A wheelchair is a device that provides mobility to people who are unable to or have difficulty in walking due to illness, disability or injury. Wheelchairs allow the users to move around relatively easily and to lead an active and independent lifestyle.
Different types of wheelchairs are available in the market to meet individual users’ needs, such as the manual wheelchair, power wheelchair and electric wheelchair. Manual wheelchairs are wheelchairs that have to be propelled manually by hand, whereas electric wheelchairs rely on motors for motion. Manual wheelchairs are cheaper than electric wheelchairs because of their simpler functions. They can also be easily folded and stored in smaller areas such as in the trunk of vehicles.
The electric wheelchair, with its ease of use, allows the user to depend less on others and to be more self-reliant. The electric wheelchair has greater maneuverability and a better suspension system that absorbs the bumps the wheels travel over. You can even test drive an electric wheelchair before you decide to purchase one. Since every user’s physical disability varies, the user can choose the electric wheelchair control system that is best suited to his physical condition. The user can even customize the electric wheelchair to fit his or her physical need.
Wheelchair users usually need their wheelchairs to be easily accessible, comfortable, and versatile to use. The power wheelchair has literally revolutionized the lives of millions of users. Power wheelchairs offer the freedom to move from one location to another without having to rely on others for help. Powerchairs are generally for those with arm, hand or shoulder disability and have difficulty using a manual wheelchair. The user can control the direction and speed by operating a joystick, and also control many other functions such as reclining and tilting, leg and seat elevation etc.
With the rapid advancement in technology today, wheelchairs are no longer just used to get the users from one point to another; today’s wheelchairs now allows users the ability to participate in different sports for the disabled such as downhill wheelchair racing, wheelchair skiing, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis etc. Each wheelchair sport has their own customized style of wheelchair designed for speed and agility.
Wheelchairs are available in different sizes, shapes, colors etc. depending on personal preference. To make things more convenient for wheelchair-bound people, equipments such as wheelchair lifts, wheelchair ramps and wheelchair vans etc are also available.
Regardless of which wheelchair and wheelchair accessories used, precautions and safety measures must always be adhered to.