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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Information

  • Looking at Lightweight Wheelchairs

    One of the most popular types of wheelchairs that are currently available in the market are lightweight wheelchairs. Light weight wheelchair variants are the same as standard steel wheelchairs.

    Although there are also electric light weight wheelchairs available, they will never be as light as the manual wheelchair as they are constructed differently to accomodate special features and have to carry the weight of the electric motors.

    Lightweight wheelchairs vary dramatically in price, anything from £60 to thousands of pounds, this of course depends on the technology and the wheelchairs features.

    Aluminium or titanium is used when manufacturing lightweight wheelchairs, the more expensive lightweight wheelchairs or specialist wheelchairs are built using carbon fibre.

    Lightweight wheelchairs are the best option for those who place high importance on their mobility. Because of its lightweight features the wheelchair is easier for its user to move themselves or have others push them.

    Having a lightweight wheelchair would be a big help to those who, despite being disabled have an active lifestyle. This way, even those with physical disabilities can take part in sports such as wheelchair basketball and even wheelchair tennis.

    Although it cannot be argued that the wheelchair users would not be as active as the able bodied, the wheelchair allows the user to push themselves further and enjoy physical activities. Although the wheelchair sports are played differently, lightweight wheelchairs allow for more physical hobbies and sports.

    The folding wheelchair is also considered as a lightweight wheelchair and these are most appropriate for those who like to travel on a regular basis. Visiting friends and relatives would not be a problem because light weight folding wheelchairs are compact making them easier to transport.

    They even fit in the boot of standard vehicles. Although a folding wheelchair may have less features than any regular lightweight wheelchair, it is still a popular option because of its portability.

    Hopefully, this simple introduction to lightweight wheelchairs will help you to make better choices when deciding on the wheelchair that will best suit your needs.

  • Selling Used Electric Wheelchairs

    Electric wheelchairs help those who would be unable to move or achieve mobility. Electric wheelchairs give the physically disabled the freedom to be able to go anywhere they want or need to. Previously, those who needed to use wheelchairs had to use manual wheelchairs, propelling themselves or have someone push them.

    Using an electric wheelchair, the mobility of the wheelchair user has been simplified to operating a button then moving a joystick, which enables easy and comfortable movement. Compared to a manual wheelchair, electric wheelchairs are different as they are propelled using hydraulics and electricity.

    Unfortunately, electric wheelchairs maybe a fantastic piece of equipment, they can easily cost a few thousand pounds, which isn't something that the average person can easily afford. Most wheelchair showrooms now buy and offer used electric wheelchairs as long they have been kept in good condition.

    As electric wheelchairs are durable items, most people will often change the wheelchair before it starts to wear out and so easily sell the used wheelchair to someone who cannot afford to purchase a brand new electric wheelchair. Due to the initial price of an electric wheelchair it is possible to sell the wheelchair for at least half of what you originally paid and that's a fair trade.

    An important thing to note is the majority of wheelchair showrooms don't buy used wheelchairs that are older than three years old, and the wheelchairs they do buy back are expected to be in pristine condition.

    In order to actually sell your electric wheelchair you will obviously need to look for somewhere that is looking for secondhand wheelchairs. For the most part, you should avoid looking at the classified ads section in the newspaper the majority of time you will only find smaller companies. More often than not, smaller companies are known to be somewhat unprofessional knowing that electric wheelchairs are expensive and pushing the price as low as they can.

    Instead, you should consider using much more professional companies such as working through agencies such as the MDA or the Muscular Dystrophy Association. These particular organisations are able to match those who have specific needs to the wheelchairs they have available, most often through word of mouth or newsletters and other forms of communication.

    The important thing is that they focus on finding a wheelchair user that suits your wheelchair. Your local rehabilitation centre is also a good place to go, as when you contact them, they should look at different sellers and be able to give them therapists they can work with, therefore finding a user that fits the wheelchair better.

    In the long run, always look for serious buyers and you will find someone that will invest in the wheelchair which will help you to buy a new electric wheelchair or invest the money in something else.

  • Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)

    Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)

    Contrary to popular belief, wheelchair users also have the capability to drive their own vehicles. All it takes is the proper equipment specially made for the wheelchair user.

