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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Information

  • Wheelchairs for the Heavier Individual

    As obesity has increasingly become an international problem, wheelchair manufacturers have had to adapt the way they design and build their wheelchairs. Nowadays, special types of wheelchairs have been specifically created to suit the needs of physically challenged individuals who are heavier than average. These types of wheelchairs are called bariatric wheelchairs.

    Earlier, bariatric patients would find it very hard to keep mobile. Because of bariatric wheelchairs, they can enjoy daily activities while being independent.

    Bariatric wheelchairs are important because they have special features that not only involve larger maximum weight capacities but also accommodates for width, height, and depth of the seat making the user as comfortable as possible. Today, a wide variety of bariatric wheelchairs are available to suit the needs of just about anybody. Generally, these bariatric wheelchairs feature larger frames. They also have highly durable wheels accompanied by solid tyres that are airless so they won't deflate.

    Due to the variety of bariatric wheelchairs, it is necessary to learn how to choose the right wheelchair that best suits your needs.

    Among the most important factors to consider when looking for a bariatric wheelchair are as follows:

    • How much do you weigh:
      Make sure you choose a wheelchair that has maximum weight limits that accommodate your current weight. It might also be a smart idea to leave some allowance in case of weight gain or in case you would like to carry heavy things with you.

    • How wide should the wheelchair seat be:
      Measure yourself and once you have your size, add about two inches to the measurement. This would result in your recommended seat depth.

    • How high you need the wheelchair to be:
      This can be determined by sitting down and ensuring that your feet are placed flat on the ground. Your shins should also be perpendicular to the ground. From that position, measure the length from your heel to the back of your knee.

    • How deep you need the seat to go:
      Measure the length from your hip to the back of your knee while you are in seated position. You may want to add a few inches of space to keep you comfortable.

    • How high the backrest should be:
      Generally, the ideal wheelchair backrest height would be just under your shoulder blades. It is important that this is measured correctly because it can have significant effects on your posture.

    • How high the armrest should be:
      The height of the armrest can be determined by measuring the length from the seat to your own forearm. Just make sure that your forearm is perpendicular to your backrest while sitting upright.

    • What kind of tyres you need:
      More often than not, bariatric wheelchairs need airless tyres made from solid material. This will not only ensure that you will not have to replace them too often but it also assures you of your safety while you are mobile.

    For those who have difficulty breathing while in an upright seated position or those who have other types of respiratory illnesses, there are bariatric wheelchairs that recline.

    For those individuals who have heart problems and do not have the strength or capability to propel manual wheelchairs, bariatric power wheelchairs have been developed.

  • Wheelchair Guides and Mobility Information

    • Travelling for Wheelchair Users
      One can only imagine how difficult it is for those with physical disabilities who have to travel with wheelchairs. The entire process from planning to actually getting to a holiday destination can be stressful…

    • Belts for Wheelchairs
      Like vehicle seatbelts, wheelchair belts strap the wheelchair user in place and can quickly be released by the push of a button. Unlike seatbelts, wheelchair belts are made to be more comfortable…

    • Wheelchair Questions and Answers
      Although wheelchairs are often associated with the elderly, they certainly play bigger roles to many other people. The concept of wheelchairs may still be foreign to you if you or anyone close to you has not personally experienced using one…

    • Vertical Wheelchair Lifts
      Mobility challenged people including senior citizens, who spend much of their day in a wheelchair, have limited access to certain areas. As a consequence, their independence is likewise limited in comparison to their situation prior to finding themse…

    • Wheelchair Canopies
      Wheelchair canopies have become so popular because they are so effective in protecting wheelchair users from harsh weather and they are also very convenient to use. Since they simply attach to the wheelchair…

    • Power Wheelchair Motors
      Nowadays, the wheelchair bound that use power wheelchairs are no longer limited to travelling short distances or specific terrain. The wheelchair motors that are built into modern power wheelchairs…

    • Embrace the Wheelchair
      Wheelchairs have been available for over a hundred years. Initially, they were invented to move physically disabled individuals from one part of a room to another…

    • Wheelchairs, Sports and the Wheelchair Bound
      Anywhere you go, those who make use of wheelchairs continue to enjoy the competition and fun that wheelchair sport has to offer…

    • Showering with Wheelchairs
      Wheelchair users often have a hard time showering and this is the reason why shower wheelchairs have become so popular…

    • Scooters for the Disabled
      Scooters that are specially made for disabled individuals are often referred to as Mobility Scooters or Medical Scooters. The scooters come in various forms and each one addresses the needs of the physically disabled individuals…

  • Backpacks for Wheelchairs

    When using a wheelchair, it is necessary to use your extremities to operate it properly, especially when a manual wheelchair is being used. Propelling the wheelchair can be very physical and it is not always possible to keep track of all the things you have to carry around with you.

