3 Best Pediatric Wheelchairs for Kids to Improve Mobility

Children with mobility issues have different needs than adults. They are looking for a pediatric wheelchair that is aesthetically pleasing and can adjust to their growing body. A wheelchair is a hefty expense, and parents want to ensure that the wheelchair they buy can last for several years despite a growth spurt. Thus, you need pediatric wheelchairs that offer different mobility and usability features, like seat width and depth adjustability, movable armrests, and features that support an active lifestyle.

 

We have created a list of some of the best pediatric wheelchairs available for kids to improve their mobility and enjoy their growing periods.

 

This article includes the top 3 pediatric wheelchairs for kids, which are:

 

Excel Kidz Pediatric Wheelchair

The Medline Excel Kidz is one of the most comfortable pediatric wheelchairs available in the market. It offers multiple features that support an active lifestyle, such as standard size with a dual axle to offer dual seat-to-floor height options. It has a higher weight capacity, can easily withstand 250 lbs, and remain stable. The deep tread wires enable children to propel the wheelchair over rough and smooth terrain without slipping or falling and play outside without any worries.

Key Features

  • Upholstered padded armrests with a swing-back and arms-release feature
  • Standard and elevating footrests are available that can swing back or detach.
  • The chair is covered with durable vinyl upholstery.
  • The color is bright and visible.
  • A seatbelt and push handles are available.

Invacare IVC 9000 Jymni

For smaller kids, the Invacare IVC 9000 Jymni pediatric wheelchair is the perfect fit. This wheelchair is designed to offer the kid increased maneuverability, functionality, and usability. The wheelchair is made from a triple chrome-plated carbon steel frame that is durable, long-lasting, and requires low maintenance. It also offers simple seat-to-floor adjustments of 15”, 16”, and 17”.

Key Features

  • The pediatric wheelchair is covered with durable flame-retardant upholstery that prevents UV damage, cold cracks, bacteria, and mildew build-up.
  • The front riggings are adjustable.
  • The push handles can be removed for easy transport and storage.
  • The armrests can flip back, and the footrests can swing away for easy access.
  • The multiple seat width and depth options make adjustability easier.

Ziggo Lightweight Wheelchair for Kids

The Ziggo lightweight pediatric wheelchair for kids is one of the most customizable and comfortable wheelchairs available. It is designed to offer kids and parents a cost-effective and lightweight product. Its distinguishing feature involves pop-off rear wheels that make the wheelchair even lighter and easier to transport and carry around. The pediatric wheelchair is available in 4 sizes; 12”, 14”, 16”, and 18” seat width.

Key Features

  • You can add four additional accessories, at a cost, to increase functionality and comfort, such as anti-tippers, headrests, padded trunks, and 2” thick seat cushions.
  • Flip back arms and swing away leg rests.
  • It is hemi-capable and equipped with a dual axle.
  • It uses durable nylon upholstery.
  • Available in 4 different sizes.

Conclusion

You want to offer your kid the ultimate comfort and movability regarding pediatric wheelchairs. Our top 3 options improve mobility by offering advanced features and customization options. We hope this article helped!

Top 3 Invacare Handcycles for Leading an Active Lifestyle

Individuals with mobility issues and disabilities often miss out on fun outdoor activities due to their limited standard wheelchairs, but not anymore. Handcycles offer an inclusive mode of transportation, allowing users with mobility issues to race with their friends and family or in a competitive environment without the stress of speed, agility, and range hindering their performance and fun.

 

Handcycles also help you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and are great for incorporating a cardiovascular workout into your routine. They help build arm and muscle strength and tone your abdominal muscles. Handcycling is also good for improving balance and coordination.

 

This article includes the top 3 Invacare handcycles for leading an active lifestyle, which are:

 

Invacare Li’l Excelerator Handcycle

Why should adults have all the fun? The Invacare li’l excelerator is a pediatric handcycle designed specifically for kids to join their families on a fun day of bicycling. The 3-wheel chair is made with a carbon steel frame and fork, offering increased stability and durability. The Invacare handcycle is completely adjustable, such as you can adjust the seat, back height and upholstery, and crank height.

 

Moreover, it has oval ergonomic hand pedals and a Shimano 7-speed hub with reversing drum brake, ensuring the children’s hands are constantly on the controls.

