When it comes to mobility aid, the most important aspect is the nature of your condition. Is it temporary? Are you going to be able to move at all? Do you need more help than usual? All these questions must be answered. While many conditions have simple solutions, some of them require a little extra. I am talking about wheelchairs. Only people who cannot move around with the help of crutches or other mobility aids will go for a wheelchair. That could be a paralyzed person or someone who reached a certain age when things are not as easy as they used to be.
The benefits of using a wheelchair
When the situation requires it, a wheelchair is an excellent choice. You get to move around again, and you do not need anyone else to help you as much as before. You have to admit that there are several advantages to using such a mobility aid. Here is how you can benefit from using a wheelchair.
- You can move again – since you suffer from a condition that does not allow you to move, a wheelchair will help you regain the joy of moving around again. It may not be much, but at least you will not be stuck in your home anymore. You can take a stroll down the neighborhood, you can socialize more by going places, and you can even do some light shopping. Those are little things, but these small things will brighten your day and improve the quality of your life. Usually, wheelchairs are designed to fit narrow spaces, which means that with a little work, you can regain your mobility as much as possible.
- Enjoy the independence – losing your freedom is one of the worst things that can happen to a person. Always relying on someone is terrible, and it takes away that sense of worth. It is not fun leaning on someone every time you need to take a breath of fresh air, and it is definitely not enjoyable that you need to be held every single time you need to take a walk down the street. As I said, there is no such thing as independence when you are bound to a chair or your bed. However, a wheelchair will help with that. Many people adjusted to the new circumstances and are now capable of living alone and not needing any help. A wheelchair has the ability to do that, even though it may seem harsh at first. That way you will leave the house, you will leave your sedentary life behind, and you can get involved in many activities. People in wheelchairs have jobs, hobbies, friends, and you can be one of them.
- Breathe in the world around you – getting outside is one of the most favorite things for people who can no longer make use of their legs. It is true what they say, that you miss a thing the most when you lose it, and going outside is one of them. A wheelchair will make that possible. If you have enough upper body strength, you can spin those wheels for 25 miles and not get tired, which means you can explore nature and enjoy the surroundings. If you think about it, those things are underrated, and it sounds terrific to hear that you can still do all that.
- You can socialize more – people who end up in a wheelchair, especially those who are still young, tend to get depressed because of it. It is easy to understand why. They are going through some significant However, if you are in such a situation, you must fight depression by socializing more. A wheelchair will get you to events, gatherings, movies, theatre, or wherever you may want to go. When times are tough, socialization helps to fight against depression.
- You get to exercise – who said that people who lost the use of their legs do not need to exercise? Quite the contrary, in fact. If you are in a wheelchair, the mere fact that you operate the wheelchair yourself counts as exercise. Also, you should know that you need it. People who start using wheelchairs suffer from shoulder pain, and they need to do some exercises. That will help with the pain. Not to mention that exercise will keep you healthy.
How to choose the best wheelchair?
Choosing the right wheelchair for you is easy, but only as long as you know what you want exactly. However, not all people do, which is why they need to follow a set of criteria in order to make the right choice. If you are one of those people, here is what you need to consider.
- Type of wheelchair – most commonly bought wheelchairs are manual and transport. You probably know the difference. If not, allow me to enlighten you. The transport wheelchair has small wheels and cannot be operated by the user. You need someone to push you around if you go for this type. The manual wheelchair can be operated by the user. It has big wheels on the back side, and the frame that is attached to the wheels will allow you to push forward or back. Of course, there are also electric wheelchairs, but they are very expensive and used by people with serious issues, like the ones who are paralyzed.
- Construction – since this device is meant to carry you around, make sure that you purchase one that is well built. That means it needs to be of high-quality materials and sturdy metal. You cannot take your chances with the wrong product here. Not when you physical integrity is at stake.
- Weight capacity – not all models are made to carry heavy individuals, so if you have a weight problem, you should check to see if the model you desire is designed to withstand your weight. You should also know that there are special wheelchairs that are meant for people who have problems with their weight.
- Seat – everything about the seat is important, from material to surface area. The material needs to be easy to clean, for one, and durable. The size matters for obvious reasons. Not all bottoms are the same size, and you need to purchase a wheelchair that is comfortable. Otherwise, you can get pressure sores.
