with power mobility that your powered wheelchair offers, there are other options available. There are add-on power systems which convert manual wheelchair frame into a power mobility device, and power-assist wheels that are considered transitional products between manual mobility and power mobility.

Manual Wheelchairs

Types of Manual Wheelchairs

There are two main types of manual wheelchairs available:

  • Self propelled Wheelchairs
  • Travel chairs

Self propelled wheel chairs are propelled by the user, but also have handles at the rear which allows the chair to be pushed. They usually have a large air filled detachable wheel on the back and a small solid wheel on the front.

The travel chair usually have small solid wheels at both the front and back and cannot be propelled by the user. Both are foldable and can be easy transported by car.

How to Choose the Right One?

Below is a guide to help you choose which is the most suitable wheelchair for you.

Wheelchair weight

The lighter the wheelchair, the easier it will be to push. It also makes it easier to put in the car if required. Always try to purchase the lightest wheelchair possible.

Users weight

Always check the maximum user weight of the wheelchair as this may be an issue. Heavy duty wheel chairs are available upon request if required.

The Seat

Wheelchair seats do come in various sizes so it is important that the seat suits the user. The width of the chair should allow adequate space to cover your measurements from hip to hip plus any extra width should you be wearing thick clothing. The depth of the chair should be the distance from your back to just behind the knee.

The seat height should also make sure that the users feet are resting comfortly on the feet rests and not dragging on the floor. The height can be measures from behind the knee to the heel, allowing consideration for the height of the seat cushion.

Why Join Motability?

Our latest customer that bought a Rascal 329 LE It gives me the choice and the easiness (if you want to call it easiness) of getting about. Its better than going on public transport, being thrown about on a bus: I can sit in my luxury scooter and can drive in style. Another customer My scooter was getting older and needed a few repairs so i part exchanged it for another. I needed something that was more adaptable for my condition, for the wheelchairs, etc. etc. and that was the main reason. Plus, it was something I could pay monthly out of my allowances and it was, as far as I was concerned, cheaper than running my own scooter if Im really, really honest. Trouble free scootering and no worries to me at all.