Key Features

  • It includes 1.75″ x .065 ovalized carbon steel tubing.
  • It has a 9° camber, offering increased agility and a turning radius of 10 feet for a 360° circle.
  • Standard features include reflectors, parking brake, ergonomic oval hand pedals, and chain tension idler.

Top End Force NRG Handcycle

The Top End Force NRG is one of the best Invacare handcycles available. It is a competitive handcycle made with 7000 series heat-treated aluminum and carbon fiber and features a hybrid design. It is completely customizable, and each is built according to specifications required by the user and goes through an extensive quality control procedure before shipping. It is aerodynamic and lightweight but also durable and stiff.

Key Features

  • It has a single main beam and double wishbone to stabilize front-wheel lower and upper chainstays.
  • It has oval-style pedals with power plates.
  • The carbon fiber seat and backrest improve shoulder positioning.
  • The lower center of gravity improves power and efficiency.
  • It has a 60″ Wheelbase and 3 Degrees Camber.

Invacare Top End Force G Handcycle

This Invacare handcycle is designed for individuals with low paraplegia, amputees, and athletes that can use their abdominal, chest, shoulder, and arm muscles to propel themselves forward or backward. The aerodynamic design is trunk-powered and in an erect position. It also comes with a center frame constructed with an internal rib which allows for easy transfer of power and control by making the frame super stiff and steady.

Key Features

  • It provides excellent maneuverability and performance.
  • It’s trunk-powered, adjustable, and in an erect position, offering increased visibility on the field.
  • It consists of ovalized ergonomic hand pedals with frictionless bearings.
  • Safety features include a parking brake, safety flag, and chain guard.

Conclusion

Handcycles are good for getting out of the house and including exercise in your routine. Multiple types of handcycles are available, from beginners to class H5 athletes in competitions, to ensure their limited mobility doesn’t hinder their active lifestyle. We hope this article helped!

The Ultimate Featherweight Wheelchair Review

Featherweight wheelchairs have taken the mobility industry by storm. Their lightweight and multiple usability features make them attractive for individuals with long-term mobility issues that suffer from chronic back pain and other ailments due to their condition.

 

Individuals with mobility issues are limited to their wheelchairs and, thus, to maintain an active lifestyle, require a wheelchair that can adapt to their needs and requirements. This is where a featherweight wheelchair is perfect. It offers increased mobility, usability, and maneuverability due to its unique and compact design and compilation of high-quality materials.

 

This article includes a detailed review of the featherweight wheelchair features and why it is the best option. Let’s get started!

Lightweight

The featherweight wheelchair is made of aluminum, which is a light steel material. This significantly lessens the weight of the wheelchair. The featherweight wheelchair weighs only 13.5 lbs; thus, anyone can carry it up and down the stairs or take it while traveling without increasing burden. It takes advantage of brand-new materials and is considered the lightest wheelchair in the world.

Foldable

If you have an active lifestyle and frequently travel or go on vacations or camping, etc., you need a wheelchair that supports that lifestyle and is easy to transport. The featherweight wheelchair’s lightweight frame and foldable feature enable you to carry it wherever you go. The chair can be folded down into a compact size. All you have to do is fold down the backrest and pull up in the middle of the seat. The resulting compact size can easily fit into the boot of a car or a cupboard for easy storage.

 

Users also have the option to pop off the rear wheels with a quick button release, further reduce the weight and size, and store them until it needs to be used again.

Wheel Material

Another unique featherweight wheelchair feature is its wheel lock and material. The wheels are made of solid, polyurethane material with deep treads that enable you to propel the wheelchair over rough and smooth terrains, ensuring your outdoor activities are not hindered.

 

The wheels also consist of a lock at the front of the wheel frame, which is easily accessed by the seated user. You can also use it to prevent the wheelchair from rolling forward or backward.

 

There is also an integrated braking system for the caregiver that is located at the push levers and is a bicycle-style locking brake. It is used when descending or pausing on a slope to give the caregiver more control and increase safety measures.

Customization

You can customize the featherweight wheelchair according to your preference. It comes with 3 overlay options; red, gray, and blue. Moreover, you can also add an optional carry bag for traveling and convenience.

 

A featherweight wheelchair also consists of full-length fixed armrests, elevating leg-rests that can be removed or swung back, and a quick-release button for rear wheels.

