Electric Wheelchairs vs. Mobility Scooters: What is the Right Choice for You?

It is true that both an electric wheelchair and mobility scooter share the same basic function – that is, to transport people with varying levels of reduced mobility from one place to another – yet they also bring with them notable differences…differences that may not be immediately recognizable on the surface. Being that both these products are very popular amongst the physically impaired and senior citizen sets, it’s important to understand the differences between them should someone in the family be in need of such a device.

To start with, mobility scooters seem to be the preference amongst those who experience age-related pain from bone issues or other health complications, but who nevertheless still boast fine motor skills and the use of both hands. Electric wheelchairs, conversely, are typically chosen by patients who can’t be on their feet for long periods of time, who have almost no mobility in the body due to paralysis or who experience reduced mobility in the neck, arms or upper torso.

Electric Wheelchairs

Essentially a “power chair,” an electric wheelchair is powered by batteries and an electric motor, all of which have been designed for nonstop use. They offer support for the patient’s back and sides for added comfort, and with hand controls on the armrests, the wheelchair can be controlled without having to extend the arms or lean too far forward. This enables a stable position for those individuals who have limited mobility of the arms or upper body.

Mobility Scooters

Made for those who are not completely immobile, a mobility scooter allows for easy mounting by lifting up the armrests in order to easily slide in and out. Powered by batteries and controlled by switches attached to handlebars – or sometimes a finger lever/twist grip throttle – these scooters’ bases are constructed in a much sturdier fashion, rendering them more solid and dependable.

Understanding Some Pros and Cons

Positives about mobility scooters include:

• Available in different shapes and sizes
• Able to tackle different terrains
• Some are more easily transportable
• Able to achieve faster speeds

Negatives about mobility scooters include:

• Can be more expensive
• Can be more cumbersome to transport
• Typically more bulky
• Offer a bigger turning radius

Positives about electric wheelchairs include:

• Transportable in a car trunk
• Tighter turning radius
• Good stability
• More options and adjustable dimensions

Negatives about electric wheelchairs include:

• Can be heavier than a mobility scooter
• Doesn’t go as fast
• Joystick takes longer to master
• Requires more maintenance

Major Similarities and Differences Between a Power Chair and Mobility Scooter

I. The Foldability Factor

Some power chairs can be folded, and of the foldable types there are those that fold into one piece and others that can be taken apart into few lightweight pieces (for easier transportation). Though they are foldable, there aren’t many on the market that can handle the weight of an extremely large user; they are made of material that is not as durable or heavy-duty in characteristic. The fact of the matter is, the type of electric wheelchair that can handle more weight tends to weigh a lot more itself, making it difficult to lift into a vehicle. Foldable wheelchairs boast a great turning radius, some even under 30-inches, with specific models going as far down as 24-inches, making them extremely maneuverable around corners or in tight spaces.

Foldable mobility scooters are available as models that can be disassembled into pieces without the use of any tools, as well as those that can be folded into one piece. A great thing about the latter is that they only take a few seconds to fold, with many of them being TSA-approved for airline travel (and, what’s more, there’s no fee to take them with you on an airplane). They range in weight from about 34 to 60 pounds, with the heavier examples being slightly more durable with a stronger motor. Some models boast remote fobs that enable them to be folded and unfolded at the push of a button – after unfolding them, they can be wheeled behind the user like any other piece of luggage.

II. The Battery

If regular travel is always on the itinerary – especially by air – it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about an electric wheelchair or mobility scooter: the type of battery the device runs on must be taken into consideration. Especially questionable are lithium batteries, and to make matters worse, they may not even be approved by the airlines if they exceed the 300AH mark; so long as they are sealed, all other battery types are approved. Most power chairs typically come with power cells that are rechargeable, with both lithium and 12-volt batteries weighing between seven and nine pounds.

The batteries bundled with either a mobility scooter or wheelchair can go quite a ways before they need to be recharged. Typically, a wheelchair’s mileage clocks in as low as eight miles and as much as 18 miles on a single charge, while full-size scooters offer a battery life that can go much longer (as much as 40 miles on a single charge). When riding an electric wheelchair uphill, the battery life, as expected, will be depleted at a much higher rate, especially if the incline is higher than 12-degrees. Indeed, exceeding that tilt will drain the battery or ruin it.

Weight also plays a significant role in how long a battery will hold; as such, we recommend staying at least 30 pounds beneath maximum weight capacity. Also keep in mind that charging these devices requires a connection to an outlet for about eight to 14 hours.

III. Weight Capacity

Being that we just touched on weight, let’s take a moment to discuss that factor. Different power wheelchairs can support different weights depending on which model we’re talking about; the folding type of wheelchair boasts a lower-than-average weight capacity due to the lightweight material framework it’s composed of, while the bariatric power chairs are more heavy-duty in stature and can support anything from 400 to 700 pounds in weight (they are equipped with solid or flat-free tires for this very reason).

On the flip side of that coin, mobility scooters – especially the bariatric and full-size variants – bring with them a higher weight capacity. Because they are considered heavy-duty, they offer some of the highest weight capacity for mobile scooters, in excess of 600 pounds.

Some other factors to take into consideration when comparing these products include:

• Indoor/outdoor capacities
• Wheels
• Accessories

To get a feel for what’s out there in this market, have a look at  our 1800Wheelchair.com selection.

What is International Wheelchair Day?

Did you know there’s an actual International Wheelchair Day? Don’t feel too bad – most people wouldn’t have, either. Indeed, March 1 brings wheelchair users together from around the world to celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has made on their lives, and since it was first launched in 2008, such revelries have taken place in Australia, Nepal, Senegal, South Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

In doing our part, 1800Wheelchair would like to take this opportunity to explore the history behind what has arguably been the most important mobility device ever created. Why do we say that? Well, the wheelchair carries on as a piece of technology that just about everyone on the planet is familiar with, used by millions suffering with disabilities across the globe.

What’s more, the history of this device proves how technological advancements have been ultimately driven by circumstances, changing demands and ingenuity of wheelchair users throughout time.

(Very) Humble Beginnings and Stephan Farffler

While it is uncertain as to what can be considered the very first wheelchair, stone inscriptions from ancient Greece and China suggest that wheelchair-esque furniture has been around since the sixth century AD – at the very least. However, one of the best-documented early examples of what we now recognize as the modern wheelchair was made by an unknown inventor for King Philip of Spain in 1595, who in his later years suffered from severe gout, making walking difficult; this chair boasted what would now be called an elaborate design, with plush upholstery, arm and leg rests and four small wheels which demanded it be pushed around by (at the time) a servant.

The first self-propelled wheelchair was invented in 1655 by Stephan Farffler, a paraplegic clock-maker in Nuremberg, Germany who built his own mobility device when he was only 22, having broken his back as a child. Taking advantage of his clock-maker expertise, Farffler based his wheelchair’s frame on a three-wheel chassis, which worked by turning handles attached to a geared front wheel using a system of cogwheels and cranks. In retrospect, it is easy to envision this wheelchair as a prelude to the modern day bicycle – even though the bike wouldn’t be invented for another few hundred years.

The Science Museum Group has perhaps the most interesting example of a self-propelled chair inspired by Farffler’s design in its collection, the chair boasting three main wheels and driven by chains through two hand cranks on either side of the rider.

Across Europe

From the second half of the 18th century came a number of significant wheelchair developments, namely from the town of Bath, at the time a popular spa town destination for the sick and disabled from across Britain and Europe who sought comfort and healing from the physical therapy approaches and mineral water offered there.

A number of wheelchairs were designed and offered to rent in order to meet the demand created by immobile visitors who took to the waters, the most popular design of this period coming in the form of the “Bath Chair,” brainchild of John Dawson in 1783. This model was supported by two wheels joined by an axle beneath the seat, aided by a small pivoting wheel in front of the supporting footrest. The Bath Chair could be steered by the user via a long curved rod connected to the front wheel, though it still had to be pushed by an assistant or attendant; variations of the chair quickly became very popular and soon rivaled the Sedan Chair – realized as an enclosed box with a seat carried by two men on poles – as the primary form of transportation for the wealthy disabled across Britain.

The aforementioned Science Museum Group even has a Bath Chair made for Queen Victoria in 1893 on display, which was taken advantage of during her later, less-agile years.

According to patents we’ve done research on, many improvements were made to the wheelchair to promote comfort, independence and maneuverability throughout the 19th century, including the invention of push-rims and rear push wheels.

From X-Frame to Model 8

Perhaps the most commercially successful wheelchair to be marketed was the revolutionary X-Frame folding variant, developed in the 1930s by American engineers Herbert Everest and Harry Jennings after the former became paraplegic in a mining accident. In fact, the relatively lightweight and easily transportable chair is still familiar today.

Again, the Science Museum Group Collection has a Model 8 version of this folding wheelchair in its inventory, built in the 1950s and which was used in nursing homes, hospitals and private institutions. The Model 8 could be maneuvered either by the patient via the metal rims attached to each wheel or by an assistant pushing the chair.

Advancements Into Modern Times

Unprecedented advancements in manual wheelchair technology have been implemented since the 1930s, with materials such as titanium and aluminum rendering devices much lighter than older steel versions, to say nothing of the advent of athletic models specifically adapted for sports performance.

The “Shadow Racer” sports wheelchair, as an example, was designed for road and track racing by Jim Martinson, an injured Vietnam veteran, while Quickie Designs manufactured sports wheelchairs alongside tennis and basketball chairs in the early 1990s. The development of sports wheelchairs highlights the role of personal ambition when it was a driving force for technological adaptions and advancements.

Today, the wheelchair is one of the most commonly-used assistive devices for enhancing the personal mobility of people with disabilities, and is actually considered a basic human right for people with limited mobility by the World Health Organization. Indeed, wheelchairs have opened up a whole new world of independence for these folks, enabling participation in economic, social and cultural life they may not have experienced without chairs.

