What to look for when buying a Wheelchairs

What To Look For When Buying A Wheelchairs

At 1stStep Mobility we stock a wide selection of both transit and self-propel wheelchairs which are available to try and take home today. If you are unsure what is the right style of wheelchair is for you the main question to ask is whether or not the person whom is going to use the chair will need / be able to move themselves. If the answer is no then a transit chair is required.  Self-propel chairs have large wheels at the back which are designed to allow the user to move themselves whereas the transit have smaller wheels which provide more stability when being pushed.,

One of the most important parts of any wheelchair is the brakes, as when the user needs to dismount the wheelchair you do not want it moving under them. On self-propel you need to ensure that the user can apply the brakes themselves and they are not too hard to put on. With transit wheelchairs the brakes are normal fitted onto the push handles with some models even fitted with a locking system which means the brakes to be locked from the handles allow the pusher / carer to then move around and help the user to get out of the chair without it rolling away.

Crash Tested
If you use dial-a-ride or any similar companies to help with transportation they will often require that the wheelchair is crashed tested. When going shopping for a wheelchair make sure that you ask for a crashed tested chair as not all chairs are as the dial-a-ride companies may refuse to transport you. Keep an eye out for the crash tested symbols which is required to highlight the tie down points.

Because every person is different, when you do have a look make sure that it can be adjusted to your needs, for example the height of the footplates (if you are in a good mobility shop they should be able to adjust it for you) the other important thing to be able to adjust is the brakes – you should be able to apply the brakes and if you can’t then again ask the dealer to adjust them until you can. On some higher specification chairs you can even adjust the depth of the chair and even the height of the push handles.

Compact & Lightweight
All wheelchairs are designed to fold up or even come apart into sections to help make the wheelchair as small as possible for transportation or storage, on self-propel chairs the larger rear wheel are often designed to be removed for this very reason. With so many different make and models available on the market we always suggest to try before you buy to ensure that the chair is comfortable, is perfect for your needs and that the person whom is picking it up can in fact pick it up. Many wheelchairs are normally about 12kg but some can weight only about 8kg but these do cost more.

To make using a wheelchair chair more comfortable there is a selection of products available from cushions to help raise the seat and provide a more enjoyable ride to rain covers which cover both you and the wheelchair from the elements. If you are on a self-propel wheelchair then you might want to consider gloves which help you grip but also protect your hands. One of the best items to have on any wheelchair is a bag which normally goes at the back of the chair to help carry shopping or personal items.

1stStep is your local mobility supply within Essex, London and Kent. Suppling a wide range of products from large mobility scooter to lightweight wheelchairs. Visits your local store or give them a call today to see what we have for you today.



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