    When operating a vehicle, it is not advisable to be holding things or have things moving around while the vehicle is mobile. This is the reason why storage space has been developed. A wheelchair, however, has no such compartments, good thing wheelchair users can now have backpacks for their wheelchairs.

    Before wheelchair backpacks were developed, when wheelchair users took their personal items with them, they had to place them on their lap which meant that the items could fall on to the floor or cause discomfort or even injuries.

    Just like normal backpacks, wheelchair backpacks come in a wide variety of colours and designs. The backpacks are made to fit any standard wheelchair, although customisation services are available. Wheelchair backpacks have straps that can be attached to the back of the wheelchair seat. They come in various forms including:

    • Flap Covers
    • Zipped - for more safety
    • Velcro

    There are also backpacks that feature many different compartments to help you keep organised.

    Although quite the functional item, wheelchair backpacks can also be trendy. This is why they come in many different forms and designs. While there are many who prefer to have them in classic colours including black or blue, there are those who prefer them to be colourful or have bold patterns.

    Wheelchair users also have the option to choose among different materials including regular fabric, nylon, or polyester. Regular fabrics are often trendier but nylon and polyester are waterproof and easier to clean.

    Wheelchair backpacks can range in price between £8 and £25, depending on the style, size, and material. Because they are so functional, they are considered to be worthwhile investments. Just remember to be aware of those behind you at all times, especially when there are valuables kept inside.

  • Beach Wheelchairs

    Whether you were born with a disability or you have, through some form of accident lost the use of limbs, there is no use moping about your disability. The point now is to make the most out of the life you have. Being physically disabled doesn't mean that you have to deprive yourself and not have a quality lifestyle.

    Many physically disabled people feel as if they can not go everwhere they please. However, wheelchairs and other mobility devices have made it easier for them to be more mobile. If you are the type of person who loves the beach but feel as if it would be impossible to enjoy because of your disability, a special type of wheelchair can address your needs.

    Beach wheelchairs have been developed to aid physically disabled individuals in continuing to enjoy their love for the sea shore or beach and going on trips with friends and relatives. These wheelchairs now come in many different forms and it would be wise to choose one that would accommodate all your needs.

    Various beach wheelchairs have become affordable making them an appealing investment. Just like regular wheelchairs, beach wheelchairs come in manual, electric and transport variations. Manual beach wheelchairs are controlled by the user by propelling its wheels by hand. In contrast, the electric ones have motors that can be controlled using a joystick or buttons.

    Furthermore, beach wheelchairs are similar to traditional wheelchairs because they can now be customised according to the needs of the user. Customisation of beach wheelchairs often involves modifying some features, choosing colours, making them "fit to size", and choosing upholstery design and style.

    More often than not, beach wheelchairs are constructed using durable steel tubing. The standard width is 34 inches so that it can easily fit the 36-inch standard width of doorways. Often, the distance from the seat to the ground would be about 22 inches. Capacity would really depend on what the user specifies but the standard would be a maximum of 350 pounds.

    The option to choose the type of wheelchair wheels is also available. The standard diameter is 13 inches with a 6 inch width. Its rims are made of ply nylon to lessen worries about it corroding when it comes in contact with saltwater. Beach wheelchairs also feature special suspension to ensure that the device is more stable.

    Beach wheelchairs feature sling type seats to ensure the user's comfort. Sometimes, they come with umbrella stands and umbrellas specially designed to protect its users from harmful UV rays.

    Because of the mere existence of beach wheelchairs, there is no longer a need for physically disabled individuals to be deprived of holidays. These accommodate strolls along the beach alone or with those close to you. However, it is important to note that beach wheelchairs can also be used elsewhere.

    Although these wheelchairs are specifically made for use on the beach, they can also be used to assist you in your daily activities. They simply have special features to avoid damage and injuries should you decide to go to the beach.

    For this reason, it is not necessary to own different types of wheelchairs. If you love the beach and feel like you will visit one each time you have a chance, it is recommended that you choose a wheelchair that can be used even in the sand and by the water. Because of beach wheelchairs, you can enjoy the beaches you've always wanted to visit.