The way we here at 1800Wheelchair see it, International Wheelchair Day is a welcome moment both to celebrate the innovative technological advancements which have changed the lives of millions and to also consider this reality: throughout history, as is still the case today in most developing nations, only the privileged few who need wheelchairs actually had access to them.

To see some of the most advanced and diverse collections of modern wheelchairs on the market today, view our collection at 1800WheelChair.com.

Simple Mobility and Lightweight Wheelchair Solution

The featherweight wheelchair, also referred to as the feather chair, is setting a new standard in the world of manual wheelchairs and remains one of the lightest chairs available on the market today.

Utilizing specialized materials, the featherweight wheelchair boasts such low-weight characteristics that it can be lifted into a vehicle for transport by almost anyone; case in point: while a number of wheelchairs can weigh upwards of 35 pounds, the featherweight clocks in at a mere 19 pounds fully assembled (and an impressive 13.5 pounds when removing the optional pop-off wheels).

Whether the wheelchair is being operated by yourself or with a caregiver’s assistance, the feather chair is simple to use and takes less than a minute to fold or unfold. What’s more, the leg rests come in either an elevating or swing-away configuration, with optional “anti-tipper” wheels often available to prevent the chair from falling backward.

Our Own Featherweight Wheelchair Story

For 1800Wheelchair’s part, our founders determined, quite accurately, that wheelchairs are ultimately ugly, heavy and expensive, and as such decided to build a brand that offers beautiful, lightweight and affordable variants. In late 2018, we launched our flagship product which ended up becoming the world’s lightest wheelchair at 13 pounds, dubbed the Feather Chair (and named after the alternative reference to featherweight wheelchairs).

Let’s be honest: a lightweight wheelchair is essential for traveling, especially when it comes to lifting a chair in and out of a car – to say nothing of maneuvering it on a plane or bus – so the lighter the chair, the easier for a caregiver to push or for the user to self-propel.

Hassle-Free Travel: One of the Most Important Aspects

Since we touched on travel in the previous paragraph, this would be a great time to dive into greater detail about this vital aspect of featherweight wheelchairs. This product folds easily into a simple-to-lift, compact package in the blink of an eye, requiring the user to fold down the backrest, pull the middle section of the seat upwards and prepare for storage or transport. For additional convenience, quick-release wheels are available, this optional upgrade allowing the rear wheels to be removed simply and with little haste – this, in turn, allows for more convenient storage and reduces the weight of the Feather Chair from an already super-light 19 pounds to an astonishing 13.5 pounds.

Traveling with a family member suffering with mobility issues has never been so streamlined.

Light as a Feather…and Safe

Featherweight wheelchairs usually include, as a standard safety protocol, dual sets of brakes, with wheel locks at the front of the frame preventing the wheelchair from unintentionally moving forward or backward – and which can be reached easily by the user. Handbrakes, meanwhile, are located in the push handles at the rear of the featherweight chair for use by a caregiver, the integrated brake system itself operating similarly to the brakes of a bicycle – a mere squeeze is all that’s required to stop the chair.

By pushing them toward the ground, the handbrakes can also be locked into place, while the optional and aforementioned anti-tippers provide an additional layer of safety by keeping the wheelchair from tipping backward.

Additional Information About Wheelchairs in General

A standard wheelchair – or manual wheelchair – can best be described as a chair for mobility featuring rear wheels that are large and front wheels that are smaller, intended to be manually propelled by the user or pushed by a caregiver. This design enables the user to reach the wheels in the rear and, while seated, push themselves; standard wheelchairs are also transportable, collapsible and easy to use by both a patient and caregiver.

If you cannot mobilize without assistance and find yourself being able to take only a few steps before having to catch your breath, you may be a candidate for a wheelchair. You may also require a chair if walking long distances is challenging, even with help (whether that constitutes a family member, friend or another assistive device like a cane). Further, if you find yourself struggling to walk on your own and believe you would benefit from a wheelchair, your mobility limitations should first be discussed with your primary caregiver; during your scheduled appointment, your needs will be analyzed by your doctor and a wheelchair may indeed be prescribed for use.

When it comes to “qualifying for a wheelchair,” this determination will be decided by your doctor as well, and if you fulfill the requirements as laid forth by your insurance provider to cover the chair’s costs. Indeed, to “qualify” for a wheelchair, your doctor needs to be convinced that you exhibit limited mobility while at the same time are physically capable of pushing a wheelchair on your own. If daily tasks are interfered with by your limited mobility – whether it’s merely getting around your home or completing essential everyday functions like putting clothes on – you may qualify for a wheelchair.

Consequently, you will need to be able to sit and support yourself without assistance in order to operate a wheelchair, as well as be able to physically operate the controls and navigate appropriately, all while being able to solely get in and out of the chair. Your medical necessity for a wheelchair can be determined by your primary caregiver by analyzing your mobility limitations as well as evaluating how you’d possibly benefit from such a device.

What’s Best for You?

Here at 1800Wheelchair, we want nothing but the best for our customers, and this is why we’re constantly looking out for advancements in the wheelchair sector as well as ways to recommend the best chairs for specific needs. The “best” wheelchair is the one that suits these needs, lands within your budget and integrates into your daily life the most efficiently, but with so many chairs on the market, it can be an overwhelming prospect to select the right model – especially if this is your first time purchasing a wheelchair.

If the ultimate in simple mobility is on the top of your priority roster, featherweight wheelchairs are definitely the way to do. Lightweight frames make these chairs easy to travel with, and many of them come in interesting upholstery colors – such as blue plaid and black plaid – for a custom look.

Get in contact with 1800Wheelchair today to get all the wheelchair buying assistance you need.

A Closer Look Inside the World of Transport Wheelchairs

Unbeknownst to many save for those working in the healthcare industry, all wheelchairs are actually not the same, even though they basically perform the same task. A transport wheelchair (also known as a companion chair or roll-about wheelchair) is a wheelchair that is not only lighter in weight but also easier to use than a standard variant – useful for individuals who do not need to utilize a chair all the time, but who want to take advantage of one occasionally. It is not uncommon for some individuals to use transport wheelchairs to travel to and from their appointments as safely as possible.

What’s important to note about transport wheelchairs is that they aren’t designed for traveling long distances, so if a wheelchair is needed for such ventures, it is wise to ask a healthcare provider about acquiring a standard model. A garden variety transport wheelchair can support an individual who weighs up to approximately 30 pounds, while a heavy-duty transport wheelchair can support an individual who weighs up to 400 or so pounds.

Transport wheelchairs aren’t made to be moved by the person sitting in them; rather, they require the assistance of a caregiver, who would normally push the chair from behind – another important distinction when comparing them to other types of chairs, including those that are motorized.

A transport wheelchair can be purchased at:

• Medical supply stores
• Medical supply websites (such as 1800Wheelchair.com)
• Retail drug outlets (such as Walgreens or CVS)
• Supercenters (such as Wal-Mart or Target)
• Online retailers (such as Amazon)

The unfortunate reality is that patients suffering from a loss of mobility are often stuck inside their homes, rooms or whatever facility they may be living in, and this is mainly because too much activity already exhausts them. As such, they often find most activities that the majority of us would call “simple” to be challenging and complicated because of their medical condition.

Today, one of the most efficient and convenient examples of modern medical equipment is the transport wheelchair, helpful for patients who want to travel or take simple short trips to restaurants, malls or hospitals for appointments. Additionally, they are helpful because they provide more comfort and convenience to patients and their respective caregivers – and, as we alluded to above, these chairs are a safer and more comfortable means of transport.

Since transport wheelchairs are in their wheelhouse, so to speak, when fulfilling patients’ needs of taking short trips, they are significantly smaller, lighter and more compact so they’re easy to lift into and store in vehicles. Thus, transport chairs are not difficult to push, boasting lighter total weight and light rubber materials, while remaining foldable so they don’t require maximum force to move.

Who’s Best Suited to Use Transport Wheelchairs?

We’ve already stressed how transport wheelchairs are equipped with significantly unique designs, and this is important because such chairs accommodate specific types of users. Ideally, transport wheelchairs are geared towards lighter, more petite patients because they’re within the weight capacity ratings; if some heavier-than-average patients use them, the aforementioned safety and comfort are not guaranteed (assuming a caregiver is not assisting).

Luckily, unique wheelchairs are available to work best for each patient’s specific needs and preferences – for example, those patients boasting a bigger and heavier body build can perfectly fit in heavy-duty transport chairs or bariatric transport chairs, both of which feature more robust materials so they can comfortably accommodate larger users.

Breaking Down the Differences Between Transport Wheelchairs and Regular Types

At the end of the day, transport wheelchairs and regular wheelchairs are built to ease patients’ problems of limited mobility. Regular wheelchairs are normally used daily and perform their primary purpose of supporting patients who wish to move about their immediate area, but don’t want any assistance (i.e. to be carried) by their caregivers.

Transport wheelchairs, on the other hand, are ideal to use for traveling – as the namesake would suggest – when patients look forward to moving from place to place. They are often designed to be foldable so they’re easily accessible to fit in planes, buses, cars and even on boats, and with the addition of wheelchair cushions, patients can actually experience more enjoyment while traveling.

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Transport Wheelchair

Making the process of finding the seemingly perfect wheelchair even more complicated is the significant advancement of wheelchair availability. Keeping this in mind, it becomes important to shop various options by evaluating reliability factors, with the following three representing the most important from our perspective.