Conclusion

By studying the featherweight wheelchair features in detail, it is safe to say that it is popular for a reason, and the hefty investment is worth it. This wheelchair offers added comfort and convenience, ensuring that users get the maximum usage out of it.

Best Portable Power Wheelchairs for on-the-Go Usage

Standard power wheelchairs have many qualities, but portable isn’t at the top of the list. Yes, power wheelchairs let users move wherever they want, whenever they want, without assistance, but they are often bulky, heavy, and difficult to transport. Finding one that is lightweight and transportable enough but still has all those great mobility features and long battery life can be a challenge.

That is why we have put together this quick guide for some of the best portable power wheelchairs currently available. So if you are someone who is always on the go and is looking to upgrade your electric wheelchair, check out our top three picks listed below:

The Feather 33 lbs Power Chair

Weighing in at just 33 lbs, the Feather Power Chair is the lightest portable power wheelchair on the market today. Its durable, ultra-lightweight aluminum alloy can be lifted easily and still support up to 242.5 lbs. Not only is it light, but it also folds in one piece! No more parts to disassemble and reassemble every time you need to transport or store it. The Feather 33 lbs Power Chair back folds into 28 inches in seconds, making it compact enough to fit into the trunk of any car!

Key Features

  • Driving range of 13 miles
  • Max speed of 4 mph
  • Airplane Approved
  • Removable lithium battery
  • 1-inch thick back and seat cushion

Hover Move Lite Folding Power Chair

The Move Lite Folding Power Chair is the ultimate travel companion. It folds down in one piece to 28″ x 24″ x 15″ without compromising its durability and strength. Made out of airplane-grade aluminum, this power wheelchair comes at 50 lbs with a weight capacity of 300 lbs. Also, its 12-inch flat free rear wheels and maximum climbing angle of 12 degrees means it can manage just about any terrain. There will be no stopping you on a Move Lite!

Key Features

  • Driving range of 15 miles
  • Max speed of 5 mph
  • Removable seat covers
  • Airplane Approved
  • Removable 2 lbs Lithium Ion battery

Hover eVolt Travel Power Chair

Portable power wheelchairs don’t have to break the bank. If you didn’t think it was possible, check out the eVolt Travel Power Chair, the most affordable one currently on the market. Its sturdy aluminum frame means it can support up to 220 lbs, and with a push of a button, it folds down to 31″ x 25″ x 13, easily fitting into a car trunk or closet. Powerful, portable, and affordable, the portable power chair is worth every penny!

Key Features

  • Wheelchair weight 48 lbs
  • Driving range 12 miles
  • Max speed 4 mph
  • Max climbing angle 9 degrees

In The End

When looking for the perfect portable power wheelchair, its weight, compatibility, and capacity are some of the most important factors to consider. With the right power wheelchair, the world is yours to explore. Hopefully, we helped narrow down your choices. So check out our top three picks and start planning your next adventure!

Best Manual Sports Wheelchairs for Active Users

Standard wheelchairs are not equipped to handle rough terrain or an active lifestyle. Individuals with mobility issues often complain that their old wheelchairs do not have the speed, range, or mobility to offer them an active lifestyle or even be independent. Thankfully, there are multiple manual sports wheelchairs available in the market, with unique and advanced features, offering customers the agility and mobility range they want.

 

However, choosing the right fit for yourself can be challenging, so we have picked out the top 3 sports wheelchairs for active users, which are:

 

Quickie Titanium All-Court Sports Wheelchair

The Quickie Titanium All-Court sports wheelchair is specifically designed for athletes to give them the required agility. It is made from a lightweight titanium seat frame and a tubing system that reduces the overall weight of the wheelchair to around 3 lbs. It is a high-strength wheelchair with camber angles of 16° and 20°, preventing an athlete from tripping through the game and having a sturdy frame to hold on to. The manual sports wheelchair is also customizable and allows users to add a 5th anti-tipper wheel.

Key Features

  • It offers a vertical seat-squeeze adjustment center-of-gravity range of 3.5″ to 5″.
  • It has a weight capacity of 250 lbs.
  • The seat is fully adjustable.
  • It has a single-wing bumper.
  • Extra hard caster wheels offer increased speed and maneuverability.

