Advances in modern technology, engineering and science allow disabled people to live a high quality of life. There are many different models of wheelchair, accessories, walking aids and other medical devices to help the disabled every day of their lives.
The Wheelchair Design Process
The process to design a wheelchair for a customer is time-consuming, but not altogether lengthy. Working closely with a health-care provider, design can begin on the wheelchair as soon as possible. When physiotherapy has begun in case of a patient who needs treatment, it is already possible to have access to a wide range of standard wheelchairs. As treatment progresses and the patient becomes more independent, their muscular and skeletal development can be tracked so that up-to-date medical data is present about their condition. This will allow the easy custom-design of the final model which they will use when they are out in their everyday lives.
Depending on the nature of the injury or the condition, the wheelchair-user may have need for upgrades, replacement models or even models with different features as their condition changes. A wheelchair is an important medical device and should be considered not only a priority, but an investment on which no expense goes unwarranted.
Different Types of Wheelchairs
Generally, wheelchairs are made from a lightweight material such as aluminium, or a sturdier one such as stainless steel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. An aluminium wheelchair is frequently recommended for first-time buyers, as they are lighter and easier to move with. Stainless steel is heavier than aluminium.
There are many ultra-lightweight aluminium wheelchairs that use an aluminium frame. These wheelchairs have features such as a mechanism to fold the chair back, adjustable heights, easy access leg rests all in a lightweight design that does not require much strength to use. While aluminium wheelchairs are sturdy, they are usually not very crash-resistant. If you need to use your wheelchair for professional athletic races or on public roads, then you will need a steel, crash-tested wheelchair.
Motorised Wheelchair Custom Designs
When selecting a wheelchair, a recovering patient might choose to experience a more relaxed pace of life and opt for a motorised wheelchair. There are many designs available that can go at faster-than-walking speeds and fitted with a full range of features, these mobility vehicles will allow great range and flexibility for an improved quality of life.
Athletic and Sporting Wheelchairs and Accessories
In serious competitions, mobility-impaired athletes need to have reliable equipment to ensure success with full safety in mind. Crash-resistant steel-framed wheelchairs will provide the added protection and safety that is needed to take part in high-level competitive athletic sports. Apart from this, there are many devices and other medical or sporting equipment that can help a wheelchair racer achieve their goals and dreams. There are many mobility-impaired athletes across the Wales region who are interested in devices and units that will help them in their competitive ambitions.
Any wheelchair user will also inevitably have a need for a range of accessories, such as:
- - attachable bags, backpacks and shopping bags
- - wheelchair pillow cushions
- - memory foam cushions
- - deluxe fleece cushions
- - smart ramps for easy vehicle and home access
- - channel ramps for fixed home access
- - safety belts and straps
- - hand-muffs for protection
- - cup/stick holder for convenience
Custom Wheelchair Features for Convenience
When you have need of a custom wheelchair, there are many features to choose from to make the chair more comfortable and convenient:
- - Storage racks can provide shelves for groceries or other items
- - Cane holders can be a convenient way to store a cane when not needed
- - Elevating footrests can provide an added degree of comfort
- - Universal headrest will allow a full range of adjustments for any size and shape of person
Cushions in particular are a highly personal item for a wheelchair user and there are many to choose from. A full range of gel and memory foam cushions are available that will quickly adjust to the needs of the user and make their seat as comfortable as possible. For those who need more ergonomic support, choosing from a range of standard cushions with ergonomic features is recommended. When investing in a wheelchair it is important to consider quality and comfort first, before the budget.
Comfort and Convenience
Regardless of your reason to get a custom wheelchair, it is always recommended to get advanced features designed for comfort and convenience. For instance, high-precision, reliable and strong brakes are a must have on all wheelchairs and a complete wheel-locking system is needed on inclines as well. In a race, useful functions can be provided by devices such as an odometer, an altimeter, or any combination of general informational devices that can give much-needed data.
Comfortable and ergonomic seating is also important when it comes to wheelchairs. A user needs to feel completely comfortable not just as a safety precaution, but so that they continue to have a high quality of life in every aspect of their day. For ideal lower back support, ergonomic seating that supports the lumbar region will allow you to correct your posture and avoid arthritis and other muscular-skeletal disorders. A proper head-rest is also a must have and should be adjustable to many different angles for maximum comfort. Extensible foot-rests are also a great feature that will allow some relaxation opportunities. Coupled with a back-rest that can be folded down, some custom-made wheelchairs can also be converted into a reclining bed for short naps.
Taking Care of a Wheelchair
Maintaining a wheelchair is not very difficult and is similar to owning a bike. Parts that work together such as gears or wheels should be oiled regularly to provide smooth traction and easy going. Wheels and tires should be regularly cleaned as they see heavy use indoors or outdoors. Always keep the frame clean and regularly use car wax or bike wax on it for maximum protection and long-lasting durability. Every few months it makes sense to inspect whether spokes have become loose or whether the wheel is bent anywhere and needs to be adjusted. Interlocking mechanisms and brakes should also be checked at least once every few weeks to make sure they work well and interact smoothly with each other. It is also useful to carry around a hand pump in case a refill of air is needed when you are on the road.
The more proactive a user is about taking care of a wheelchair, the less likely replacement parts or models will be needed!
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