Weight Capacity It is necessary, when shopping for a transport wheelchair, to have a straight answer on the weight capacity of the model. If you are the one who will be using it, you need to pay attention to whether your selection can accommodate your body weight. For better use of the wheelchair, you need to choose the best model that will provide you mobility, safety and maximum comfort.
Seat Size Along with weight capacity, the seat size is also an important primary factor to consider. You should closely analyze the size of the seat since the best transport wheelchair cushions should be just about perfect; they matter because seats that are too wide can bring with them possible slipping, while seats that are too narrow come along with discomfort.
Price Like everything else in life (well, for most of us, anyway), it always comes down to budget and affordability with regard to transport wheelchairs, and as such you need to ensure that the chair you choose doesn’t break the bank. Though they offer special features, a suitable transport wheelchair should be able to perform its primary purpose at a somewhat reasonable price – keep in mind, too, that inexpensive or not, no wheelchair is made for everyone’s specific demands.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing the wrong kind of transport wheelchair can cost a vast amount of money in the long run, so to make sure that people coping with loss of mobility can find their perfect transport wheelchair model, 1800Wheelchair offers an incredible selection. To give you an idea of that sweeping selection, click here.

Wheelchair Advancements: Then vs. Now

What active wheelchair rider hasn’t inadvertently crashed into a couch or fallen over a curb, often ending up with injuries? (Or nearly did). Traditionally, wheelchairs, scooters, and other types of mobility equipment have not been known for their safety, accessibility, or level of comfort. However, with rapid technological advancement in the healthcare industry, the wheelchair space has come a long way, and the future looks bright. To begin, let’s take a look at the humble wheelchair.

Key Takeaways

  • The earliest wheelchairs were used between the 4th and 6th century BCE.
  • 3D printed carbon fiber wheelchairs are the future of wheelchairs.
  • Wheelchairs will become smarter and have self-driving capabilities.

The Humble Beginnings

It is believed that the earliest wheelchairs were used sometime between the 4th and 6th century BCE; however, the first instance of their usage dates back to the 17th century. In 1655, German innovators developed a type of rolling chairs, mainly referred to as “invalid chairs.” These weren’t much more than chairs with two wheels at the front, but they were a step toward chairs with rotating wheels.

The first usage of the term “wheele-chaire” itself was documented in a private letter written by the famous English novelist Jane Austen. Later, in the 18th century, wheelchairs emerged as a transport vehicle for surgical and medicinal causes. A few modifications were made to the structure in the 19th century, the most notable of which was the adoption of timber frames with cane seats.

In the same century, wheels with wire spokes and rubber tires began to debut. Nevertheless, these early designs restricted individuals to the limitations of flat interior areas. This was because earlier versions were heavy and unwieldy, constructed from wood or metal, making it impossible to move.

The 20th century saw the advent of a foldable wheelchair, which included a more durable wheel design and enhanced mobility capabilities. Subsequent versions made consistent moves toward lighter construction, better maneuverability, and overall performance.

The Advent of Electric Wheelchairs

After World War II, disabled soldiers needed assistance, so George Klein, a Canadian inventor, came up with the idea for the electric wheelchair. By attaching simple motors to regular chairs, Klein transformed ordinary chairs into smart, electric wheelchairs. From that point on, the development of electric chairs witnessed advancements in design, mobility, dependability, and comfort, which ultimately led to the contemporary machines we see whizzing down the streets today.

The Wheelchair Space Today

The private sector has recently driven a progressive and integrative approach to technological advancements, making it possible to investigate and develop “high-tech” assistive devices to join the competition. Even better, these designs of the 21st century are pushing the limits of technological growth in the wheelchair space even further. Transportable power wheelchairs, lightweight power wheelchairs, and heavy-duty power wheelchairs are some prominent examples.

The Future Advancements

As of now, there are close to 131 million individuals worldwide who are restricted to wheelchairs and utilize them for mobility. To better serve the enormous community of wheelchair users, many wheelchair brands are now undertaking crowdfunding campaigns to gather funds to develop and launch the wheelchair of the future. Some new inventions we hope to one-day hit markets include the self-driving wheelchair, 3D printed carbon fiber wheelchairs, and accessibility-friendly chairs.

The Ultimate Wheelchair Accessibility Checklist

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 61 million Americans have some type of disability, and 6.8 million of these individuals have a severe medical condition that makes it difficult for them to perform daily tasks (such as taking a shower, getting dressed, or moving about their own houses). To be precise: nearly one in four citizens live with some form of disability.

Additionally, many studies show that in the coming decades, the population of disabled individuals in the United States is expected to increase exponentially. According to research conducted by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics Older Americans show that 71.5 million individuals will be 65 and older by 2030—disability rates will increase as the population ages.

A severe shortage of accessible features in today’s residential (as well as commercial) spaces makes it difficult for those with impairments and restricted mobility, such as the elderly, to live comfortably. With that said, nearly all residential and commercial properties in the United States will need wheelchair access to accommodate themselves or a tenant at some time in the future. If you’re wondering, “How can I make my home wheelchair-accessible?” this guide is for you.

Key Takeaway

  • All properties in the US will need wheelchair accessibility in the future.
  • When making your home wheelchair accessible, you must follow standards and guidelines for design assistance.
  • The following areas must be modified for a wheelchair-friendly home:
    • Pool Area
    • Yard/Landscape
    • Home Interior Space
    • Bathroom and Kitchen
    • Garage/Driveway
    • Furniture and Bedroom

 

Wheelchair Accessibility Checklist

Wheelchair-Accessible Yard/Landscape
Wheelchair-Accessible Home Interior Space
Wheelchair-Accessible Bathroom and Kitchen
Wheelchair-Accessible Pool Area
Wheelchair-Accessible Garage/Driveway
Wheelchair-Accessible Furniture
Wheelchair-Accessible Bedroom

 

How to Build a Wheelchair-Accessible Home

With physical limitations affecting substantial portions of the United States population, the issues that come with building residential spaces suitable for disabled individuals have been addressed by both government and private groups. Although there are accessibility laws in place for some residential/housing categories, there are no such restrictions or standards at the federal level. To begin, we must look at the following standards and guidelines for design assistance.

Wheelchair-Accessible Yard/Landscape

There are many ways to make a home wheelchair accessible, even though everyone has distinct requirements and preferences in this regard. To begin, take a look at the yard. Is it equipped with pathways, raised beds, or hanging planters for easy navigation? If not, consider designing a solid surface to accommodate wheelchair traffic while providing enough grip for pedestrians.

Secondly, see if a window leads directly from the outside into the living space since many government laws require buildings to include entrances and pathways accessible to people with disabilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the threshold at the entrance should have a height of no more than one-half inch (about 13 mm), either sloping or rounded.

When it comes to making the entrance of a house wheelchair-accessible, constructing a ramp is your best bet. To accommodate a wheelchair user, a ramp should have the least amount of slope, or elevation, and be at least 36 inches (915 mm) broad. It is also necessary to have handrails and curbs installed, so individuals do not fall off the ramp or slide when stepping on it.

Wheelchair-Accessible Home Interior Space

Once the yard is sorted, it’s time for the house interior. The general layout of the property has the potential to have a considerable influence on how convenient and usable the home is for wheelchair users. According to Universal Design Principles, the main floor of every commercial property should have at least one bedroom, kitchen, entertainment space/TV lounge, and a complete bathroom.

The requirements of wheelchair users have inspired several legislation and guidelines regarding the dimensions of entrances and corridors. Because of this, it is essential to have doors with an aperture of at least 32 inches wide (about 813 millimeters). Similarly, the front threshold should be rounded, and the height of the point should not exceed one-half inch (about 13 mm) above the floor. Wheelchair users as well as people with canes or walkers, may have difficulty with too high thresholds.

On the other hand, when it comes to hallways, they should be at least 36 inches wide (roughly 915 millimeters). If a wheelchair user has to make a sharp bend to go through a corridor, the hallway probably needs to be more comprehensive. Although both doors and hallways are a standard feature in any housing, some residences also include another possible obstacle: stairs.

All treads, the horizontal elements of the stairs, should be at least 11 inches wide (almost 28 centimeters), and the edges should be rounded, making it easier to navigate. In addition, it is recommended to install handrails on both sides of the stairs for an additional measure of stability. Similarly, ensure the stair rail or stair rail system extends beyond the first and final step.

Although soft carpeting could seem like a good option at first glance, it really makes it more difficult for wheelchair users to move about on the floor. The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design suggest that the thickness of the pile should not exceed half an inch (about 13 mm). Similarly, it is not advised to use throw rugs in the interior space due to mobility issues.

Alterations made to the electrical systems, in conjunction with the selection of appropriate flooring, may provide wheelchair users more freedom. It is recommended that electrical outlets be installed at a height of at least 15 inches (381 mm) above a finished floor. In comparison, thermostats and light switches should be installed at no more than 48 inches (approximately 1,219 mm) above the floor.

Wheelchair-Accessible Bathroom and Kitchen

When building a wheelchair-accessible space, switching out the bathtubs for showers is one of the most typical alterations. Even while walk-in baths are available, it’s unlikely that a wheelchair would fit inside of one of them. Showers, however, may be easily used by those with restricted movement. Having a seat and putting a showerhead that can be held by hand is advisable.

When it comes to water temperature, setting the temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees Celsius) is a recommended safety precaution to prevent scalding while using the shower or the sink faucet. On the other hand, consider alternatives such as lever-operated, push-type, and electronically controlled faucets when selecting the kind of fixture to install.

Those who have difficulty moving around may find that a toilet raised to a higher position and equipped with grab bars is more accessible. However, ensure sufficient space around the sink and toilet for the wheelchair to maneuver. According to the ADA, the recommended weight capacity for grab bars is 250 pounds (about 113 kg). A clear floor space of 30 inches by 48 inches (about 762 millimeters by 1,219 mm) is required for a wheelchair user to use a sink appropriately.

