Because of the diverse needs of wheelchair users, wheelchairs have been designed to accommodate many lifestyles and user needs.
The rigid frame chairs (where the frame remains in one piece and the wheels are released for storage or travel)
The lightweight manual wheelchair is designed for everyday use for a person with upper body mobility. Lightweight chairs allow independence of movement with minimum effort. The standard wheelchair has two small wheels in the font and two large ones in the back. The large wheels enable the user to push themselves on their own or a caregiver can push them. Standard wheelchairs are fully collapsible making them easy to travel and stow away. Active wheelchair users prefer the sportier look, compared with the more standard looking everyday wheelchair.
Some wheelchair users still prefer a standard wheelchair, which has built-in or removable arm rests, swing-away footrests and a mid- to high-level back. The standard wheelchair has two small wheels in the font and two large ones in the back. The large wheels enable the user to push themselves on their own, or the push handles allow caregivers to push the chair. Standard wheelchairs are fully collapsible making them easy to fold away for travel and storage.
Transporter wheelchairs are designed for transporting patients in hospitals, nursing homes, airports, hotels etc. It is not an appropriate wheelchair for anyone who requires independent movement. These types of chairs are also used as rental chairs.
Children and teenagers need a wheelchair that can accommodate their changing needs as they grow. Manufacturers are becoming sensitive to making these wheelchairs more ‘kid oriented’ with different styles and colours, to assist the user to fit into social situations.
Tilt wheelchairs allow the carer to tilt the wheelchair in the correct position for the user. This type of wheelchair is one in which you choose from a great deal of options so that the chair is customised for the user. Manual chairs that raise the user to a standing position are available for people who need to be able to stand at their jobs, or who want to stand as part of their physical conditioning routine.
Wheelchairs which are lower to the floor than standard chairs, allow the user to propel the chair using leg strength. Chairs that can be propelled by one hand are available for people who have paralysis on one side. Oversized chairs and chairs designed to accommodate the weight of obese people are also offered. Rugged, specially equipped chairs are available for outdoor activities. Aerodynamic three-wheeled racing chairs are used in marathons and other racing events. These and other specialized chair designs generally are manufactured by independent wheelchair manufacturers who are trying to meet the needs of specific target markets. Bariatric or heavy duty wheelchairs are designed with the user in mind. A bariatric wheelchair user is no different to a standard wheelchair user, lifestyle and independence is an important issue. The needs of a bariatric user require the wheelchair to have special design and structural features. Not only does the bariatric wheelchair have to accommodate the weight of the user, the wheelchairs seating dimensions including width depth length have to be considered. Generally bariatric wheelchairs have a heavy duty frame which can be built using lightweight aluminium or steel.
Contact the Ultralife Healthcare sales team to assist you with any further information you may need.