A wheelchair is a tool that is designed to help you regain some mobility as it highly improves the quality of your life. Thus, it is important to take key measurements to determine the best wheelchair fit. In a recent study, it has come to light that an estimate of 80 to 90% of wheelchair users use chairs that don't fit them.
That's like having to wear the wrong shoe size daily! This happens more often, mainly because:
- Not many people understand how a wheelchair should fit
- Our bodies change with time, and so do our needs
- Wheelchairs are just one component in an overwhelming learning process of dealing with limited mobility
Different designs and types of wheelchairs function and feel different. Some respond, fit, and enable you differently than others. Choosing the best wheelchair for your use will prevent you from experiencing chronic discomforts. Sometimes these discomforts can lead to other medical problems.
We will cover wheelchairs and the best fit measurements. This can comfortably help you from one point to the other.
What Are the Benefits Of A Well-Fitting Wheelchair?
When you are immobilized, wheelchairs come in handy and provide you with some freedom to move as you want, either alone or with a caregiver's help. Your lifestyle becomes comfortable and active.
-It Prevents Injuries
In addition to improved mobility, wheelchairs play an essential role in preventing injuries resulting from instability and lack of balance. There are people who have a high risk of falling down when walking, but thanks to the wheelchair invention they can now move freely and at ease.
-Increased Socialization and Independence
Most seniors who feel unbalanced when walking gradually isolate and settle into a sedentary lifestyle because they don't want to risk injuries. In such cases, a wheelchair can help restore independence and they can perform most activities and hobbies.
A good wheelchair that fits the user should provide comfort, good back support, and seating. This will help improve the posture, improve breathing, easier swallowing, and they will experience less pain.
Types of Wheelchairs
Just like bicycles, there are different designs and styles you can choose from. Wheelchairs are a specialized tool to help optimize your performance.
- Manual Wheelchairs - this is a lighter device with which a user must propel themselves using the limbs to move around.
- Electric wheelchair - they are heavier, sometimes called motorized wheelchairs. It is propelled by motors and has batteries attached to the wheelchair as the power source.
5 Most Important Wheelchair Measurements
The seat width should have enough space to accommodate the user's hips, but it should be just the right size and not too big. Also, ensure the sides of the chair are not in contact with the hips, to prevent pressure wounds.
The seat is supposed to be two inches away from the user's back of the knees. This will help avoid constriction of blood vessels in the legs.
-Height of the backrest
This is one of the most important measurements to be considered when choosing a wheelchair. Some medical conditions require patients to have a full-length back support, and some will require additional support on the back.
-Footrest length and style
The legs should not be pushed too high to prevent pelvic tilt. If the user is reclining, calf support should be included.
This sounds obvious but remember that they are built to accommodate different weights. So, keep that in mind when choosing a wheelchair.
The Bottom Line
Initially, getting the correct seat width includes adding 2 inches to the user's measurement when seated. The main idea is to provide enough room for the user, but it is not always beneficial.
The right way to determine the user's correct seat width is by measuring the widest part of the user when seated. It can be the thighs or hips. The wheelchair arms should be installed on the seat's outer side to ensure it fits perfectly as intended. If you might need specialized seating measurements, your healthcare professional can help you choose proper seat width.
Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. See our product pages for details and should you have any questions feel free to give us a call at 800-682-9444. One of our agents will be happy to assist you. We are open every day from 8AM - 8PM EST. Visit our blog to see more of what we have to offer on mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs and lifts, like our The Harmar Wheelchair Lift System and our Top 5 Mobility Scooter Issues And How To Fix Them.
Feel free to write me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments. At Electric Wheelchairs USA, we truly love helping our customers make the best choice for their needs whether it is a power chair, mobility scooter, or lift chair.