When it comes to the residential kitchen, free floor space is an important factor to consider. Wheelchair users require the same open floor space in front of kitchen sinks as other appliances to roll up to and use them efficiently. Installing counters with several levels, one at a height suitable for seated individuals and another for those standing, is yet another accessibility concept.

A side-by-side refrigerator is recommended for wheelchair users since it is easier to access than a top freezer. Having controls on the front of a range may be convenient for seated operators, but it also poses a potential safety risk in households with young children. Those who have trouble seeing could benefit from a range that has controls that are either touch-sensitive or have contrasting colors.

Lastly, when it comes time to clean up in the kitchen, an elevated dishwasher may lessen the bending required to load and unload it. There are many different methods by which homeowners may include safety precautions in their houses. Some examples include roll-in showers, multi-level counters, garden walkways, and entryways that do not have steps.

Best Bathroom Wheelchair to Buy

The Mariner Rehab Shower Commode Chair is a fully rust-proof, lightweight, long-lasting, and foldable bathroom wheelchair constructed entirely of stainless-less hardware and aluminum, making it an excellent choice for shower use. The Mariner can be installed over the bowl of a majority of conventional and extended toilets. A soft seat with four adjustable positions, swing-away front riggings, and flip-back cushioned arms all contribute to the overall comfort of the wheelchair user.

The Ultimate Wheelchair Accessibility Checklist

Wheelchair-Accessible Pool Area

A pool in the backyard may be a lot of fun, but it can be challenging for wheelchair users. Ladders and entrance steps do not make it possible for those with limited mobility to enter, and if they are not modified, they also become potential safety risks. As a result, modernizing the pool to be ADA-compliant is a significant component of making a house wheelchair-friendly.

The mobility-accessible market is flooded with a wide selection of Hydraulic pool lifts that provide safe access to aquatic environments for those unable to walk or have limited mobility due to disability. These lifts are strong enough to sustain a variety of weight capacities, are appropriate for use in both aboveground and inground pools, and suit many aesthetics.

Best Pool Wheelchair to Buy

The Aqua Creek Pool Access Wheelchair is explicitly designed for use in pools with entryways or ramps with a shallow starting point. This access chair is made of medical-grade PVC and has a design that prevents it from tipping over or corroding components. As a result of this chair’s ability to handle extreme conditions, it is ideal for use in locker rooms, showers, and swimming pool areas.

The Ultimate Wheelchair Accessibility Checklist

Wheelchair-Accessible Garage/Driveway

When it comes to the day-to-day existence of a wheelchair user, a wheelchair-accessible garage and driveway are quite essential. It presents greater independence and could even allow access to a workshop, some tools, or a washing room. Even though a level, firm surface is ideal for a driveway, installing asphalt or concrete may be expensive, mainly if the driveway is on the longer side.

If the expense of redoing a whole driveway is prohibitive, you must at least ensure that there is a sizable space right in front of a garage built of asphalt or concrete. This will make getting into and out of a car much simpler while providing an easy way to load and unload. To accommodate wheelchair users, the space must be at least six feet wider than the vehicle’s width.

Any lip that is more than one-quarter of an inch in height should be minimized with a ramp about the size of a wheelchair. We recommend installing a door opener, if one is not already there, and positioning rocker light switches near the garage and the house’s front doors. Doors leading into the house from the garage or leading out to the yard should be at least 36 inches wide.

To overcome any obstacles, ramps must be installed. The guideline of 1 foot of ramp length for every 1-inch vertical rise should always be kept in mind. For example, a 6″ or 7″ step will need a 6′ or 7′ long ramp. When the weather is inclement, a garage accessible to wheelchair users should have enough space to enable individuals to get into and out of their vehicles within the garage.

Wheelchair-Accessible Furniture

There are a few fundamental characteristics to consider while selecting furniture for a house suitable for wheelchair use. It is preferable to have robust furniture so individual pieces can be utilized as support. When possible, try to steer clear of anything with a pointed edge. Glass, both fragile and ornamental, is not often the material of choice for a wheelchair-accessible resident.

The 36″ clearance around a table takes up a significant amount of room, while the low height makes it difficult for a wheelchair user to reach the top. Therefore, any tables selected for a space accessible to wheelchair users need to have a comfortable height. Similarly, when shopping for chairs and couches, please pay attention to both their height and how solid they are overall.

Although couches and chairs with thick cushions and plenty of padding may be comfy, getting in and out of them may be challenging. A similar argument may be made for chairs and couches that are not the appropriate height for the users. Wheelchair users may find it easier to get in and out of chairs if the seating options are equipped with robust, sturdy arms. If you are interested in buying a recliner, choose one that requires the user to utilize their legs to return to a sitting posture.

When it comes to eating, pedestal tables that do not have legs at the corners may be somewhat simpler to navigate, while tables with rounded corners give their users an extra layer of safety. It is no longer essential to choose between design and functionality. Several brands provide alternatives that not only make a space more attractive but are also appropriate for wheelchair-accessible spaces.

Wheelchair-Accessible Bedroom

If there is enough space in the bedroom, converting it to a wheelchair-accessible layout is pretty straightforward. When designing a bedroom for someone who uses a wheelchair, the bed size is one of the most critical considerations. Since there is a limit to the size of a bedroom (unless you want to build an addition), it is essential to choose a room with enough living space to fit a king-size bed.

The height of the mattress is yet another essential consideration to keep in mind. Wheelchairs typically have a seat height of 19-20″ above the ground, and any mattress that is more than 21″ will require the user to climb onto the bed. Note that there is a 15″ gap between a single and full-size mattress (39″ vs. 54″). The length of a single or full-size mattress is 5″ shorter than that of a king or queen-size mattress, while a king-size mattress is 16″ broader than a queen (76″ vs. 60″).

We recommend investing in a softer mattress or one with a pillow top because of its spaciousness. It is a good idea to pay attention to the design of the mattress since many individuals who use wheelchairs dress on the side of the bed. Beds should be arranged such that there is access to them from both sides, with a minimum passageway width of 36-40” on at least one of the sides.

In addition to having a width of 36” for the entranceway, bedrooms should also have a minimum clearance of 36” from impediments such as furniture. If an entry has a difficult threshold to cross, it could be possible to either replace it with a threshold with a lower profile or modify it by installing a threshold ramp. At the end of the day, the entire process requires some planning beforehand.

Besides stereotyping, discrimination, and social stigma, wheelchair users face many problems, mainly operating in day-to-day life. And not just that—things worsen when your very own home becomes a challenging space full of obstacles. The solution? Investing in wheelchair-friendly home modifications. Although the home modification process can be pretty overwhelming, especially for new wheelchair users, following this wheelchair accessibility checklist is your best bet.

New to Wheelchairs? Here’s What to Expect

Are you new to the world of wheelchairs or just don’t know where to start when purchasing one? Look no further. Although wheelchairs are a need for many reasons (illness, injury, or disability), this does not imply that they have to be uncomfortable or unattractive. Today, the market is flooded with various alternatives for wheelchair users who want to live their lives to the fullest, ranging from foldable to ergonomic chairs and everything in between.

For a novice wheelchair user like yourself, it’s essential to understand that buying a wheelchair is more complicated than just “buying a wheelchair.” Since they come in various forms and sizes and may accommodate almost every body type, choosing one that completely suits your needs may be similar to climbing a mountain barefoot. This guide will discuss everything you should expect at the beginning of your wheelchair journey.

Key Takeaway

  • Wheelchairs are a need for many reasons (illness, injury, or disability).
  • The first-ever wheelchair was made in 1519 for King Phillip II of Spain.
  • The most commonly used are manual, transport, and power wheelchairs.
  • Before investing in a wheelchair, pay attention to your surroundings – are things wheelchair accessible?
  • Begin weight training to easily roll the wheelchair tires manually.
  • Pay attention to wheelchair seating, warranties, and financing options.

What Is a Wheelchair?

As the name suggests, a wheelchair is a chair with wheels. In other words, it is a manually operated or power-driven device designed for individuals with mobility issues due to injury, illness, or disability. While the earliest wheelchairs had to be pushed by another individual (more on that later!), today, you can easily move them, either manually (by pushing the wheels) or electrically.

Wheelchair Through Years – From Origin to Evolution

According to evidence found in art and literature, comparable devices were used during ancient times, particularly in early Greece and China. When it comes to the official beginning, it all started in 1519, when a wheelchair was made for King Phillip II of Spain, who suffered from gout and needed mobility assistance. This aid, however, wasn’t self-propelling and required an attendant.

The 1700’s

After a century had passed, the wheelchairs desperately needed an upgrade; thus, in 1783, John Dawson from Bath (a city in England) constructed a wheelchair and named it after his town. Two massive wheels were located in the Bath’s rear; however, the front wheel was much smaller. All of the Bath’s designs were extremely heavy, necessitating the employment of a donkey or horse to be pushed or dragged about. The design was so successful that over 40 years, Bath sold the most units.

The 1800’s

Fast forward to 1800, the Bath wheelchair needed improvements. Although it was popular among those who could buy it, the overall structure offered little to no comfort. Later, the Bath was constructed out of various materials to maximize comfort. Even better, Queen Victoria preferred it. However, in the 1860s, wheelchairs designs comparable to those used today became available.

 

The Early 1900’s

As time passed, wheelchairs gradually became lighter and easier to travel in. It was 1932 when Harry Jennings developed the first folding wheelchair model made of tubular steel. Harry developed this wheelchair for his disabled friend Herbert Everest, and the two friends later established Everest and Jennings, which became the mobility and adaptive equipment manufacturing powerhouse.

The Mid 1900’s

When it comes to the first electric or powered wheelchair, George Klein, born in Hamilton, Canada, is recognized for contributing to the design and invention. In the 1950s, motorized chairs were available for mass production for the first time, which made the life of wheelchair users even more accessible. The 1990s saw the beginning of widespread production and usage of sports wheelchairs, which provided its users with additional support and assistance in various sporting endeavors.