  • Buying Paediatric Wheelchairs

    Children value their freedom and it is important for them to be able to move independently. Children who require a wheelchair are not able to walk due to various factors, to mention some factors: vitamin deficiencies, accident, birth deficiency or mental disability. In order to give these children a better life pediatric wheelchairs have been introduced.

    Pediatric wheelchairs are more advanced than a standard wheelchair and they are sophisticated enough to help children in various ways who are not able to walk properly. With a pediatric wheelchair you can transport your child in a variety of positions, including sitting, lying down and standing.

    With the different postures the wheelchair accommodates for a wide range of children's individual needs, allowing for comfort for the child and allows him/her to move around the whole day on it.

    When buying a pediatric wheelchair some of the important considerations are:

    • Which mobility controls are most suitable
    • The extent to which the child needs independent mobility
    • The physical abilities of a child and functional skills
    • The ability of a child to control the upper and lower extremities, as well as the head and eye movements
    • The ability of a child to use activating switches and joy sticks
    • The needs of posture support and seating to keep the child secure and comfortable

    The issues of child growth are taken into consideration when constructing the wheelchair to ensure that the wheelchair addresses the needs of the child as he or she grows.

    Most pediatric wheelchairs come with adjustable brace supports and frame sections which ensure that the wheelchair can be adjusted in size as the child grows, the majority of pediatric wheelchairs can be used for around ten to twelve years depending on the child's growth.

    The child's social life should be taken into consideration when you think about buying a wheelchair. This should ensure the child's temperament, social situations, how he/she handles the frustration of learning to use a wheelchair, etc.

    The transport of the wheelchair is also one of the issues which are should be considered. These chairs are quite bulky and heavy when compared to other narrow chairs of the same stand. Considerations have to be thought through, for example:

    • Is there a big car to handle this wheelchair?
    • Is there any rack that can compensate for additional weight?
    • Will there be any additional help required for transporting the wheelchair?

    Such issues should be sorted out and the wheelchair should be selected matching the users environment.

    Wheelchairs give an extensive amount of freedom and independence to the child. It helps the child to do all the activities at floor, table and higher levels. It is recommended that you take all aspects into consideration before you go out and buy a pediatric wheelchair for your child, good decision making ensures good performance. Thus choosing the right pediatric wheelchair makes a good balance against the versatile models of today's wheelchairs.

  • Get Comfortable with a Wheelchair Cushion

    There are an extensive amount of wheelchair users that find themselves using their wheelchair for most of the day. Because of this, it is necessary for the user to keep searching for ways to be as comfortable as possible while seated in their wheelchairs.

    On the market today there is a wide spectrum of wheelchair accessories available to choose from. Wheelchair accessories not only provide for individualisation and customisation they also provide the wheelchair user with a variety of choices when it comes to comfort and safety. Among the most popular wheelchair accessories are wheelchair cushions, which come in a wide range of materials, thickness, colour and size to provide comfort to the wheelchair user.

    Wheelchair seat cushions are very important to wheelchair users. For this reason, it is necessary to make sure you buy one that fits your wheelchair correctly and your individual requirements, rule of thumb, an expensive cushion doesnt necessarily mean that its the best suited to you. While seat cushions are specifically made to minimise sores when sitting down for long periods of time, some quality seat cushions do exactly the opposite.

    The right kind of seat cushion helps you maintain your seating posture and also helps those who have trouble breathing or have other respiratory illnesses. No matter what a wheelchair cushion is purchased for, it cannot be denied that many different benefits can be gathered from having one.

    For these reasons, it is necessary to take extra precaution when choosing an appropraite cushion that can be used with your wheelchair. Although choosing from standard designs are alright, it would also pay to have them customised according to your own build and body weight.

    Because it is of utmost importance for the wheelchair user to be comfortable in his/her wheelchair that you rely on so dearly, wheelchair cushions have become more and more important. Always make sure that you have a seat cushion that allows you to keep a good posture while being comfortable at the same time.

    Generally, standard wheelchairs come with contoured seating that has proved to be quite uncomfortable especially if you sit on them for longer periods at a time. This is why many wheelchair users with these kinds of seats find themselves shifting around all the time trying to make themselves comfortable.

    Furthermore, uncomfortable wheelchair seating can lead to muscular atrophy or even weight loss making standard wheelchair seating inappropriate for those who already have much to worry about. In addition to this, the contoured cushions are often very bulky and weigh a lot. They can also be hot and don't adjust to the ever changing needs of the wheelchair user. Because of this, it becomes more and more necessary to have the right wheelchair cushion which should adapt to the body type of the wheelchair user as well as accommodate all their movements whilst in their wheelchair.