    Should you as a wheelchair user, be interested in driving your own vehicle, consult with an assessment centre near you about adaptive equipment. At the centre, your motoric functions will be evaluated as well as your medical history and road capabilities.

    Once you have been evaluated, specific adaptive equipment will be recommended and you will be trained how to use the new equipment properly.

    Many car manufacturers including Toyota, Ford, and GMC offer the type of equipment wheelchair users need to drive their own vehicles. The most commonly used equipment is a wheelchair lift that lifts the wheelchair and its user into the vehicle.

    Other equipment used are controls that adapt to the wheelchair users driving needs, including controls which control the vehicles accelerator and brakes that can be used by the push of some buttons. Depending on the wheelchair user modifications to the foot pedals or steering can be carried out.

    Apart from the standard modifications, the vehicle itself should be customised specifically for the wheelchair user who will be driving the vehicle. This means that space must be created to accommodate for the users wheelchair or if the user is not seated in the wheelchair whilst driving then space must be there to stow the wheelchair. This space is created by raising the roof as well as lowering the flooring.

    When the wheelchair users is driving the vehicle, it is important to have safety features to make sure that the wheelchair does not move around whilst the vehicle is in motion. For this reason, different types of restraints have been developed.

    Other features such as keyless entries with self opening doors are also available to the wheelchair user, this makes it easier for the user to enter the vehicle.

  • Wheelchair Cooling Pads

    Life is difficult enough in a wheelchair. The pavements are crowded, shops are not wheelchair friendly, and everywhere you look there are stairs. Moving around in a crowded shop or mastering the turns in your own home requires a great deal of energy.

    This can be a hot workout for many. Sitting in a wheelchair can become very uncomfortable when you are exerting yourself on a daily basis. There is now a product that has addressed that issue, a wheelchair cooling pad has been constructed to make life a little easier for wheelchair users.

    A wheelchair cooling pad is just like a heating pad, except its cools instead of warms. The pads work by absorbing body heat that is generated from daily wheelchair activities. When your wheelchair becomes uncomfortably hot from sitting all day wheelchair cooling pads provide relief.

    The typical cooling pad is 18 x 14 ½ inches and will fit nicely under the wheelchair seat cover or in a standard pillowcase. The pads can keep you cool and can also soothe your sore muscles at the same time.

    When wheelchair cooling pads first came out they were inconvenient to use. They relied on water, had to be changed every two weeks and could be very difficult to deal with.

    Todays wheelchair pads are made from a mixture of mirabilite, salt, herbs and water. A waterproof and very flexible material covers them. The material used inside the pad has the ability to absorb the heat from anything that is warmer than itself.

    The pads work for a long time. During this time they absorb the heat providing the wheelchair user a nice and comfortable cooling sensation. When you want the pad to cool again, simply leave it out at room temperature, all of the heat that was absorbed into the pad is released into the air when left out.

    You can use the wheelchair cooling pads over and over again. If you want the pad to disperse heat quicker just leave it in a cooler place. Or for even quicker regeneration put it in the refrigerator for a short period of time.

    The pads come in their own carrying case so they can easily be transported. Cooling pads are not only convenient for wheelchair users. Take them on long trips or whenever you spend a lot of time sitting. Anyone can enjoy the benefits of wheelchair cooling pads.

  • Deciding on Wheelchair Rentals

    Buying a wheelchair can be expensive and you may not even be able to buy the exact wheelchair you need, possibly because of a limited budget or your health insurance provider provides you little or no coverage.

    Good thing there are other options available for you to meet your wheelchair needs. A common alternative is to rent or hire a wheelchair. This is a welcome option for individuals who are unsure or have a non permanent disability.

    Some people only need a wheelchair on a temporary basis for example when a person has an accident causing a short term disability.

    Wheelchair users with a permanent disability can benefit from wheelchair rentals as there are times when a specific wheelchair might be preferred for a short period of time or to test a wheelchair.

    Should an individual be unwilling to commit themselves to a specific wheelchair, renting is a viable option because it is not a financially sound decision to make an investment in a wheelchair that could possibly be replaced due to it not being right for the user.

