Reclining manual wheelchairs allows the patient to change their upper body position which encourages blood flow and reduces pressure points. There are generally 2 styles, standard reclining that works much like a recliner chair in your living room in that the patient pivots backward on a point just above the rear wheel axle. The angle of the upper torso will increase from the angle of the hips and legs. A Tilt-in-space reclining wheelchair has the unique ability to pivot the entire patient so the angle between their torso and legs remains constant. This also helps keep the center of mass over the wheels. Standing wheelchairs are a great way to stretch out your limbs and joints. This increases blood flow and shifts pressure points, not to mention gives fantastic access for high-reach items and allows for more comfortable face-to-face conversations with others. These come in 2 styles, power lift or manual lift. Be sure to see RehabPulse’s full line of full power standing wheelchairs in the Power Wheelchair category!
Allowing those with little strength and stamina to travel distances with ease. Power wheelchairs feature a variety of design types; from travel chairs to heavy-duty models and mid, front, and rear-wheel drive types. This variety allows for greater use in different scenarios or terrain. The sophistication in the controls allows for ease of use with those having limited hand dexterity. Power chairs offer a great turning radius for indoor use and around tight spaces. With Power Chairs take very little effort to use, it is a good idea to have a supplemental exercise program available along with a good cushion to prevent muscle breakdown.
RehabPulse has a large selection of Powerchairs and electric chairs, wheelchairs that can be of great help to restore your mobility
1—Portable, full-size, or heavy-duty?
When selecting the right type of power wheelchair, consider how often you will be using the chair. Will you be in it all day? Will you only need it occasionally? Do you travel regularly by car?
Travel/portable - Travel power wheelchairs are normally fronts or rear-wheel drive. They can fold or easily disassemble by removing the seat, battery, and base to fit in a trunk of a car or in airplane cargo. These chairs tend to be smaller, so they are great for apartments, malls, or even to go on vacation. There may be less padding on the seat so it may not be comfortable for people that spend the majority of their day in the chair or extra support is required. The weight capacity is normally around 300 lb.
Full-size - A full-size chair may be a better choice if the user will spend most of the day in the power wheelchair. Full-size power chairs generally have larger seats, armrests, and footrests as well as more padding for comfort. It also has a greater travel range since the battery is larger than travel/portable power wheelchairs. The weight capacity is normally around 300 lb.
Heavy-duty - People who are over 300 lb. will need a heavy-duty power wheelchair with a reinforced frame and wider seating area. The wheels and casters for these types will tend to be wider as well to support the chair with the user in it. The weight capacity for most heavy-duty power wheelchairs is 450 lb.; more customized wheelchairs have a weight capacity of 600 lb. Typically these powerchairs have a longer range since the battery is larger.
2—Select the right drive system
Front-wheel drive - Front-wheel drive power wheelchairs can maneuver well over small obstacles. They have a respectable turning radius and are easier to maneuver within the home or in tight spaces. Although these chairs are known for providing good stability, they can fishtail when turning at high speeds. Front-wheel drive power wheelchairs are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
Mid-wheel drive - These chairs boost the tightest turning radius of the three drives and are great for use in apartments, malls, and anywhere else space is limited. They are very easy to maneuver indoors or on flat surfaces outdoors, but do not maneuver as well over hills or rough terrain.
Rear-wheel drive - Rear-wheel-drive power wheelchairs maneuver well over rough terrain making them a good choice if you enjoy the outdoors. Having the drive system in the rear allows for greater maneuverability, even while traveling at high speeds. They do have larger turning radiuses, so they may be difficult to maneuver indoors.
It is important to consider your living environment.
Indoors - Make sure the power wheelchair can fit and maneuver indoors. Measure the doorways and hallways in your home (be sure to account for hinged doors which can reduce the doorway opening by 2″). The doorway opening should be large enough for the power wheelchair as well as the armrests and joystick if it protrudes beyond the base of the chair. You should also be able to navigate through hallways and make 90° turns into rooms. Spacing in bathrooms is typically tight and must be considered—can the power wheelchair maneuver around the toilet and sink.
Outdoors - The terrain will affect the range of the chair. Larger and wider wheels will travel better over rough terrain, making the ride smoother.
4—Seating and positioning
Most users spend a lot of time in their power wheelchairs, so seating and positioning are very important for their health and comfort. The power wheelchair will have to accommodate custom backrests and seat cushions made of contouring forms, gels, and other materials for those who require additional support. Individuals who are unable to or have limited ability to shift their weight should select a power wheelchair that can tilt-in-space or recline to relieve pressure and increase blood flow. These types of chairs can also ease transfers for caregivers and help manage posture for the user.
Tilt-in-space - changes the orientation of the chair without changing the angle of the lower body.
Recline - changes the degree of recline for the backrest while elevating the legs.
The rider must be properly measured and fitted for the power wheelchair to ensure that all their needs are met. An ill-fitting power wheelchair may result in ailments such as pressure sores and can exacerbate pre-existing conditions. An occupational therapist working with a pre-qualified dealer in your area can help ensure that the right fit power wheelchair is selected.
RehabPulse is a specialized web store offering different types of powerchairs including standing wheelchairs, all-terrain powerchairs, folding chairs, complex rehab powerchairs, and also stair climbing powerchairs. RehabPulse has dedicated technical experts that are here to help you make the best choice for your individual situation. Give us a call at 877-234-2018.
RehabPulse is one of the largest web stores for Power and electric wheelchairs and offering rehabilitation solutions.
For more questions, please don’t hesitate to call 1-877-234-2018.