    There are so many different wheelchair seat cushions to choose from making it easy enough for you to choose the one that perfectly addresses all your needs. Just make sure to take time when choosing.

  • Wheelchair Common Sense

    Having the correct wheelchair is of great importance for those with a physical mobility disability. Although many of the factors seem obvious, it is often necessary to go through and review each element to make the right decision(s) when buying the right wheelchair.

    Among the first things to consider is how the wheelchair user will be transferred to and from the wheelchair. Another related factor is how the wheelchair will be propelled, either by the wheelchair user him/herself or by an attendant. These factors have significant implications on the size of the wheelchair.

    First of all, having the wrong height may cause the user to have bad posture which can lead to long term health problems including damaging the spine.

    The seat's height is also important for the safety of the wheelchair user and the ease by which he can transfer to and from the wheelchair. Furthermore, those who have the need to propel the wheelchair with their feet may need to have a seat height that will allow them to use their heels while still comfortable.

    How the user will transfer to and from the wheelchair also has significant implications on the kind of wheelchair arm rests that are required. Should the user be able to stand and walk to the wheelchair, full length and stable arm rests are recommended. On the other hand, swing away, folding, or removable arm rests are recommended for those who have to slide on to their wheelchair.

    For users who have no trouble transferring to and from their wheelchairs, it might be more beneficial to use shorter arm rests especially when the wheelchair user works from the wheelchair in front of a desk or table. Shorter arm rests allow the wheelchair user to get closer to the table they are using.

    Adjustable arm rests can be requested when customising wheelchairs so that the height can be perfect for every immediate need of the wheelchair user.

    The wheelchair users height is significant in determining how high the back rest should be. Although the typical wheelchair back rest ends just below the users shoulder blades, other factors have to be considered. The strength of the wheelchair users upper body determines what type of wheelchair frame and wheelchair type is needed.

    Those wheelchair users that have limited upper body strength a lightweight wheelchair is recommended to lessen the strain on the arms and shoulders.

    The weight of the wheelchair needed depends on the weight of the user. A standard wheelchair has the maximum load capacity of 250 lbs. Should the user weigh more than this, a bariatric wheelchair is recommended as they hold users up to 700 lbs.

    For those with weight and height requirements that exceed the average, custom made wheelchairs are an option - these wheelchairs can be more expensive than the standard "off the shelf" wheelchair that can be bought almost anywhere.

    The wheelchairs seat size depends on the wheelchair users physical build. Standard wheelchairs have seats from 14" to 30". The standard depth is 16" and goes up to 20". Should the wheelchair user need a wheelchair seat cushion that is wider custom made cushions can be bought.

    In order to measure the perfect seat size, the wheelchair user must be measured in two ways. First, the width of the hips should be measured. The resulting measurement plus an inch is the recommended seat width. Second, the length from the users hip to the knee must be measured. This measurement should be taken while the user is sitting down. Subtract an inch from the resulting measurement and you will get the recommended seat depth.

    Lastly, the kind of wheelchair foot rest(s) should be looked at. Wheelchair leg rests come in all shapes and sizes, fixed, swing away, light weight and steel, the majority can be adjusted according to the height of the user. Other wheelchair leg rests can elevate to allow the user to raise or stretch the legs. These are often used by those who experience leg swelling. For those who do not experience this problem, a regular type of foot rest can be used.

    Considering all these factors have significant effects on the type of wheelchair to be purchased for or by a wheelchair user as these also will determine just how comfortable and effective the wheelchair can be used.

  • Wheelchairs for Sport

    Sports wheelchairs were specifically developed for use in physical activities including basketball, tennis, and even racing. They weigh very little making them easier to control and maneuver. However, sports wheelchairs are certainly not limited for use in sports. In truth, physically disabled individuals have much to gain by using sports wheelchairs for everyday use.

    Sports wheelchairs are a popular choice because they are a lightweight wheelchair. It is recommended for individuals who still have full upper body functionality to use manual wheelchairs and sport wheelchairs are a common choice among them.

    However, not everyone can make use of a sports wheelchairs especially if they are over 250 pounds as sports wheelchairs often weight only 19 to 30 pounds so they will not be able to carry individuals that are heavier than average.

    The reason why sports wheelchairs are so light is due to the lightweight material(s) used to build them. Whether the sports wheelchair you choose is made from aluminium, chrome, or titanium, you can be sure that they are manufactured to be both lightweight and sturdy.