    No matter what your situation may be, it would be best to consult with a medical practitioner who can make recommendations regarding your best option.

    Wheelchair rentals are common among those wheelchair users who wish to travel and don't want to take their own wheelchairs with them. Renting a wheelchair at your holiday destination could prove to be more convenient and more economical.

    When planning a trip to another country, you will have to pay larger fees to take your own wheelchair with you. It would be more practical to rent one at your destination and arrange for someone to have the wheelchair waiting for you when you arrive at your destination.

    Although many wheelchair users still prefer buying a wheelchair, renting a wheelchair is a very viable option because it provides many benefits including saving large sums of money and having the ability to try out different wheelchairs in order to determine which wheelchair would best suit them.

  • The Wheelchair Rundown

    You may wonder about what exactly the deal is with the most common line of mobility devices known as wheelchairs. First of all, wheelchairs are used, for the most part, by those who have restricted mobility, such as people with weight problems or even heart problems.

    A wheelchair provides freedom of movement for people who have limited or no movement in their legs or are unable to move or simply cannot walk. In many cases wheelchairs are also used by those who can still walk, but are more comfortable and mobile with a wheelchair.

    Todays wheelchairs are not at all like the first wheelchairs, which were made from wood and were highly uncomfortable. Thankfully, modern day wheelchairs are much lighter, made from stronger materials and can withstand a lot of stress.

    Modern wheelchairs come in various models, manual self propelled and attandant or care wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs being propelled by the wheelchair user or by an attndant and attendant wheelchairs being pushed by the carer.

    Electric wheelchairs are now another opportunity for wheelchair users, these particular wheelchairs are battery powered and operated by a convenient joystick for the user to utilize in order to move. This provides much more freedom than a normal wheelchair does, and this way, that freedom doesn't come at the price of your comfort. Operating an electric wheelchair is much easier, smoother and less exhaustive than that of a manual wheelchair.

    The biggest concern that one must keep in mind when deciding to purchase a wheelchair is actually not the fault of the wheelchair, but actually with the design of streets and business establishments.

    Even though accessibility laws have been put in place to ensure that businesses, streets, and buildings need to be accessible for wheelchairs, the fact is that this law has had minimal implementation as of yet.

    Many places, establishments and transport facilities are still not wheelchair accessible which makes it very difficult for the wheelchair user. Thankfully, one particular innovation is that designers are looking to make wheelchairs a little more accessible for narrow passages.

    Of course, wheelchairs are not the only tools on the market for you to use, there are other forms of mobility products to choose from. Scooters, walking aids, tri walkers are all available and can help with your day to day mobility.

  • Wheelchairs In General

    For centuries, wheelchairs have been helping people with their mobility. However, the wheelchair was originally developed for the sole purpose of assisting physically disabled individuals to move around. With the increasing technology put into the development of wheelchairs the wheelchairs standard function changed.

    Today, wheelchairs are not only considered as mobility equipment but also a means for disabled individuals to express themselves. People can learn more about the wheelchair users because of the customisation and wide range of choices now available.

    The most significant development was in the 16th century when a sketch was made portraying Spain's King Phillip using a chair with wheels and rests for the arms and feet. This drawing still exists today and proves to be the oldest artifact linked to wheelchairs.

    Although very similar to the modern wheelchair, this ancient sketch showed something more similar to highchairs that are used by infants. By 1665, a man named Stephan Farfler was documented to have invented the first self propelled vehicle that resembles today's bike.

    After significant improvements, the modern wheelchair began to take shape and by the 19th century, push rims, sling seats and backrests were part of the wheelchairs standard features. Throughout the 20th century various types of wheelchairs were developed., this led to today's choices which include :

    • Foldable Wheelchairs
    • Motorised Wheelchairs
    • Sports Wheelchairs
    • Lightweight or Aluminium Wheelchairs

    For the past twenty years, wheelchairs have been built to be lighter and more efficient. It is now also possible to customise each feature (from frames to suspension systems) to suit the preferences of the wheelchair user. Depending on their lifestyle, wheelchair users may customise their wheelchairs according to physical needs, special performance, styles and images they would like to portray.