2022 and Beyond

Over the course of the previous few hundred years, the wheelchair industry has seen a variety of transformations, from the early wheelchairs, which needed attendants to move about, to the current wheelchairs, which allow for freedom of movement and mobility. Given the quick rate at which technological advancements are being made, who knows what the future holds?

What to Expect from New Wheelchairs

Types of Wheelchairs to Expect

From manually operated to power-driven, a wide variety of wheelchairs are available to pick from, and the right one will depend on your requirements. However, if you aren’t acquainted with the terminology and what each signifies, you may end up wasting money on the wrong wheelchair. The following section will help you narrow down your research and simplify the buying process.

What to Expect from New Wheelchairs

Transport vs. Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are intended for the individual seated in the chair to maneuver independently, while transport wheelchairs are made to be pushed by caretakers or companions. On the other hand, wheelchairs designed for transport often have four small wheels, whereas wheelchairs designed for manual use typically have two smaller wheels in front and two bigger wheels in the rear.

Power Wheelchairs

A power wheelchair, also known as a powerchair, electric wheelchair, motorized wheelchair, or electric-powered wheelchair (EPW), is a kind of wheelchair that moves forward with the assistance of an electric motor (often via the use of differential steering) rather than the user’s physical power. Individuals who cannot walk short distances or those with weaker upper extremities may use them.

New Wheelchair Users – Essential Aspects to Consider

If you were just recently put into a wheelchair, it’s possible that you don’t fully understand how to manage things quite yet. Firstly, remember that it is normal for you to feel uncertain about how to travel moving forward. After all, wheelchair accessibility is a new experience that requires time to get used to. Now that you know everything about the history and origin of wheelchairs, it’s time to gear towards the next part: the essential aspects of using a wheelchair.

Think About Your Surroundings

Before investing in a wheelchair, pay attention to your region’s surroundings, particularly meteorological conditions. For instance, if you are caught in a blizzard with your brand-new wheelchair, and it gets damaged, know that you will be responsible for the costs of having it repaired (the average cost of wheelchair repair is $100 to $200; however, it may vary). To begin, imagine driving a vehicle, truck, or SUV, and apply the same frame of mind to your new accessibility.

Get Stronger By Exercising

If you pursue the route of purchasing a manual wheelchair, know that you will need to provide your own propulsion by rolling the wheelchair tires with your hands and arms in order to move about. It may not be easy to complete this activity if you do not have strong upper body strength; therefore, going to the gym and focusing on strength training with a personal trainer may be essential.

Avoid Alcohol

Drinking alcohol has been linked to weight gain, making it more challenging to move about using a wheelchair; thus, consider switching up the alcoholic drinks. It’s okay to have a beer or glass of wine every once in a while, but you shouldn’t just slouch in your chair and consume beverages nonstop. In 2016, around 38.9% of individuals with disabilities age 18 and older were obese; thus, you should do everything you can to prevent yourself from falling into that category.

Seating, Warranties, and Financing Options

As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t purchase a product without first examining it and getting a feel for it, especially regarding something as important as medical equipment. At 1800Wheelchair, the comfort issue is by far the most frequent one we’ve encountered when dealing with wheelchairs over the years. If you shop with us, you’ll find various seating options among 1,200 products in 100 different categories. However, if you need enhanced comfort, consider wheelchair cushions.

What to Expect from New Wheelchairs

In addition to comfort, warranties and financing are the next top concern. Before making a purchase, you must investigate the manufacturer’s warranty and financing options. This applies to the warranty provided by the product manufacturer and affordable financing options by the seller. For example, 1800Wheelchair is a Bread® partner, which means you can pay for your purchase over time.

So there you have it: a beginner’s guide to a wheelchair. Entering the world of wheelchairs may be overwhelming; however, with all the essential aspects in place, you may lead a happy and healthy life moving forward. With time, you may understand that embracing life in a wheelchair is pretty straightforward – all it requires is maintaining a positive outlook to get the most out of your journey.

Future Advancements in the Wheelchair Space

What active wheelchair rider hasn’t inadvertently crashed into a couch or fallen over a curb, often ending up with injuries? (Or nearly did). Traditionally, wheelchairs, scooters, and other types of mobility equipment have not been known for their safety, accessibility, or level of comfort.

However, with rapid technological advancement in the healthcare industry, the wheelchair space has come a long way, and the future looks bright. To begin, let’s take a look at the humble wheelchair.

Key Takeaways

  • The earliest wheelchairs were used between the 4th and 6th century BCE.
  • 3D printed carbon fiber wheelchairs are the future of wheelchairs.
  • Wheelchairs will become smarter and have self-driving capabilities.

The Humble Beginnings

It is believed that the earliest wheelchairs were used sometime between the 4th and 6th century BCE; however, the first instance of their usage dates back to the 17th century. In 1655, German innovators developed a type of rolling chairs, mainly referred to as “invalid chairs.” These weren’t much more than chairs with two wheels at the front, but they were a step toward chairs with rotating wheels.

The first usage of the term “wheele-chaire” itself was documented in a private letter written by the famous English novelist Jane Austen. Later, in the 18th century, wheelchairs emerged as a transport vehicle for surgical and medicinal causes. A few modifications were made to the structure in the 19th century, the most notable of which was the adoption of timber frames with cane seats.

In the same century, wheels with wire spokes and rubber tires began to debut. Nevertheless, these early designs restricted individuals to the limitations of flat interior areas. This was because earlier versions were heavy and unwieldy, constructed from wood or metal, making it impossible to move.

The 20th century saw the advent of a foldable wheelchair, which included a more durable wheel design and enhanced mobility capabilities. Subsequent versions made consistent moves toward lighter construction, better maneuverability, and overall performance.

The Advent of Electric Wheelchairs

After World War II, disabled soldiers needed assistance, so George Klein, a Canadian inventor, came up with the idea for the electric wheelchair. By attaching simple motors to regular chairs, Klein transformed ordinary chairs into smart, electric wheelchairs. From that point on, the development of electric chairs witnessed advancements in design, mobility, dependability, and comfort, which ultimately led to the contemporary machines we see whizzing down the streets today.

The Wheelchair Space Today

The private sector has recently driven a progressive and integrative approach to technological advancements, making it possible to investigate and develop “high-tech” assistive devices to join the competition. Even better, these designs of the 21st century are pushing the limits of technological growth in the wheelchair space even further. Transportable Power Wheelchairs, Lightweight Power Wheelchairs, and Heavy Duty Power Wheelchairs are some prominent examples.

The Future Advancements

As of now, there are close to 131 million individuals worldwide who are restricted to wheelchairs and utilize them for mobility.

To better serve the enormous community of wheelchair users, many wheelchair brands are now undertaking crowdfunding campaigns to gather funds to develop and launch the wheelchair of the future.

Some new inventions we hope to one-day hit markets include the self-driving wheelchair, 3D printed carbon fiber wheelchairs, and accessibility-friendly chairs.

Buying a Mobility Scooter? Read This Guide Before You Do

Key Takeaway

  • Mobility scooters are divided into three classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.
  • The narrow width of Shoprider Scootie makes it the best indoor mobility scooter.
  • The compact-saving design of Solax Mobie Plus makes it the most portable scooter.
  • The terrain-friendly design of the Tzora Titan 4 Scooter allows for recreational activities.
  • Pride Revo 2.0 4-Wheel Scooter is ideal for a smooth and pleasant outdoor ride.
  • This wheelchair-accessible Pride Go-Go ES2 3-Wheel Scooter is the best 3-wheel.
  • Pride Victory 10.2 3-Wheel Scooter is the best heavy-duty mobility scooter on the market.
  • EV Rider Transport Plus Foldable Scooter is a complete package for a 4-wheel user.

We’re living in the modern age, where independence and the ability to travel are key elements in every individual’s life. However, there are instances when both become restricted due to factors beyond control, such as a handicap, health condition, an accident, or the passage of time. Fortunately, those who have lost part of their mobility may regain some of their freedom and experience an overall improvement with the help of a one-of-a-kind invention: mobility scooters.

What Are Mobility Scooters?

A mobility scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle propelled by an electric motor and developed for use by individuals with mobility limitations, most often the elderly and disabled. It is primarily intended to serve as an adjunct to a power wheelchair but is built in the style of a motorscooter. When motorized, these scooters are often referred to as mobility scooters, electric scooters, or power-operated vehicles.

Mobility Scooters vs. Power Wheelchair

Mobility scooters are distinct from power wheelchairs in that they are often less expensive, can be maneuvered over rough terrain with greater ease, and are customizable. Individuals who have difficulties walking or moving about but do not need the assistance of a motorized wheelchair may use one of these scooters. In addition, those who need a powerchair for intermediate distances or lengthy standing but cannot drive for medical reasons are also common users of these scooters.

Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Mobility Scooter

Now that you know how an electric scooter can be your ticket to mobility freedom, it’s time for the most critical part: buying a mobility scooter. With various mobility scooter brands in the market, the process may become overwhelming; however, with the right investment, you may travel freely, most importantly, safely, for years to come. Thus, take time to do your research to avoid frustration down the road. To help you out, below, we’ll uncover a step-by-step guide to buying a mobility scooter.

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

Types of Mobility Scooters

It is essential to keep in mind that mobility scooters come in a variety of sizes and types. They might vary from light-framed, smaller versions that are compact enough to put into the trunk of a vehicle to heavy-duty ones that can go great distances on a single charge and easily navigate slopes. At the end of the day, the choice lies solely in your hands.

