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Choosing the correct type of wheelchair

There are many different types of wheelchairs, each with its own propulsion method, control mechanisms, and technology. Some wheelchairs are intended for general everyday use, while others are intended for specific activities or to address specific access needs. There is no single model or size of wheelchair that can meet the needs of all users, and the diversity of users necessitates the use of various types of wheelchairs. Those selecting wheelchairs should understand the physical demands of the intended user and how they intend to use the wheelchair, and the reasons for different wheelchair designs.

Folding frame and standard wheelchairs

A folding x-style frame is used in folding frame types of wheelchairs. Most frames fold when the locking mechanism is released, and they usually have removable footrests that allow for easy folding. These frames are typically made of aluminium or titanium, and they are heavier than a rigid frame. The folding wheelchair, like anything with moveable parts, is not as durable as the rigid frame wheelchair. As a result, more maintenance is frequently required to keep all parts in good working order. Similarly, part of the propulsion energy in a folding wheelchair is lost in movements within its structure and at all points of articulation.

Rigid frame types of wheelchairs are made of a single welded frame on which the user sits. This can include either a fixed backrest or a folding backrest that allows the chair’s back to fold down. It also has wheels that can be removed using a quick-release mechanism, allowing for easy storage and transportation of the wheelchair. Most of these frames are lightweight and made of aluminium, titanium, or, in some cases, carbon fibre. The benefit of these types of wheelchairs is that they have fewer moving parts, meaning they are generally more robust and last longer. Another advantage of the rigid frame is that it is easier to manoeuvre and lighter than a comparable folding wheelchair. However, because it takes up less space, folding types of wheelchairs are more convenient for transport and storage.

Offroad and all-terrain wheelchairs

All-terrain types of wheelchairs, also known as off-road wheelchairs, 4×4, and outdoor wheelchairs, are specialised wheelchairs that enable people who use wheelchairs to visit locations and landscapes that would otherwise be inaccessible to a wheelchair user.

While standard manual and electric types of wheelchairs can navigate sidewalks and paved roads, all-terrain wheelchairs allow wheelchair users to explore the outdoors freely.

These types of wheelchairs are designed to explore wheelchair-inaccessible terrains such as rocky trails, sandy beaches, and other uneven terrains.

Passive wheelchairs

“Passive” wheelchairs are propelled by a third party and are designed to transport disabled people who lack the strength or ability to push themselves. These types of wheelchairs can also be folded or easily dismantled by someone else.

Power wheelchairs

If you use a wheelchair but lack the upper body strength to navigate your daily life with a manual version, electric power types of wheelchairs can help.

Advances in technology and increased demand for power wheelchairs have resulted in models with impressive features hitting the market. Understanding what is available and how these types of wheelchairs correspond to your needs will help you decide which one will get you where you want to go.

Paediatric wheelchairs

When it comes to types of wheelchairs for children and teenagers, it’s critical to select one that can change and adapt as they grow. In addition, it’s vital to strike a balance between the toughness required for day-to-day life and a lightweight, easy-to-use solution. However, often teenagers don’t want to be confined to a product that does not reflect their individuality. As a result, there are a plethora of customisation options. From easy to clean bright upholstery to spoke guards and chassis featuring their favourite team or characters to ensure there’s something for everyone.

Bariatric wheelchair

This is a heavy-duty type of wheelchair designed for heavier people weighing more than 150kg. It is generally usually constructed from reinforced steel or aluminium. Main features include wider and sturdier seats that may tilt for greater comfort.

Contact Medop CC for details To find out more about our types of wheelchairs and other mobility products, get in touch with one of our specialists today.

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