- Brakes and locking mechanism – never buy a wheelchair that does not have a locking mechanism. Accidents do happen, and you do not want to be in that position just because you did not check if the purchased product comes with brakes. They come in handy, especially when you want to stay in one place. After all, this is wheels we are talking about.
- Additional features – here is where you can act according to your preferences. Some wheelchairs come with safety belts and removable footrest, while others have padded armrest and removable backrest. Folding wheelchairs are very convenient, just so you know. The choice is entirely yours.
What are the best wheelchairs?
No person in the world can answer that question because nobody has tried them all. However, what I can do is provide three excellent suggestions that people have already tried and reported to be very satisfied with them.
Drive Medical Lightweight Steel Transport Wheelchair
It comes as no surprise that Drive Medical manufactures wheelchairs as well. It produces all kinds of mobility aids, so why would they stop at wheelchairs? The point is that Drive Medical is well known for their high-quality devices designed to help people with mobility issues. This wheelchair makes no exception.
The product is very lightweight. It weighs only 32 pounds, which means that it is very easy to handle and transport. The model is foldable, of course, like most wheelchairs, and it can be used by whoever needs it. It has a sturdy construction. The durable steel frame provides safety and stability. It can be handled mostly indoors, and it will fit in narrow spaces. You will have no issues with maneuverability.
Other features include comfortable padded armrests, and the footrest can swing away when the user decides to get out of the chair. I must say that all those features make this wheelchair very comfortable. The upholstery of the seat is made of nylon, which means that not only it will last for a very long time, but it is also effortless to clean. The weight capacity is 250 pounds. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair
Medline is yet another well-respected brand. They manufacture all sorts of devices that are meant to help people with mobility issues. However, I must say that this product is nothing like the previous one. It brings more to the table, which is why it is one of the most popular products in this category. It is a little bit more expensive, but I think it is worth the extra money.
The Medline wheelchair has a flawless construction. The premium welds make sure that the chair is reliable and durable. The upholstery is made of breathable nylon for durability and ease of cleaning. It is also very soft and comfortable. The flip-back, desk length arms make it possible for you to go under tables, and the fact that the leg rests can be elevated is a huge plus as far as comfort is concerned. The footrests are removable, for your information.
This is a manual wheelchair that will get you wherever you want to go. It is easy to push and maneuver, and the low maintenance wheels are flat-free. The model has an adjustable seat (height), and it can be folded for convenient transportation and storage. It has a weight capacity of 300 pounds, but it is very lightweight for what it can carry. It weighs only 33 lbs, but that is without the leg rests. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Karman Lightweight Wheelchair
Have you noticed that almost all wheelchairs have the word ‘lightweight’ in the title? That is because it is an important aspect which can make your day-to-day life a little bit easier. The Karman model is no exception. It weighs only 35 pounds. The model may seem simple at first glance, but it is capable of carrying you around all day long.
The upholstery is made of nylon, which means you will have no trouble cleaning it, and it is pretty comfortable and soft. The 18 by 16 inches seat will provide enough comfort for your bottom, and the removable footrest is quite convenient. The footrest comes with a height adjustable footplate and a heel loop for more stability. The brakes come in handy, and the push to lock manual brakes are extremely useful, especially when you stay in one place.
The construction of this chair is unquestionable because it is made of high-quality materials. The wheels are easy to maneuver and made to withstand almost all surfaces indoors or outdoors. It has a weight capacity of 310 pounds, and just as the previous two models, it can fold for easy storage and transport. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
When you have three excellent products, making a choice is not as easy as it would seem. However, there must be a winner, and for me, that is the Medline Lightweight and User-Friendly Wheelchair. I believe it to be one of the best wheelchairs in this price range. It looks sturdier than the other two models, and the footrest looks and feels more comfortable than most wheelchairs I have ever seen. Not to mention that the price is affordable. But then again, you cannot put a price on safety, can you?
Ending up in a wheelchair may not be the best possible outcome, and it may come as a shock to you, but that does not mean your life is over. A wheelchair will help you get by a lot, and step by step you will manage to do almost all the things you used to do before ending up where you are now. It may seem hard, but once you get the hang of it, nothing and no one can stop you. Click here to buy on Amazon