As your loved one recovers from a health issue or requires assistance to move around during old age, a wheelchair can be a very assistive tool.

There are different types of wheelchairs that are available in the market, and it is important to understand the various types and uses, to know what will suit your requirement the best.

Types Of Wheelchairs

Here are some of the most common broad types of wheelchairs:

  • Manual wheelchairs
  • Electric wheelchairs
  • Paediatric wheelchairs

Here is a more in-depth look at the many different types of wheelchairs that are available:

A standard manual wheelchair is one of the most basic types of wheelchairs. It comes with four sets of wheels, the ones in the front being small and the ones at the back being larger. The larger wheels enable the user to push the chair themselves. This type of wheelchair is very easy to use during travel as it is fully collapsible.

  • The seat width for this type of wheelchair varies and can come in different weight categories to cater to various types of patients. It is good for those patients who are able to push the chair on their own and can also be pushed by a caregiver.
  • A transport wheelchair is a good choice for those who like to travel or have to travel for various reasons despite their health. This type of wheelchair has small wheels and hence can only be used with the help of a caregiver who can push the chair.
  • As the wheels on this chair are small, it is very light in weight and can be moved around easily, even in crowded spaces. It is also easy for the caregiver to use as it can be pushed and lifted with ease.
  • A lightweight manual wheelchair is like a standard manual wheelchair but is lighter in weight. As a result, it is also good for traveling and can be carried and transported with ease.
  • There are two types of custom made wheelchairs the ones with fixed frames and the ones with folding frames. Such types of wheelchairs are used for those patients who are always required to be in a wheelchair while moving.
  • This type of wheelchair is very light in weight and is perfect for everyday use. As it is custom made, specific user measurements are taken to make sure the seat and other options are at the most comfortable level.
  • A heavy duty manual wheelchair is one that is heavier than the regular manual wheelchair. In addition, it is also bigger in size than a regular manual wheelchair.
  • This type of wheelchair comes with a bigger seat and there are various options to choose from.
  • As the name suggests, a tilt wheelchair is one that can be tilted backward by the caregiver, to provide the best possible positioning and posture to the user.
  • It comes with various options and can be customized as per user requirements.
  • A sports wheelchair is one that is very easy to maneuver and is a good option for those who want to continue some form of physical activity after a health issue, or at an older age. As the name suggests, this type of wheelchair enables the user to engage in sports such as throw ball or basketball, and generally be active.
  • There are various customization options available with a sports wheelchair and the user can go for ones that are specific to needs.

Pediatric wheelchairs are used for babies and children and come in different types, such as a basic wheelchair to more complex ones. These are also available in different options and are sometimes also available as a modified type of stroller, instead of a proper wheelchair.

  • To cater to a childs choice, these types of wheelchairs also come in a variety of colors.
  • A shower wheelchair is one that is specifically designed to help a patient take a bath while seated in the wheelchair. It also has an opening in the seat that converts it to a commode and is especially helpful for patients who are unable to stand up.
  • These types of wheelchairs are waterproof and come with different combinations of wheels.

Once you narrow down on the type of wheelchair that will most suit your needs, do keep the following points in mind to help you make the final decision.

  • As the patient will spend a considerable amount of time on the chair, check the size of the seat to ensure it is comfortable and not too big or tight.
  • A lighter model will be easier to lift and push around for a caregiver.
  • For patients who have to make a lot of doctor visits, a transport wheelchair can be extremely useful.
  • While wheels play an important role in the overall functioning of the wheelchair, some patients prefer the ones with larger wheels as they feel the wheelchair is more stable.
  • Check the type of cushions in the wheelchairs based on the patientäó»s need. Gel or foam cushions are very comfortable while positioning cushions will provide a perfect contour and help to keep the right posture. A preventative cushion, on the other hand, will prevent sores and is ideal for patients who spend a lot of time in the wheelchair.
  • Pay attention to the seat height, as well as the leg and armrest.