    When it comes to customising to suit special needs wheelchair users can choose from simply modifying standard wheelchair features or designing the wheelchair from scratch. For this reason, even triple amputees can use wheelchairs because they can choose dual hand rims that will allow them to have total control of the wheelchair using only one arm.

    For mothers who have this feature on their wheelchairs, they are able to care for and enjoy their infants more because they also have the option to further customise and add extended seating allowing them to keep their babies with them at all times. Apart from this, the wheelchair frame can also be customised according to the body frame of its user.

    It doesn't matter if the wheelchair user is short or tall, they dont have to make do with standard wheelchair features as wheelchairs can be sized according to the wheelchair user. The user will find the wheelchair more comfortable to use if it is built for their specific needs. No matter what special needs a physically disabled individual may have, wheelchair manufacturers can address them.

    When individualisation comes into play, users can customise their wheelchairs according to their personal tastes and lifestyles. Active wheelchair users often find it better to have customised wheelchairs so they can do what they want without feeling limited in their movement. Even sportsmen can modify their wheelchairs to suit their athletic needs. For this reason, wheelchair bound tennis players have modified wheelchairs with features such as reverse tilt-seating that help them use full arm and body strength whilst playing.

    Wheelchair dancing has come about due to modifications on a wheelchairs centre of gravity to accommodate graceful moves without compromising the full functionality of the wheelchairs. Those suffering from limited control of their motorics can still dance if they have special handles that allow them to have their able-bodied dance partners assist them.

    Although wheelchair customising is generally carried out by athletes, other wheelchair users customise their wheelchairs to improve comfort and daily use. Custom wheelchair frames can be made to order so that they fit the wheelchair users body type exactly. Furthermore, many prefer to customise the weight of their wheelchairs to balance both the wheelchairs performance and the wheelchairs capacity. The majority of standard or commercialised wheelchairs are built with adjustable features for easy customisation.

    The personality of the wheelchair user is reflected in the users wheelchair, not only with the look of the wheelchair but also with the style. Today, wheelchairs can be custom made with colours and designs chosen by the wheelchair users. Apart from these, spoke guards, lighted casters, rims, and spinners can also be customised. Today, users can purchase leather bags, zip-ons, and wheelchair frame covers that can match the style of their wheelchairs.

    Because of major developments in assistive devices, physically disabled people are able to not only become functional but also feel they are limitless in terms of their place and role in society. However, even with these recent developments, wheelchair users would not be able to do what they can today without public access and financial capabilities.

    Thanks to the progressive action of society in creating ramps, special amenities, facilities, and infrastructure, the life of a wheelchair users has become somewhat easier. Some countries have even authored laws to help physically disabled individuals. Even countries without such laws have helped wheelchair users to some extent. If not because of such progressive considerations, wheelchairs could not have developed into what they are today.

  • Wheelchairs & Neuromuscular Disorders

    Whoever faces neuromuscular disorders has their own individual requirements which are dynamic in nature and constantly change with progression.

    Any neuromuscular disorder can prove to be a major restriction to a person and can cause tremendous dependency on others. Even with basic daily activities the person will need help from others. One of the aspects that can be worked upon is the mobility of the person. If this aspect is supervised appropriately then a neuromuscular disorder affected person can move about independently.

    For those who suffer from a neuromuscular disorder a wheelchair is probably an absolute must. If the wheelchair is provided at an appropriate stage it can prevent bodily deformities from occurring. If there is a delay in providing a wheelchair, the delay could possibly cause permanent deformity and can result in an excessive financial waste, whereby the money could have been used for other mobility products or general improvements. In addition, the occupant will feel even more helpless and this can have adverse impact on the health of the person.

    By providing the right kind of wheelchair in the initial stages a person with neuromuscular disorder can improve overall movement and posture. Besides this, it will lessen the work of the attendant. Fatigue and social reclusive behavior can be prevented by using a wheelchair which helps to prevent solitude and depression.

    The issues about using a wheelchair can differ from one person to another depending on the age group of the person. For a young person it maybe about using the wheelchair to go out with friends, while for children it could be about going out with the family. Adults with a neuromuscular condition can with the help of a wheelchair continue work and have a career.

