Wheelchair, how to choose the best in the market?
Wheelchairs are medical chairs specially designed, equipped with wheels and designed to help people with limited mobility in transport.
How to choose the best wheelchair for your needs?
At Discubre we will help you with this. Features to consider when buying a wheelchair.
The first question to answer when choosing your wheelchair: manual or electric?
Wheelchairs are generally classified into two separate fields: self-propelled or manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs.
Manual or self – propelled wheelchairs can be operated in two ways: with the help of a caregiver pushing from behind, or by the patient directly pushing the wheelchair by holding the wheel area, and pushing in the direction they wish to go.
Mechanical or motorized wheelchairs, on the other hand, use a fully electric system driven by a patient-operated control lever.
Different patients have different physical needs, for this reason, it is important to consider which type of operation is most convenient for you or the person close to you.
For users who have a good amount of upper body strength, or who have only limited mobility from the waist down, a manual wheelchair may be an excellent option.
A manual wheelchair can help the user preserve the muscular strength of the upper body and allow them to play an active role in their mobility.
A power wheelchair is best suited for a person who cannot operate their wheel autonomously, or who spends a significant amount of time in it and cannot sustain their own transport with physical strength alone. Good examples of this would be students with limited mobility who move on a university campus in their wheelchairs or users who wish to go for a quiet stroll around the neighborhood, where new things like these have emerged that you can see in our showroom.
Wheelchair portability: is it necessary or unnecessary?
For many patients and caregivers, the portability of a wheelchair and the necessary storage space make a big difference in the wheelchair model they select.
With this in mind, many models, in particular, manual wheelchair models are designed to be folded and stored easily.
Whether by folding or by quick and convenient disassembly, the ability of a wheelchair to compact can be one of its biggest selling points.
Therefore, customers who are likely to carry their wheelchair with them for travel, or those who need to store the wheelchair when not in use, should consider the portability of a wheelchair before making a purchase.
Design – tilt or vertical?
Similar to ergonomic designs for wheelchairs, reclining wheelchairs are designed for patients who will spend long periods of time in their wheelchairs and want a degree of flexibility.
As their name suggests, reclining wheelchairs are able to adjust backward, and many extend close to a completely flat resting surface.
For patients who spend most of their time in their wheelchair or those who rely on their wheelchair to provide a high degree of upper body stability, a recline function allows them to adjust the positioning without leaving the chair to do so.
Wheelchair cushioning – standard or cushioned?
While all wheelchairs offer patients a soft and comfortable seat during transport, many models provide additional patient comfort through the use of padded cushions.
This padding also serves as an additional safety measure, helping to prevent any collision injury in the wheelchair. Depending on the patient’s needs and the amount of time the wheelchair will be used, the padding may provide an additional degree of comfort.
Use: primary or supplemental care?
It is important to remember that not everyone who uses a wheelchair does so during most of their waking hours. Sometimes, a wheelchair is a supplemental transport, or is used instead of another device from time to time.
For those who call a wheelchair their primary means of transportation, the considerations will be different from those who only use a wheelchair a few times.
Patients who spend most of their time in the wheelchair require a chair with features that go beyond standard inclusions.
Ergonomically designed wheelchairs are specially designed to provide comfort to these patients. Ergonomic wheelchairs usually include a single, padded seat designed to prevent patients from having sores, which can appear after a prolonged time in the wheelchair.
If you or your loved one will be spending long periods in the wheelchair, an ergonomic wheelchair design is worth considering.
Prominent Brands in Wheelchairs
The selection of wheelchairs available on DISCUBRE features many high quality products to meet the needs of any patient. These chairs are produced by trusted medical equipment manufacturers such as Karman Healthcare, Drive Medical, Invacare and Carex.
What else do I need to know about wheelchairs?
Ultimately, a wheelchair is defined by its intended use, which makes understanding you or your loved one’s specific needs extremely important. For many patients, especially those who will only use the wheelchair temporarily or if it is reused by different patients, a standard manual wheelchair meets all needs. Other wheelchairs are designed to meet the needs of patients who will be using the chair for an extended period of time.
Most standard manual wheelchairs have the essentials: backrest, seat, footrest, and wheels. These chairs are more portable than their electric counterparts and are generally less expensive. They can also be used by a multitude of patients, making them particularly valuable tools in a hospital environment.
Manual wheelchairs can also be specialized to meet the needs of patients who will use them in the long term. These specializations often include reclining skills and ergonomic designs.
Reclining wheelchairs allow patients to adjust their position in the chair and even lie down in the chair. Ergonomically designed chairs, on the other hand, are modeled to avoid discomfort or sores on patients’ skin.
Motorized wheelchairs are usually more expensive, but are worth the price for their ease of movement. Rather than needing to be propelled by a caregiver or patient, power wheelchairs have omnidirectional motion to the impulse of a control lever, which is operated by the wheelchair user.
Who uses wheelchairs and who would benefit from using one?
For people who discover that they cannot move as elegantly as they used to, or who have experienced a setback in terms of mobility due to illness, injury or recovery from surgery, a wheelchair is likely to be prescribed.
Due to the wide range of potential users, the field of people who use them is vast. A selection of the many patients who use wheelchairs includes patients who suffer any type of lower body injury (e.g., feet, legs, and hips), inability to walk, difficulty maintaining balance, paralysis, and many others.
Caregivers appreciate the use of wheelchairs. It is not uncommon for caregivers to be hurt by a manual lifting of the patient or the effort of trying to prevent the patient from falling.
Through the use of a wheelchair, the risk of back injuries to caregivers is dramatically reduced, and patients are spared from balance loss injuries.
How would a wheelchair benefit me or my loved one?
Wheelchairs are among the safest and most comfortable methods in the world for transporting patients from one place to another. The use of a wheelchair significantly reduces the patient’s risk of falling and a caregiver is injured while trying to keep the patient upright.
In short, wheelchairs are an extremely effective method of reducing risks. They also provide peace of mind for loved ones. You can find an extensive list of them in our catalog or the most innovative in our Showroom.