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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Wheelchair News

  • Weighing Scales for Wheelchair Users

    More often than not, physically disabled individuals who use wheelchairs find it hard to keep track of their weight because they are unable to stand upright independently on standard weighing scales. Fortunately, weighing scales for wheelchair users have now been developed.

    Wheelchair scales have ramps to allow the user to simply wheel him/herself onto the scale. Once the user and his/her wheelchair are in place, the scale should be able to give an accurate reading.

    The wheelchair without the user should be weighed separately. Subtracting the resulting figure to the earlier reading of both the wheelchair and the user will result in the accurate weight of the wheelchair user.

    Individuals often do not choose to purchase their own wheelchair scales because they can be quite expensive and they also take up a lot of space. For this reason, most clinics and hospitals make sure that they are available for the benefit of wheelchair users. Being weighed in medical centres is also ideal because assistance can be provided.

    In many medical centres, wheelchair scales can be seen in a variety of types including digital, beam, portable or stationary. Because stationary scales are thought to be more sturdy and durable, they are most often used by medical centres.

    Most wheelchair scales have rubber surfaces to ensure that the wheelchair users will not fall off or will not move around while they are being weighed. Sometimes, they also have additional features for better measurements of the user's health.

    Standard wheelchair scales can often carry very heavy loads, however individual scales need to be checked for the maximum load capacity. Should you be among those considering purchasing wheelchair scales for personal use, make sure that the scales you want to buy can hold both you and your wheelchair at the same time.

    You may also want to ensure that it can carry heavier loads in case you gain weight or you decide at a later stage to purchase a heavier wheelchair.

  • Wheelchair Sporting Activities

    • Extreme Wheelchair Mountain Biking
      Rough Riderz Downhill Club is devoted to both disabled and able-bodied off-road mountain bike riders who'd like to participate in (or get more information on) the UK's newest MTB scene.

    • London Wheelchair Rugby Club
      LWRC is one of 8 Wheelchair Rugby Clubs based in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland playing in the Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby Coloplast National League.

    • Welsh Wheelchair Rugby
      The WWRA exists to promote and develop the sport of Wheelchair Rugby throughout the Principality of Wales.

    • Cerebral Palsy Sport
      CP Sport is a registered charity working incredibly hard to raise the vital Donate Online to CP Sport funds needed to continue improving the lives of hundreds of people with physical disabilities through sport.

    • Wheelchair Tennis
      Still one of the fastesr growing wheelchair sports in the world, wheelchair tennis integrates very easily with the able-bodied game since it can be played on any regular tennis court.

  • Wheelchair Sport Organisations & Associations

    Wheelchair Sport Organisations & Associations

    • International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
      The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. The IPC organizes the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and serves as the International Federation for nine sports, for which it supervises and co-ordinates the World Championships and other competitions.

    • WheelPower - British Wheelchair Sport
      WheelPower provides accessible facilities at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the "home of Wheelchair Sport" including an Athletics Arena, Sports Hall, Indoor Bowls Centre, Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre. On site accommodation in the Olympic Lodge and the Olympic Village is suitable for a wide range of disabilities and is complemented by meeting and conference facilities and catering for events of all sizes.

    • Disability Sport Events
      DSE creates opportunities for participation in sport for people with all impairments. We are the number one events agency, providing events in various sports.

    • English Federation of Disability Sport
      EFDS is the national body responsible for developing sport for disabled people in England. EFDS work closely with five National Disability Sports Organisations (NDSOs) recognised by Sport England to develop sporting opportunities for the 11 million disabled people in England.

    • British Blind Sport
      British Blind Sport (BBS) is a national registered charity based in Leamington Spa. Since its beginnings as a registered charity in 1976, British Blind Sport has become the leading voice for visually impaired people (VI) in the world of sport and leisure, both at home and internationally.

    • Wheelchair Football Association
      The WFA are recognised by the FA (Football Association) as the sports governing body and have their full backing. The WFA are currently in negotiations with a number of other Disability Sports Organisations, including the British Wheelchair Sports Association, in order to move the sport forward.

    • Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association
      The Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association is the governing body of the sport in the UK. The Association employs a full-time development officer. Information regarding the whereabouts of local clubs can be obtained from this website or the GBWBA Office, who can give help and advice to any individual or group wishing to develop their own clubs/teams.

    • Disability Sport Wales
      The Federation of Disability Sport Wales (FDSW) is a pan-disability National Governing Body of Sport Which aims to promote and develop quality sports opportunities for disabled people throughout Wales.

    • British Wheelchair Archery Association
      The Association is the reference point for all wheelchair users, for those wishing to try archery , by putting them in touch with local clubs.

    • Federation Internationale D'escrime
      The FIE is the organization which governs fencing throughout the world. It is based in the Olympic capital Lausanne and currently counts 127 member federations

    • Riding For The Disabled Association
      RDA is a federation of Member Groups, which are dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities, through the provision of opportunities for riding and/or carriage driving.

    • Disability Martial Arts Association
      The association is a wide ranging support network for people with all types of disabilities. They have a fundamental belief that people come first and disability is second

    • British Wheelchair Racing Association
      The BWRA was formed in 1989 by athletes who wished to promote wheelchair racing for all in Great Britain. At the present moment there are 116 members from all over the British Isles

    • British Wheelchair Bowls Association
      The BWBA are there to assist wheelchair users to get the most out of the sport, whether they are just starting out or are experienced bowlers. They help members to become fully integrated into their local clubs and playing in league games, matches and competitions at club and higher levels.

