Having a wheelchair should make life easier, not more difficult. Comfort and ease of use are absolutely essential to making your experience as stress-free as possible, whether you’re operating your wheelchair yourself or your caregiver is taking control.
Because nobody wants an unwieldy wheelchair, we’ve put together a list of features to look out for. So, here are a few things to consider if you’re after an easy-to-push wheelchair…
When it comes creating a wheelchair that’s easy to push for both the user and the caregiver, weight is a key consideration. You’ll need to look for a wheelchair that’s light and flexible – meaning one that’s crafted from lightweight materials such as aluminium.
Modern frames are significantly lighter than those of traditional wheelchairs, which makes them much simpler to transport – whether that’s getting around or loading them into the car. It’s also worth noting that, just because lightweight wheelchairs weigh less, that doesn’t mean they aren’t tough and hardwearing; our lightweight wheelchairs are robust enough to support up to 18 stone.
In addition to seeking out a lightweight frame, lightweight wheels also play a key role in making sure wheelchairs are as easy as possible to manoeuvre. This is precisely the reason why many transit wheelchairs have smaller back wheels, which are especially helping when trying to navigate areas where space is more limited.
Remember, transit wheelchairs (otherwise known as transport wheelchairs) are usually designed to be pushed by a caregiver, rather than being self-propelled. So they’re a great option for those who rely on someone else pushing the chair. Many can also be folded for your convenience, so you won’t have any trouble storing them or getting them into the back of a car.
If you’re a wheelchair user looking to maintain as much independence as possible, self-propelled wheelchairs could be the best option for you. This type of wheelchair is designed to be moved around by the occupant, so you can get from A to B independently.
You’ll noticed that self-propelled have larger rear wheels than, for example, transit wheelchairs, which make it easier for you to get yourself moving. Those bigger wheels are also there to ensure a more comfortable ride, by making it easier to tackle different surfaces such as ramps and uneven surfaces. The outer ‘push rim’ allows you propel and steer your wheelchair yourself – but it’s worth bearing in mind that this requires considerable upper body strength.
Many self-propelled wheelchairs are also equipped with pushing handles on the back, so whenever you find yourself in need of some additional support, this will enable your caregiver to push you around with ease.
If you want to make things as comfortable as possible for your caregiver, then getting the handles right can make all the difference – particularly if they provide support on a regular basis. For example, handle bars should always be ergonomically correct to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible.
One option is to look for wheelchairs with handles made from foam, which is designed to keep pressure on the skin to an absolute minimum. Sympathetic materials like this will also help prevent sores and blisters from developing after prolonged usage.
At the end of the day, the right wheelchair for you comes down to your individual needs. This is why it’s so important to read the full specifications of each options before you making any final decisions.
Remember, the Fenetic Wellbeing team is always on hand to help, whether you’re a care giver or a wheelchair user. Feel free to talk to our experts and they’ll be delighted to point you in the right direction. All you need to do is contact us – you can get in touch online or pick up the phone and speak to us in person.