Invacare Top End Pro BB Basketball Wheelchair

The Invacare Top-End Pro BB is one of the best manual sports wheelchairs. It is completely customizable and adjustable. Moreover, adjustment only takes 15 to 20 minutes compared to hours spent in other sports wheelchairs for active users. It has a quick-release rear seat height adjustment system that enables you to adjust between half-time and during the game.

 

You can also adjust the center of gravity, back height or angle, seat height, footrest platform, footrest positioning, and back upholstery.

Key Features

  • It has a fully-welded aluminum base.
  • It has a fixed camber that offers stability, durability, and stiffness during the game.
  • It also has a 58mm fifth anti-tipper wheel.
  • The smart fork caster system is equipped with super hard 72mm front casters.

Quickie Match Point Tennis Wheelchair

If you are looking for the perfect companion in your next tennis game, the quickie match point tennis wheelchair is your answer. The chair offers exceptional stability when you lean forward or serve. The manual sports wheelchair has all the advanced features of its titanium counterpart and is amazing for a stress-free gaming day. It has camber options of 16° and 20°, allowing effortless turning without tipping.

Key Features

  • It has a weight capacity of 250 lbs.
  • It has bolt-on toe clips that secure the feet firmly in place.
  • The anti-tipper 5th wheel provides stability and safety.
  • A center-of-gravity adjustment system is available.

Conclusion

For active users with mobility issues, agility, speed, and maneuverability are top priorities for their sports wheelchairs. The top 3 manual sports wheelchairs offer all this and more to ensure the users’ performance isn’t hindered on the field.

What Are Adaptive Strollers – Top 3 Picks

Many people use standard strollers for their children with disabilities or mobility issues. While they might be viable for some time, they don’t offer the necessary features to maintain an active lifestyle. Here is where adaptive strollers come in. They are advanced seating systems that provide strong postural support and help increase outdoor activities like jogging. Adaptive strollers for children have a higher weight capacity than standard strollers and can be folded up compactly to be stored easily.

However, adaptive strollers are quite expensive and not covered by insurance. Thus, if you decide to purchase one for your child, ensure that it has all the necessary features and can grow with them.

 

To make things easier, we have picked out the top 3 adaptive strollers for children available, which are:

 

Special Tomato Optional MPS Cart Transport

This adaptive stroller for children is manufactured and designed by Convaid for bus and van transport. The sleek and simple design can fit the small and large sizes of the Special Tomato Multi-Positioning Seat. It folds up umbrella-style and can easily be stored in a cupboard or the boot of a car.

Key Features

  • The product is lightweight and weighs about 27 lbs.
  • It has a weight capacity of 150 lbs.
  • The fixed seat can tilt up to 30 degrees.
  • It is ideal for transportation.

Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair

The Axiom 2 Improv Push Chair is an indoor/outdoor pushchair suitable for all terrains and allows your children to lead an active lifestyle without obstacles. The adaptive stroller has standard features like fixed front wheels, hand brakes, and individual rear brakes. You can also add the optional front swivel wheel kit for increased maneuverability indoors. From grass, curb, and sand to gravel, this adaptive push chair glides seamlessly through them.

Key Features

  • It has a lightweight frame and weighs around 30 lbs.
  • The weight capacity is 100 lbs.
  • It is designed for indoor and outdoor mobility systems.
  • It’s suitable for all terrains.
  • It has a height-adjustable handle, recessed footrest, and storage pockets.
  • It features a Rotating Sun Canopy with view port window.

Special Tomato Small MPS Seat with Footrest and Push Chair

This adaptive stroller includes the multi-positioning seat and the Convaid Transportable Push Chair Base. It is made for transportation on bus and van systems. The multi-positioning seat itself offers increased comfort and postural support. It also has built-in attachment straps that ensure it can be secured to most standard chairs.

Key Features

  • The cushions are made from a latex-free material that ensures the cushions are soft, durable, impermeable to fluids, and withstand deflating.
  • Adjustments can be made without any tools.
  • It consists of a 5-point harness.
  • The footrest depth, height, and length are adjustable.
  • It is approved for aircraft travel.

Conclusion

You only want the best for your kid and want to offer them the same opportunity as other children. Using the above-mentioned adaptive strollers, you can offer your child maximum support, outdoor fun, and much more. We hope our article helps you make the right decision.

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.

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?