    Since each persons requirements are so unique wheelchairs need to be bought, modified and adjusted accordingly. Thus, it needs to be an iterative process with several reviews where problems are taken into consideration.

    These issues also need to be solved as quick as possible. The occupant of the wheelchair needs to have access to a contact person in whichever wheelchair service section he or she is getting the wheelchair from.

  • The Basics of Electric Wheelchairs

    Wheelchairs are wheeled mobility devices that allow a disabled, injured or sick person to move about easily. These devices are essentially just a chair with wheels. It is sometimes required for people who are advanced in age, paralyzed or have ailments that hinder their ability to move around.

    The two main kinds of wheelchairs are manual and electric wheelchairs. Electric powered wheelchairs or simply electric wheelchairs are motor driven and are powered by batteries. Such wheelchairs are very helpful for those with disabilities that leave them with limited mobility. Most electric wheelchairs can be controlled using simple joysticks. Furthermore, electric wheelchairs are very agile in that a wheelchair user can rotate 360 degrees on the same spot.

    Electric wheelchairs can be further classified in to three types of drive layouts: rear wheel, front wheel and mid wheel. The most prevalent and quickest type of electric wheelchair is the rear wheel model. This type is generally more suited for use indoors especially on smooth and paved surfaces.

    While slower than the rear wheel types, the front wheel driven wheelchairs are more agile and are easier to maneuver. Finally, mid wheel driven wheelchairs are even more agile than the front wheel models and can maneuver through turns very well. A great number of electric wheelchairs available on the market today are rear wheel driven models but front wheel driven wheelchairs are slowly gaining popularity.

    Aside from the drive layouts, electric wheelchairs also differ in many other ways. Electric wheelchairs can also be categorized by weight, from the easily transportable lightweight models to the heavy duty variant. Specialized models such as pediatric wheelchairs and off road electric wheelchairs are also available.

    To give wheelchair buyers more options when choosing an electric wheelchair, various features and new advances in technology have been integrated into the latest models. For example; spring type, pneumatic and hydraulic suspension technologies are now finding their way in to wheelchairs today.

    Other features that give buyers greater customizability are height and angle adjustable or removable armrests and footrests, removable or reclining backrests, and manual or automatic braking systems. Wheelchair accessories such as food and drink trays, crutch holders and compartments for various nick knacks are also available as attachments to your basic electric wheelchairs.

    Because of the different types of electric wheelchairs available and their many options, the price range of such devices is understandably very wide. Your most basic, no-frills electric wheelchair can go for an average low of £1,000 while the more feature-packed and technologically advanced models can be bought for prices well above £15,000.

    When faced with such a wide price range, it is important for buyers to consider the wheelchair users exact needs and adjust their budget accordingly. Most buyers will find that a budget of between £800 and £3,000 for a reliable electric wheelchair is reasonable and will buy them a good model fit for the needs of the user. As always when making such an important purchase, it is highly recommended that electric wheelchairs be bought from trusted and licensed dealers and retailers.

  • Showering with Wheelchairs

    Wheelchair users often have a hard time showering and this is the reason why shower wheelchairs have become so popular. Often, those who do not have shower wheelchairs need assistance in order to bathe properly. Through shower wheelchairs, physically disabled individuals can feel more independent and have more privacy while bathing.

    Although shower chairs are already available, shower wheelchairs are preferred because they allow users to travel to and from the shower. Furthermore, shower wheelchairs have added features such as foldable arm rests or even seat openings for better accessibility for all parts of the body. Most often, they are made of stainless steel but many have been developed in plastic. The wheelchairs also have seats made of some form of waterproof material.

    Shower wheelchairs are very useful, but the shower must be able to accommodate the wheelchair. An ideal shower stall or shower area would be where the wheelchair user can directly enter it without any restrictions. Grab bars should be situated in a position that is easily accessable for the wheelchair user and the shower head if static should be at a sensible height - if the shower head is not fixed then it should be within reach of the wheelchair user.

    To be truly safe, the wheelchair user's shower stall must be specifically made for his use. If not, adjustments must be made to make everything within reach and have grab bars and other features to accommodate the weight of the wheelchair user who will need them for support.

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