Posted on 27/05/2020

3 key questions to ask when choosing a manual wheelchair

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3 key questions to ask when choosing a manual wheelchair

The right wheelchair can help support someone living with limited mobility whether they are at home or out and about.

If someone is looking to purchase a manual wheelchair it can be a good idea to contact a health professional such as an Occupational Therapist to discuss what type of wheelchair is best for their personal requirements. At NRS Healthcare, not only do we provide a range of mobility and transit wheelchairs which are ideal to support daily activities, we also offer a product advice line run by our in-house Occupational Therapists (OTs) who can advise on what wheelchair is most suitable for someone’s needs.

Our OTs can be contacted by emailing [email protected] Please note they can only advise on the information that is given to them.

The top things to consider when choosing a manual wheelchair

Many manual wheelchairs share similar features, but there are some key differences to look out for and important areas to consider before purchasing a wheelchair, such as the person’s mobility, transport options and accessibility at home.

Have you assessed the wheelchair user’s personal strength and mobility?
Manual wheelchairs are either self-propelled or attendant controlled and to choose between the two, a person will need to consider their own health and mobility. On a self-propelled wheelchair, the back wheels are larger to include an accessible push rim that enables the wheelchair user to propel the chair forwards. To use a self-propelled wheelchair, such as the Ultra Lightweight Aluminium Wheelchair - Self Propelled, the person must have good strength in their upper body and arms to enable them to safely control the chair. Push handles are also available on most self-propelled chairs if support is sometimes needed.

An attendant controlled wheelchair, such as the Ultra Lightweight Aluminium Wheelchair - Attendant Controlled, will always be controlled by the person pushing the chair and is ideal if the wheelchair user has limited upper body strength.

What transport options are there?
Many wheelchairs include folding mechanisms that make them more suitable for storage and travel. If someone is looking forward to getting out and about more, but needs a wheelchair to fit in the car, a folding wheelchair, such as the Transit-Lite Wheelchair, can fold to a compact size making it perfect for travel. As this wheelchair features puncture proof wheels and is designed for occasional use, it can support someone taking a short trip outdoors. Alternatively, some wheelchairs, including the Lomax Uni 9 Attendant Controlled Wheelchair, are transport tested and can be used as a transit chair in a vehicle.

Are there any accessibility issues at home?
Homes have steps and small thresholds and if someone is purchasing a wheelchair for the first time they may need to consider if their living area is wheelchair accessible. At NRS healthcare we offer a wide range of wheelchair ramps, steps and threshold bridges that can help someone to adapt their home if there are existing steps and other raised surfaces.

To view all the manual wheelchairs and accessories available at NRS Healthcare you can visit the Wheelchairs category page on our website.

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