Which Wheelchair Is Right for You?
Whether you’re after a lightweight, folding wheelchair or a heavyweight model fitted with suspension, a new wheelchair could be just what you need to enjoy your independence again. Affordable and surprisingly versatile, manual wheelchairs are a great option for those looking to stay active and social without wanting a host of advanced features.
Wheelchairs are also a good choice of mobility aid if you’re looking for something that can be compactly stored or transported in the boot of a car. Bariatric wheelchairs are available for larger, heavier users, while smaller, paediatric wheelchairs have been designed for children.
Like mobility scooters, there are a couple of different types of wheelchair to choose from, and you should think about your lifestyle and level of mobility before making a decision.
Self-propelled wheelchairs are operated by the user. Large rear wheels with fitted hand rims give you the leverage to propel yourself forwards or backwards without the help of an attendant. You might consider a self-propelled wheelchair if you have good upper-body strength and overall stamina. Perhaps you can walk comfortably with the help of a walking stick or frame, but struggle over longer distances and would like the help of a manual wheelchair. All of our wheelchairs have push-handles for when extra help is needed, for example with getting over kerbs and high thresholds.
A self-propelled wheelchair with suspension or with treaded all-terrain tyres will be more suitable for everyday use outdoors.
The large rear wheels on a self-propelled wheelchair can often be removed quickly, as can the footplates and front castors, with half-folding backrests and seats also making storage and transportation a lot easier.
Transit Wheelchairs and Travel Wheelchairs
With smaller wheels and lighter frames, transit wheelchairs and travel wheelchairs are best for transporting users over a short distance. Ergonomic handles at the back help the attendant or carer to propel the wheelchair with minimal effort, with cable brakes often included for extra control.
A transit or travel wheelchair will be more suitable for you if you do not have sufficient strength and movement in your arms and shoulders to use a self-propelled wheelchair.