    For the seating material, plastic, vinyl, and spandex are often used. Because of such light materials being used, sports wheelchairs have become easy to control with features that allow them to shift direction easily and move speedily.

    There are many different types of sports wheelchairs to choose from and the best choice would really depend on its purpose. Several types of wheelchairs are available for specific types of wheelchair sports but there are also standard wheelchairs that can be used for daily activities.

    Whenever sports wheelchairs are bought, it is common to purchase wheelchair accessories at the same time. The most common sport wheelchair accessories are safety or constraining belts that keep the user safe on the seat when playing sport, wheelchair bags for personal belongings or sport accessories, and others such as gloves and upper body supports.

    Remember that buying a good sports wheelchair is not always about choosing the most popular brand. It is always good to evaluate your needs before buying a sports wheelchair. Make sure that you read user reviews and general opinions about the durability and useability of the wheelchair that you want to buy. Test the wheelchair to make sure that you can use it properly, they are similar but not the same as a standard manual wheelchair.

  • Bags for Wheelchairs

    There are a wide variety of wheelchair accessories on the market that wheelchair users can choose from. Among the most popular accessories are wheelchair bags which are specially designed for wheelchair users to be able to travel around in their wheelchairs while also being able to comfortably take some of their personal belongings with them.

    Wheelchair bags come in several types, shapes, sizes, and have a variety of functions. The most popular bags include armrest bags, down in front bags, glove boxes, and cargo shelves.

    As the name suggests, armrest bags hang from the wheelchairs armrest, to the side of the wheelchair. They are widely preferred because of their convenience and accessibility to the seated individual. When buying this type of wheelchair bag, make sure that the bag is the right size to give you maximum storage space without it touching the wheelchair wheels.

    "Down in front" bags are those that are installed directly onto the frame of the wheelchair and are located right in front of the seated user. These often come with flaps to ensure the security of the items inside, preventing the items from falling out of the bag.

    There are also glove boxes available for wheelchairs. These can be attached beneath the seat where valuables can be kept. These are often made to fit standard sized wheelchairs but they can also be customised to ensure that they fit properly.

    To store bigger things, cargo shelf bags can be attached to the wheelchair frame. These often come with additional, smaller-sized pockets to accommodate the storage of smaller items.

    For individuals who need to store and transport even larger items, other types of bags can be customised. Even standard wheelchair bags can be custom made according to the needs and preferences of the wheelchair user. Additional features like zippers or extra compartments can be requested. Buckles, flaps, and straps can also be used for the stability and security of the items being stored.

    When customising wheelchair bags, the options are limitless.

  • Electric Wheelchair Know How

    George Klein was the first person to invent electric wheelchairs. He was an employee of the National Research Council of Canada and helped veterans injured in World War II.

    There are four major types of electric wheelchairs: center, rear, four wheel or front wheel drive. Each individual wheelchair type has its own handling attributes. The types of electric wheelchairs differ based on seating type.

    Some of the electric wheelchairs look like manual wheelchairs with a frame and sling seat while others look like a captain's chair with a car type seat. There are portable and small sized models which allow easy folding to heavy weight and large sized electric wheelchairs also known as rehabilitation chairs.

    Electric wheelchairs are manufactured for indoor, outdoor or dual functionality use. Wheelchair users who find it difficult to use a manual wheelchair due to shoulder, arm or hand disorders, or those who lack sufficient leg strength to move the wheelchair, need electric wheelchairs. People who have sufficient upper body functionality tend to use manual wheelchairs as their insurance policies may not include electric wheelchair costs.

    Using joystick controllers the occupant is able to maneuver the electric wheelchair and control the wheelchair speed. If coordination between fingers and hands is poor then other control mechanisms can be used to operate the wheelchair. Chin controls or sip and puff scanners for people with C2-3 type spinal cord injury and head injuries are available. By blowing into tubes located beside the occupant's mouth the wheelchair is can be moved.

    These controllers are not only fragile but very expensive. You can have different powered functionalities built in the electric wheelchair such as leg raising, tilting, reclining, elevation of the seat etc. as well as other functionalities to improve seating posture.

    Electric motors are used to propel the electric wheelchairs. Rechargeable batteries of 4 or 5 amperes capacity power the wheelchair. You can use both dry and wet batteries with the wheelchair, whereby dry batteries are morepopular. Charging facilities are present on the electric wheelchair, which you can plug into wall outlets. The older electric wheelchairs have separate units for charging the batteries.

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