  • Portable Travel Scooters:This is an excellent alternative for individuals who are always on the go. The majority of models are small and relatively lightweight and fold up into a more manageable size for travel. Even though portable travel scooters are compact, convenient, and the choice with the lowest cost, they are not appropriate for daily usage.
  • Three-Wheel Indoor Scooter: This particular model is ideal for usage either at home or in the workplace since it has a more compact turning radius and a more slender base. It is an excellent option for mobility in areas with a restricted amount of room. However, remember that the three-wheel scooter is not a good choice for traveling over rough terrain.
  • Four-Wheel Indoor Scooter: Since there is sufficient space for both legs and seats, a four-wheel indoor mobility scooter is an excellent option for comfort. It has a decent top speed, and the battery life is adequate, too. However, due to its bigger size, it may not maneuver easily as a 3-wheel mobility scooter. It does, however, offer better stability, durability, and comfort.
  • Four-Wheel Outdoor Scooter: The combination of powerful engines and tires built for off-road usage makes outdoor scooters an excellent option for use on non-paved terrain. This model has several desired features, including backlit screens and headlights. Individuals who want to spend much time outside on their scooters are encouraged to invest in them.
  • Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter: This mobility scooter has a weight capacity of up to 550 pounds, making it suitable for individuals with a larger frame. This heavy-duty device has a more powerful engine, a broader base, and more extensive tires than its predecessor. It is excellent for riding on grass and can handle any other sort of terrain—you name it.

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

So, these were some of the common types of mobility scooters. Remember that all scooters, regardless of the size or type of the product, are designed to satisfy the requirements of the individuals for whom they were intended (disabled, those with impaired mobility, etc.). They are incredibly easy to manage, which makes them perfect for driving outside. In addition, since the scooters have such appealing aesthetics, the impossibility or impairment that the rider may have will be less obvious.

Maneuverability and Performance

The ability to navigate one’s surroundings quickly and flexibly is of the highest significance. When searching for a mobility scooter, keep in mind the following characteristics: tire type (solid, foam, or air-filled), assembled weight, turning radius, ground clearance (the space between the base of the tire and the undercarriage), maximum recommended incline, weight capacity, maximum speed (4 mph to 5.5 mph), operating range, and battery charge time.

Mobility Scooter Classes

Mobility scooters are basically an improved version of wheelchairs supported by a charging battery system. The following are some classes (categories) of mobility scooters you should know.

Class 1 Mobility Scooter: Mobility scooters that fall under Class 1 are those that are operated manually and include wheelchairs that do not have any electric motor attached to them. When you think of one of these, your mind might immediately go to the image of a mobility scooter, but in most cases, its dimensions and form are more similar to those of a conventional wheelchair.

Class 2 Mobility Scooter: Class 2 mobility scooters are permitted to be driven on sidewalks; however, their maximum combined speed must not exceed 4 miles per hour (mph). When crossing the street with a Class 2 scooter, you can utilize pedestrian and zebra crossings, but you cannot drive on the road itself, except for circumstances where there is no pavement.

Class 3 Mobility Scooter: As long as riders obey all traffic laws, Class 3 mobility scooters are permitted to be used on public roadways and do not violate any road laws in the process. However, for a scooter to be placed into the appropriate Class 3, it has to be equipped with working headlights, taillights, turn signals, a horn, a rearview mirror, and emergency hand brakes.

Class 2 scooter is the best for making quick trips across town, having the flexibility to transfer the scooter to a vehicle, or using public transportation. However, if you want something more spacious and the option of driving on public roads, a Class 3 scooter is your best bet. For more information, visit the US government website for mobility scooter legal requirements.

Before You Start Looking, Ask Yourself;

Purchasing a mobility scooter is a significant financial investment; therefore, you must do some research to determine which brand and model would best meet your requirements. Since there is a great deal of variation in the market, it may be challenging to determine which features are available that you might potentially profit from. To begin, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Where do you want to use your mobility scooter?
  • What are your plans for storing and transporting it?
  • Will you be navigating high steep hills or curbs?
  • How much do you anticipate spending overall?
  • Do you have any restrictions at home or workplace?
  • How important is the seat comfort of the scooter for you?
  • What weight capacity are you looking for?

Best Mobility Scooters to Buy

When it comes to mobility, scooters play a major role in supporting individuals with disabilities in moving about safely and conveniently from one place to another. Now that you’re familiar with essential features and things to consider when buying mobility scooters online, it’s time for action. However, with an extensive selection of products for individuals of all ages and needs, 1800Wheelchairs will always be the #1 place to spot your favorite wheelchairs. Here’s an overview:

Shoprider Scootie (Best Indoor Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The Shoprider Scootie is by far the best indoor mobility scooter you can buy. Easy-to-ride, lightweight, and articulating wheels are just some of the noticeable features of this mobility marvel. The scooter’s overall weight (including the batteries) is only 82 lbs., followed by a 17″ narrow width, making Shoprider Scootie ideal for maneuvering on the lawn, cruise ships, or simply indoors.

Solax Mobie Plus (Best Portable Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The Solax Mobie Plus has some exciting features which make it an incredible portable mobility scooter. This compact, space-saving device has an ergonomic steering wheel packed with a new tiller design, enabling you to unfold it even quicker and easier. The overall weight (including batteries) is only 54 lbs. In addition, it has a broader floorboard, providing enough space to carry stuff while on the road.

Tzora Titan 4 Scooter (Best Recreational Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The Tzora Titan 4 Scooter is a 4-wheel terrain scooter designed for outdoorsy individuals who love recreational activities. Because of the folding design of the Hummer-XL, it can be transported easily and used in any environment or terrain. The high-performance design with big tires, complete suspension, and memory foam seat has no trouble navigating even the hardest inclines and slopes.

Pride Revo 2.0 4-Wheel Scooter (Best Outdoor Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The Pride Revo 2.0 4-Wheel Scooter is a scooter that packs various useful functions into a single attractive package. The Revo 2.0 delivers the kind of tough reliability you would expect from a premium mid-size scooter since it is made to endure and is very durable. The Comfort-Trac Suspension makes for an outdoor ride that is both smooth and pleasant regardless of the terrain.

Pride Go-Go ES2 3-Wheel Scooter (Best 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The Pride Go-Go ES2 3-Wheel Scooter is a wheelchair-accessible scooter with two different speed settings for the utmost adaptability. It comes in small and light packaging, making it simple to travel and offering outstanding value for the money. The fashionable Go-Go ES 2 features a weight capacity of 250 pounds, multiple engine speeds, and a canvas basket conveniently situated on the tiller.

Pride Victory 10.2 3-Wheel Scooter (Best Heavy Duty Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The Pride Victory 10.2 3-Wheel Scooter delivers the ideal rapid travel system with its patented one-hand feather-touch disassembly. The new ambient voltmeter automatically adjusts the brightness to match the surrounding conditions. The seat has a pinch-free hinge, swivel, and sliders for improved comfort levels, while exclusive low-profile tires are elegant, lightweight, non-scratching, and black.

EV Rider Transport Plus Foldable Scooter (Best 4-Wheel Mobility Scooter)

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

The EV Rider Transport Plus Foldable Scooter is simple to use, incredibly portable, and sleek and fashionable, making it a complete package. The scooter was made with a wanderer in mind and, as a result, can be folded up and taken apart in a matter of seconds. Additionally, it uses sealed lead batteries, has a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour, and can support a weight of up to 250 pounds.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Far Can Mobility Scooters Travel On A Single Charge?

When traveling on level terrain, the standard Class 3 scooter has a range of at least 10 miles. However, this will also rely on other aspects, such as how much weight the scooter carries and the size of the vehicle itself. On the instrument panel of most mobility scooters, you’ll find a charge bar, which will give you a decent sense of how far you’ll be able to go on a single charge.

Do You Need a Driving License to Drive a Mobility Scooter?

The short answer is no. You don’t need a driving license to drive a mobility scooter. However, you must get some training done before hitting the open road. Take advantage of your dealer appointment and test ride to ensure you are comfortable on your mobility scooter. This way, you can even ask any questions you have about operating it while you are out on the road or pavement.

What Type of Mobility Scooter is the Safest?

In the mobility scooter industry, each and every scooter has the potential to be safe; nevertheless, when comparing the 3-wheel and 4-wheel scooter models, it is clear that the 4-wheel versions provide more stability and are less likely to topple over sideways. However, be careful not to put too much weight on your 4-wheel scooter because if you overload it, the scooter will become unstable.

 

Guide to Buying a Mobility Scooter

So there you have it: a guide to buying a mobility scooter. Mobility scooters may run up a hefty price tag, but individuals like yourself who are interested in buying one have a wide variety of choices at their disposal. Before making any decision, always start by asking yourself the questions mentioned above. Now that you have read this guide, we hope you have a good understanding of the different types and classes of scooters available and what to look for when purchasing one online.

Wheelchair Safety Tips: Checklist for Caregivers and Users

Wheelchairs have the potential to provide users greater mobility independence and ease the burden on caregivers when utilized properly. However, if you don’t operate wheelchairs appropriately, they can become a safety hazard.

To assist you in understanding the dos and don’ts of using a wheelchair and preventing accidents, we have compiled a list of wheelchair safety tips for users and caregivers below.

Key Takeaway

  • Caregivers and wheelchair users must exercise a set of precaution while operating the wheelchair to avoid any mishaps

Wheelchair Safety Tips For Caregivers

Here are a few safety tips you can follow if you are a caregiver or share with your caregiver to ensure maximum safety.

