These days, wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes. And no matter what your requirements, you should be able to find a solution that works for you.
When it comes to deciding on a wheelchair, it’s important to understand what dimensions you need, including the width. And when measuring the width of a wheelchair, there are two different aspects to look at. Let’s take a closer look.
If your wheelchair is for indoor use, then this really is the most important measurement to look at. Make sure you determine and compare the width of your wheelchair to the doorways and entrances in your home. That includes hallways, front and back doors, and any other entrances you’ll need to negotiate at home.
Standard-sized wheelchairs are designed to fit through the most standard-sized doorways. However, if you happen to have narrow doorways or require a wider-than-average wheelchair, this could cause a problem. This emphasises the importance of checking (and even double-checking) these measurements before you buy a wheelchair.
You’ll also need to make sure that the width of the seat itself is suitable for you or the individual who’ll be using it, as well as considering the depth. When it comes to checking the size of the seat, just bear in mind that the width measurements listed reflect the space between armrests, rather than the actual upholstered seat. Here’s how you make sure you get a wheelchair with the correct width for the user:
For larger users, standard-sized wheelchairs can feel really cramped and horribly uncomfortable, and this can make it much more difficult to get around. If this situation sounds familiar, then a bariatric wheelchair could be the answer. They come with all the benefits of a standard-sized wheelchair, but they’re designed with larger users in mind, so you don’t have to compromise on your comfort or independence.
Not only are the overall dimensions (including the seat width) increased, but the seats and backs of bariatric wheelchairs also come with additional reinforcement. For your comfort and support, they’re made from heavyweight materials and the seat and backrests can be titled to adjust to your individual centre of gravity.
Just bear in mind that the bigger size means they may not fit through all doorways, and it could be a struggle to get them into the back of small cars. So once again, this is why it’s so important to measure up before you commit to buying.
If you’ve got limited storage space, at home or in the car, then you should also consider other measurements – such as folded width, overall length and overall height. Remember, the total length will be smaller when the leg rests are removed
The good news is that space-saving, economical wheelchairs are available. These include folding wheelchairs, which are ideal for tucking away in the back of the car, or in the storage cupboard at home. Many options also feature lightweight design, so you or your caregiver won’t have any trouble packing them away. There are plenty of different options to choose from, including electric folding, self-propelled folding, transit folding wheelchairs, and bariatric folding wheelchairs.
When it comes to finding the perfect wheelchair, it’s all about making sure it meets your individual needs. Whether that’s the right width for you and your home, or the particular type of wheelchair, it’s up to you to decide what works for you. If you need help or support or any time, Fenetic Wellbeing is always on hand to answer your questions.