Do you have a loved one in the house who has a problem walking or is disabled? Do you feel sad looking at them being dependent on someone to move from one place to the other? If your answer is yes, you can make life easy for them by getting a wheelchair. Wheelchairs will help them or anyone who has a problem in movement to move and that also without anyone’s help. Wheelchairs go back in centuries .They were first discovered in China though earlier a wheel barrow was used to move disabled people and heavy objects from one place to the other. Later, two mechanical engineers named Henry Jennings with his disabled friend Herbert Everest invented the first lightweight steel collapsible wheel chair.
What are wheelchairs?
Wheelchairs are designed for handicapped people. Children, young or old people can use it. When a person is unable to walk or even when a person is disabled, deformed or paralyzed from the hips down or the legs, a chair with four wheels is generally used for their movement. This chair was basically designed to be a replacement for walking especially for people with any of the above physical deformities. People feel at ease after using this equipment and it is indeed very helpful for them as they can move about freely.
Why go for wheelchairs?
Wheelchairs are tougher and designed keeping in mind the different disabilities and needs of the people. Now in the modern world wheelchairs are built in various designs with the two major designs being, folding or rigid. Rigid wheelchairs have permanent welding joints and few moving parts and are used and preferred by active users. Wheelchairs are now equipped with new technology and have many other features like safety belts, adjustable backrests, extra support for limbs or legs, walkers or oxygen tanks, drink or food holders and clothing protectors, which make them more comfortable and easy to handle. This also reduces the effort and time of other people who take care of the disabled patient. Transport wheelchairs that are usually light are also available. These essentially are folding chairs having four small wheels designed to be pushed by a care giver to provide the mobility in any surrounding.
Major Brands of Wheelchairs that are available are:
- Smart Care
- Easy Care
Variants of Wheelchair
Electric wheelchairs are very popular now and are moved via the means of an electric motor and navigated controls. As it gives disabled patients the complete freedom of movement, one can move it forward and backward, left and right in fact in any direction as desired. A simple joystick that is placed on the armrest can turn the wheelchair around while moving. The patient can easily move himself with the help of the joystick. Electric wheelchairs have also features like head switches, chin-operated joysticks and other specialist controls, which come in use when the patient cannot use the manually operated joystick.
A basic manual wheelchair is built with a seat, two caster type wheels at the two sides of the seat for balance and two small wheels in the front. The wheelchair has hand rests that are used to rest the hands while one manually rolls the wheels and it also has leg rests that is attached to the lower end of the seat where the legs rest. Manual wheelchairs are those that require manual power to move them and it can be folded for storage.
Many other wheelchairs that provide various uses are available easily in the present times. Wheelchairs known as standing wheelchair are available and these support one in a standing position, a bariatric wheelchair that is designed to support larger weights, pediatric wheelchairs can be used for shorter people and children. Likewise there are various other wheelchairs that have come into demand with the growing world, new found and growing disabilities. Sports wheel chairs are needed for disabled sportsmen that require speed for certain games like basketball, rugby, tennis, racing and dancing. These sports wheelchairs are generally non-folding and are not for everyday use, it is only use during sports. Snow wheel chairs have also come into the limelight.
Some Essential Things to Know About Wheelchairs
- Wheelchairs vary according to brands and brand names and are quoted with various price rates, the costlier the rates the better is the mobility, or usages. It can go up to costing from a few thousands to a few lakhs depending on the model and brand one chooses or even the need.
- Even now recent technological advances are improving wheelchairs by the day. Few wheelchairs incorporate gyroscopic technology and other advances, enabling the chair to balance and run on only two of its four wheels on some surfaces, thus raising the user to a height comparable to a standing person and they are also incorporating stair-climbing and four-wheel-drive feature motorized assists for hand-powered chairs and they are becoming more available and advanced.
- Equipment on the wheelchair is now becoming advanced, be it the wheels, the gears, the seats, the hand rests, the leg rests, the motors are also changing with time to better and advanced. No doubt people seem to be enjoying the look, the feel and the use of it. Wheelchairs have now become more of a trend. Recently, a project has succeeded in making wheelchairs that can be moved.
- With the aging of the population, architects are seeking to design wheelchair ramps for private homes that are less obtrusive and harmonize better with the overall design of the home's structure. Other important adaptations to private homes are larger bathroom doors that can accommodate wheelchairs and showers and bathtubs that are designed for accessibility by thought transference.
If noticed apart from hospitals there are various sectors like movie theatres, malls, educational institutions, restaurants, hotels extinguishers are kept as safety measure in every organization. Keeping wheelchairs has also turned a must keep in various sectors too.
Wheelchairs need to be handled with care and more than that the disabled person should be racing with a normal wheelchairs or pushing it around can cause more mishaps than necessary.