  • While the care receiver is seated in the chair and transferring them from one location to the other, always use the wheelchair brakes. If the person in your supervision has trouble locking and unlocking the wheelchair brake, think about adding a PVC pipe or brake extensions as levers to make their life easier. You can explore alternative solutions for modifying the brakes with assistance from a health care expert, like a physiotherapist
  • You must have the brakes inspected and fixed as necessary if the chair tires continue to move even after engaging the brakes
  • Encourage the care receiver to always ask for your assistance in getting in and out of the wheelchair
  • Encourage the care receiver to always ask for assistance in reaching and picking up items that may be at a distance
  • Do not store heavy items at the back of the wheelchair since that may put the wheelchair at the risk of tipping backwards
  • Make sure you remove the leg rests out of the way when helping the care receiver out of the wheelchair
  • Encourage the care receiver to follow the healthcare specialists instructions and change their position every once in a while

Wheelchair Safety Tips For Users

Here are a few safety tips you can follow or share with others you know who might use wheelchairs.

  • Regular wheelchair maintenance is essential to avoid any accidents. Therefore, get your wheelchair inspected every few months and monthly maintenance to keep the wheelchair from malfunctioning
  • Always pick a wheelchair with safety features such as locking rear wheels or a break in the Nova Transport Chair with 12″ Rear Wheelsand Removable Arms or Karman LT-980 Ultralight K4 Wheelchair, which comes with a seatbelt and push-to-lock wheel brakes
  • Do not try to use your wheelchair on rough terrain if it is not meant to serve that purpose. If you want to use your wheelchair on uneven terrain, you may want to consider outdoor wheelchairs such as Pride Jazzy Elite 14or All-New Move Lite Folding Power Chair
  • Do not lift heavy wheelchairs on your own. If you want to carry wheelchairs easily, look into the featherweight wheelchair, which only weighs 13.5 lbs.
  • Ensure your wheelchair is comfortable. If your wheelchair does not provide you comfort, you must change it since sitting in uncomfortable wheelchairs for a lengthy time may result in certain health conditions and discomfort

The Comprehensive Guide to Patient Lifts

Patient lifts are ideal for disabled or individuals with health conditions who cannot move on their own and require the assistance of a caregiver. They facilitate the caregiver’s task and provide the patient with a quality life.

Selecting a patient lift may be confusing with various types and categories on the market. Continue reading for the comprehensive guide to patient lifts to help pick a patient lift for yourself or a loved one.

Key Takeaway

  • Patient lifts serve the purpose of enabling caregivers to lift and move patients from one location to another
  • There are multiple categories of patient lifts
  • Asking questions about the purpose, pricing, warranty, weight capacity, and height can save you from bringing home the wrong patient lift

Who Are Patient Lifts For?

Patient lifts were developed to make it easier for caregivers to raise and move patients from one location to the next — from a chair to a bed or from a bed to the washroom. Even though they have very distinct functions, many people think that patient lifts and stairway chairs or elevators are the same. Wheelchair lifts come in two main categories: manual and powered.

You can use power wheelchairs manually or via a power supply, whereas manual patient lifts must be operated manually. The powered types often need to be fueled by a rechargeable battery, while the manual ones need to be powered by hydraulics. Here are some of the fundamental parts of a patient lift:

  • Boom
  • Mast
  • Spreader bar
  • Sling
  • Latches or clips

What Are The Different Types Of Patient Lifts?

Patient lift manufacturers have developed many categories of patient lifts to suit various purposes and assist patients and caregivers in easy mobility in different settings. Here are several categories of patient lifts, along with suggestions of patient lifts from each category, to help you with your research.

Manual Patient Lifts

Power Patient Lifts

Stand Up Patient Lifts

Pool Lifts

Overhead Patient Lifts

Bath Lifts

Questions To Ask Before Purchasing A Patient Lift?

Even though there are many choices in the market, not every patient lift is ideal for you. For example, if you want a lift for the bath but you end up ordering a pool lift thinking it would serve the same purpose, your entire investment may go to waste.

Here are a few questions you must ask before finalizing a patient lift to ensure you get the best one for your needs:

  • What is my budget?
  • What purpose do I want the patient lift for?
  • Will the patient lift accommodate my weight?
  • How high does the patient lift go?
  • Does the patient lift come with a warranty?
  • Do I want a battery-powered or a manual patient lift?

The Best Power Wheelchairs for Overweight People

Many buyers who may purchase a wheelchair for the first time ask do wheelchairs have a weight limit. Yes, wheelchairs have a weight limit, and if you buy one without considering its weight limit, you may run into a slew of problems. To avoid this, here is a list of some of the best heavy-duty power wheelchairs on the market with high-weight capabilities.

Key Takeaway

  • Merits Vision Super Power Chair, Pride Jazzy Elite HD, Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair, Pride Jazzy 600 ES, and FeatherFold+ Power Chair are some of the best heavy-duty power wheelchairs on the market.

5 Best Power Wheelchairs for Overweight People

Here is a list of heavy-duty power wheelchairs that might interest you.

1. Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair

If you are looking for lightweight wheelchairs with the heavy-duty weight capacity feature Karman Tranzit Go Foldable Lightweight Power Wheelchair is ideal. The wheelchair can accommodate individuals weighing up to 330lbs, and the wheelchair weighs only 59lbs.

The best feature about this wheelchair is that you can use it indoors and outdoors, so you don’t have to worry about getting two separate wheelchairs.

2. Merits Vision Super Power Chair

Dual in-line motors in the Merits Vision Super Power Chair‘s distinctive design increase torque, efficiency, and range. It has a weight capacity of 450 lbs. and a mid-wheel drive to improve movement in narrow spaces. The wheelchair can readily overcome obstacles and function well on rough terrain thanks to the complete rear and front suspension.

The wheelchair also comes equipped with a dynamic Shark completely programmable controller. For those who value luxury and comfort above all else, the four-post seat and a partially adjustable backrest are the icings on the cake.

3. Pride Jazzy Elite HD

The Pride Jazzy Elite HD comes with different seat sizes and styles for you to choose from. It comes with flat-free tires, so you don’t have to worry about getting a flat tire after driving on rough terrain.

The wheelchair offers optimal comfort on long travels thanks to the headrest and depth-adjustable seats. It can accommodate weight capacities of 450 lbs. and the wheelchair itself only weighs 178 lbs.

4. Pride Jazzy 600 ES

The Jazzy 600 ES allows users to experience remarkable stability and stellar performance. It comes with a portable design making it easy to carry and store. It has a weight capacity of 300 lbs., making it excellent for overweight individuals.

It comes equipped with high-quality Active-Trac ATX Suspension, which allows it to perform well indoors and outdoors, making it the ideal multipurpose power chair for you.

5. FeatherFold+ Power Chair

If you are looking for a heavy-duty wheelchair with a weight close to the famous featherweight wheelchair’s remarkable 13.5lbs weight, the FeatherFold+ Power Chair is worth looking into. The wheelchair weighs only 35 lbs. and has a weight capacity of approximately 220 lbs.

The Featherfold power chair is also the lightest power wheelchair ever made. The wheelchair is also foldable and has a unique one-touch lock and fold technology.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Wheelchair | 4 Things You Need To Know

Have you recently purchased a wheelchair and are unsure how to maintain and clean it? From unclean roads to hospital corridors, we all know how our wheelchairs have been in areas where they can potentially become exposed to disease and grime. This makes thorough cleaning necessary to ensure that your wheelchair looks brand new and that no bacteria growth might compromise your health.

Therefore, we’ve compiled a few tips and suggestions on cleaning and disinfecting your wheelchair. You can use the following guidelines to clean your wheelchair daily without much inconvenience.

Key Takeaway

  • Do not use harsh chemicals to clean your wheelchair
  • Clean the frequently touched parts of your wheelchair daily
  • Clean your wheelchair with a washcloth and disinfectant
  • Armrests handles, cushions, foot supports, joystick, and wheels are the important parts of a wheelchair that you must clean regularly

 

4 Things You Need To Know About Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Wheelchair

Here are a few things wheelchair owners must know when cleaning and disinfecting their wheelchairs.

There Is a Difference between Disinfection and Cleaning

Many wheelchair owners and people misinterpret the terms cleaning and disinfection and believe they imply the same thing. However, there is a significant difference between the two terms. Cleaning entails removing any dirt or grime that may aid bacteria growth. However, disinfection implies eliminating bacteria and preventing bacteria growth.

Therefore, if you clean a wheelchair, you only remove dirt or filth that may help bacteria multiply. However, bacteria may still be present in the wheelchair. Disinfection after cleaning a wheelchair will assist you in ensuring that you have eliminated any bacteria on the surface.

Do Not Use Harsh Chemicals for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Wheelchair

When cleaning a wheelchair, avoid using harsh bleaches, synthetic detergents, or chemicals since they can severely damage the wheelchair and cause its condition to degrade quickly. Therefore, using the right products and cleaning solutions is critical to avoid harming the wheelchair throughout the cleaning process.

We recommend using diluted cleaning solutions containing 70% alcohol and 30% water or purchasing appropriate cleaning solutions designed for cleaning wheelchairs from a store. You may also dilute a sanitizer and wipe off the wheelchair’s surface with a washcloth soaked in the sanitizer.

Go through Your Wheelchair Manual for Cleaning and Maintenance Instructions

Almost all wheelchair manuals provide maintenance and cleaning instructions. The cleaning instructions in your wheelchair manual may inform you of any dos and don’ts of cleaning your wheelchair and correctly advise you on how to clean your wheelchair model.

So it is best always to have the user manual open in front of you when cleaning the wheelchair to avoid making mistakes that might harm the chair.

For example, there will be a distinction between cleaning manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs. User manuals may assist you in identifying such differences to ensure you do not end up damaging any wheelchair components.

Focus on Cleaning Frequently Touched Wheelchair Parts

Even though it is critical to clean and disinfect the entire wheelchair daily, it is essential to concentrate on the frequently handled areas of the wheelchair because these are the sections that carry the most germs.

For example, the joystick of an electric wheelchair or armrest is two of the most often touched pieces of the wheelchair since you and your caregivers may need to touch these parts frequently throughout the day. So, while cleaning, pay special attention to such areas to ensure they are well sanitized.

How To Clean And Disinfect A Wheelchair?

Here is a list of everything you will need to clean and disinfect a wheelchair and instructions on how to do it efficiently and conveniently.

What You Will Need

  • Disinfectant spray, diluted sanitizer, soap, or detergent
  • Tire cleaner
  • Toothbrush (Optional)
  • Air-blower (Optional)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Non-abrasive wax

Instructions

  1. If you have a wheelchair like the Featherweight 33 lbs. Power Chair,which can be disassembled, the first step is to disassemble it since that will make the cleaning process much more efficient and easy. If you own a folding wheelchair like Quickie Xenon Folding Wheelchair, simply wipe down the wheelchair after unfolding it
  2. Now you can use an air blower to get rid of any dirt. We recommend wearing safety glasses and gloves to ensure no dirt particles get into your eyes and your hands stay protected from any dirt or germs
  3. Spray your wheelchair with a disinfectant spray or make a diluted solution of detergent or sanitizer
  4. Since it may be challenging to get a cloth into all nooks and crannies of the wheelchair, you can use a toothbrush instead to get rid of any dirt particles. (Make sure to use the toothbrush with a gentle hand to ensure you do not leave any scratches)
  5. Now dip your washcloth into the cleaning solution, or if you used a disinfectant spray, take your washcloth and wipe each component of the wheelchair with it
  6. Next, use a tire cleaner to clean the tires efficiently. You can also use a washcloth to clean the tires. However, a tire cleaner will make the task much more efficient and less time-consuming
  7. For the upholstery on the wheelchair cushions, refer to the manufacturer’s notes to see how they recommend cleaning them. If it says dry clean only, send the cushions for dry cleaning. Otherwise, you can gently wipe down the cushions with the washcloth.
  8. Next, use non-abrasive wax on the wheelchair to make it shine and look brand new. (We recommend doing this once a few months)
  9. Remember to carry out this throughout the cleaning process weekly. For daily cleaning and disinfection, all you can do is spray a washcloth with disinfectant spray and wipe down all the parts of the wheelchair that you or caregivers often touch

Important tip: We recommend carrying a washcloth and disinfectant or sanitizing sheets with a concentration of no more than 70% alcohol and using them to clean down the frequently touched portions of your wheelchair after leaving a crowded venue such as a hospital or a shopping mall.Featherweight 33 Lbs. Power ChairImportant Parts of a Wheelchair

As discussed above, even though it is essential to clean and disinfect the whole wheelchair, it is crucial to pay extra attention to certain important parts of the wheelchair. Here is a list of the important parts of a wheelchair:

  • Armrests:Wheelchair armrests are the most commonly handled components. If you have a wheelchair, such as the Karman Removable Arm Transport Chair, which has removable armrests to help you get in and out of the chair, you and your caregivers may touch them frequently. Therefore, you must wipe the armrests with a diluted cleaning solution daily
  • Handles: If you own a wheelchair like the Excel Aluminum Transport Chair with 12″ Rear Wheelsequipped with handles you must disinfect the handles regularly. Since your family members or caregivers often come into touch with the handles to assist you in maneuvering around in the wheelchair, it is critical that you thoroughly disinfect the handles to protect yourself and the people around you from coming in contact with viruses
  • Cushions: Your wheelchair’s back and seat cushions constantly touch your body. Bacteria can build on these surfaces while you sit in the wheelchair throughout the day due to sweating and other body fluids. To avoid this, spray a disinfectant over the cushions for a few minutes before wiping them down with a clean washcloth
  • Joystick: If you own a power chair, such as the All-New Move Lite Folding Power Chair, it will come with a joystick that you will use to control the wheelchair. Throughout the day, you will touch the joystick several times, allowing germs from your hands to accumulate on it. So, it is best to wipe down the joystick using a damp towel sprayed with a light disinfectant
  • Rear and front wheels: Dirty wheels make your wheelchair look unappealing and reduce its efficiency. Furthermore, the wheels come in contact with the ground, whether it’s the floor of your home, the road outside your doorway, or a hospital corridor. The floors of all of these places have an immeasurable number of bacteria. Therefore, cleaning the front and back wheels of your wheelchair is critical to removing germs and ensuring no gravel or debris is stuck to it
  • Foot supports: Most wheelchairs feature foot supports where you may rest your feet to keep them from hanging on the ground. Foot supports come into touch with your shoes, which may be dirty and contaminated with bacteria. To keep the foot supports clean, wipe them down with a clean washcloth at the end of each day.

Important note: Never use a hose to clean the wheels of your electric wheelchair since it might cause the wheelchair to malfunction and stop operating.

5 Wheelchair Facts You Didn’t Know

If you just started using a wheelchair or have someone in the family or your friend circle who has begun to use one, it may be good to get educated on some of the wheelchair facts. To enhance your knowledge about wheelchairs, we have compiled a list of five facts about wheelchairs that you may not have been aware of.

Key Takeaway

  • First ever wheelchair dates back to the fifth century BC
  • Kamala Kanta Nayak holds the world record for the most distance traveled with a wheelchair in 24 hours
  • Featherweight 13.5 lbs. wheelchair is the lightest wheelchair in the world
  • Stoke Mandeville Games was the first ever Paralympic game
  • The modern electric wheelchairs are no less than a state-of-art-technology

5 Wheelchair Facts You Didn’t Know

Here are five interesting facts about wheelchairs to increase your knowledge about these remarkable mobility devices.

The Invention of the Wheelchair

The oldest mention of a wheelchair-like contraption is from China. Early designs resembled wheeled furniture concepts. Historians believe that the Chinese transported the disabled with wheelbarrows during the fifth century BCE.

In 1655, Stephan Farfler, a paraplegic watchmaker from Germany, created the first self-propelled wheelchair at just twenty-two years old after suffering a childhood back injury. Since then, people have started to experiment with wheelchair design, and the design has slowly changed.

Thanks to the evolution of wheelchairs, we get to see some unique categories and types of wheelchairs, such as lightweight wheelchairs or heavy-duty power wheelchairs.

Wheelchair Record

There have been many wheelchair world records for the most distance traveled in a day. However, Kamala Kanta Nayak from Odisha has set a world record for the most distance traveled using a wheelchair.

Nayak completed his expedition after traveling 215.4 kilometers within 24hrs. The Portuguese athlete Mario Trinidad, who had traveled 182.4 kilometers, was surpassed by the Indian para-athlete.

Lightest Wheelchair in the World

Did you know that the lightest wheelchair in the world is called the Featherweight 13.5 lbs. Wheelchair, as suggested by the name, only weighs around 13.5 lbs. Almost anyone can easily lift this wheelchair, and the best part is that you can also fold it down to reduce it to a compact size enabling convenient storage.

Moreover, do not question the wheelchair’s credibility to accommodate an adult’s weight since it can easily accommodate individuals weighing up to 250lbs.

First Paralympic Game

Dr. Guttmann organized the inaugural wheelchair event titled the Stoke Mandeville Games. The first ever opening Olympic Games event occurred in London in July of the mid of 1900s. This event marked a turning point in Paralympic heritage.

Countless Benefits of Modern Electric Wheelchairs

The modern electric wheelchairs are no less than state-of-the-art mobility devices. The wheelchairs can move through rough terrain without getting a flat tire or the fear of tripping. These wheelchairs have entirely changed how disabled individuals view mobility and given people worldwide a new chance at a life filled with freedom and independence.

These modern wheelchairs have remarkable features such as leg, back, and arm support to ensure optimal comfort for the users.

4 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Wheelchair

Are you looking for a wheelchair but are overwhelmed by the options? The wheelchair industry has become so diversified, with new models released every other day, it can be difficult for buyers to decide which model is ideal. Here are a few questions to ask before buying a wheelchair to make it easier for you.

Key Takeaway

  • Before purchasing a wheelchair, consider the purpose, budget, must-have features, and the amount of time you will spend on it

What to Know Before Buying a Wheelchair?

Here is a list of questions to which you must know the answer before buying a wheelchair.

What Purpose Am I Buying The Wheelchair For?

The first thing you need to consider when buying a wheelchair is its purpose. Are you purchasing the wheelchair to travel? Are you buying it to have the freedom to go outside? Are you buying it to enjoy mobility around the house?

All these questions will help you determine what category of wheelchair you want, and you can choose the wheelchair of your choice from that category.

For example, suppose you wish to use a wheelchair to go outside. In that case, you may want to take a look at electric wheelchairs like Shoprider Smartie Power Wheelchair, or if you’re going to use it for sports, then you may want to look at the sports wheelchair category for wheelchairs like Invacare Li’l Excelerator Handcycle.

What Is My Budget?

Once you have decided on the category of wheelchair you want, next, you have to determine your budget before exploring the category. If you skip this question and begin exploring the category, you may have your heart set on a wheelchair, which could be way out of your budget.

What Features Are Important To Me?

Every wheelchair buyer will have some features that they will not compromise on. For example, it could be a removable armrest, portability, or extra thick cushioning, which may be essential for people with specific medical conditions.

Let’s say you cannot compromise on the portability and weight of the wheelchair; you may want to look into portable wheelchairs or the lightweight electric wheelchair category. Here is a list of a few wheelchairs that might interest you:

How Much Time Will I Be Spending In The Wheelchair?

If you have certain medical conditions where you cannot walk on your own and have to have a wheelchair with you at all times, then comfort must be a priority. Whereas if you can’t long walk distances and want a wheelchair for traveling, you won’t have to pay that much stress on comfort since you will be spending a limited time in the wheelchair.

Therefore, always ask yourself how long you will be in the wheelchair and choose one according to it to ensure optimal functionality and comfort.