    • British Wheelchair Pool Players Association
      The BWPPA was formed to enable wheelchair players to participate in the American disciplines of 9 Ball and 8 Ball pool. BWPPA is the recognised governing body of American pool for Great Britain.

    • British Wheelchair Curling Association
      The BWCA was founded in January 2004. The aim of the Association is to develop, organise and plan all aspects of preparation, selection and competition to prepare teams for the Paralympic Games.

  • Available Mobility Products

    Many people have a need for mobility devices because of a birth condition, some unfortunate accident or disease, or simply because of old age. Although some might need them temporarily, others require mobility products permanently. No matter how long they are required to use them, it cannot be denied that these products enhance the quality of the lives of its users.

    The most common types of mobility product are wheelchairs. These come in two main categories; manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs. The manual type can be controlled by users through an outer rim attached to the wheel while the electric wheelchair can be controlled using a joystick or some buttons. This is made possible by its motorised technology allowing it to be powered by rechargeable batteries or wheelchair power packs.

    Another common type of mobility product are scooters. These come either with three or four wheels. Although scooters with three wheels often provide more leg room, many prefer four wheels because they are known to be more stable enhancing safety. These mobility scooters can come in two types including the Class 2 on-road and the Class 2 on-pavement.

    With these forms of mobility products, it is important for you to know how to decide which best suits your needs. To aid you in figuring this out, you must first identify your requirements as each type would be better suited to specific lifestyles.

    What is the best method to decide which mobility device is be best for you?

    • If you find the need to be very mobile, you will most likely use your mobility device for extended periods of time. Should this be the case, it may be best for you to decide on buying a wheelchair as its support features for your torso and extremities will make you feel more comfortable.

    • If you have limited upper-body strength, choose between scooters or electric wheelchairs so you would not have to manually control your mobility device.

    • If you often feel weak and find difficulty in sitting up independently, it is recommended that you avoid scooters that these require upright postures and a considerable amount of strength.

    • If your lifestyle requires you to be traveling on uneven roads or surfaces, try getting a manual wheelchair as scooters and electric wheelchairs have difficulty being stable in uneven terrain.

    • If you like to travel to far places involving the use of trains or airplanes, it may be best for you to choose a wheelchair with a foldable feature so you can easily store it while in transit.

    Now that you know what type is best for you, the next step is finding a model that suits your preferences. In deciding this, consider the places where you would be using your mobility product and try taking measurements. You at least have to make sure that the model you would like will fit through your home's doorways.

    Also think about what other features you may find useful. Some enjoy having headrests and other extra features for added comfort. Also consider what your insurance policy covers.

    Although you may gain many tips simply by reading, it is recommended for you to seek the help of experts. The choice of which mobility product to purchase will definitely affect your life tremendously so make sure you get quality advice from those who really know about these things and where to buy them.

  • Batteries for Wheelchairs

    Wheelchair batteries don't work the same as car batteries. While car batteries are needed to start the vehicle's engine and to run the electric components, wheelchair batteries work for as long as the wheelchair is in use or as long as the battery has enough power. Wheelchair batteries have to be recharged at least once a day, depending on the wheelchair usage.

    Wheelchair batteries are commonly known as deep cycle batteries. Unlike common rechargeable batteries, deep cycle batteries will not be damaged when they are completely discharged. However, it is still advisable to keep them charged at all times.

    The good thing about wheelchair batteries is that they are convenient for the wheelchair user as they can be plugged in for charging during the night when the wheelchair user doesnt need the wheelchair. Charging the batteries overnight isnt unsafe as the batteries cannot be overcharged.

    Depending on how often the wheelchair(s) is used, wheelchair batteries can last a very long time as long as correct precautions and re-charging times are carried out correctly. There are also tell-tale signs the wheelchair user can look out for to determine whether or not the batteries are weakening so they will know when a replacement is due.

    Wheelchair batteries or power packs are often sold in pairs and can range in price anywhere from £80 to £200. The price depends on what type of battery is needed and what type of wheelchair it will be used on, generaly the larger the battery capacity the more expensive it is.

    There are two main types of wheelchair batteries:

    1. Wet batteries:
      Wet wheelchair batteries get their name as they need distilled water in order to function. The water must be checked in regular intervals, this may be a difficult task if the wheelchair user does not have assistance.

    2. Gel batteries:
      Gel wheelchair batteries do not use water. Gel batteries are also preferred by those who travel with their wheelchair especially in airports as airport security does not allow wet batteries to be in place while on the plane.

    Compared to wet batteries, gel batteries are known to have 10% - 20% less power making them less appealing for those who travel great distances using their wheelchairs.

  • The Benefits Of Wheelchair Maintenance

    Personal mobility equipment needs to be maintained properly. Special care is required for wheelchairs because this is the equipment you rely on the most. Knowing how to properly care for your wheelchair will not only allow you to use it for a long time, more importantly wheelchair maintenance ensures that it will not cause you injuries.

    Because wheelchairs can be costly, it is wise for you to give it special care. Should any wheelchair problems arise, you will probably be the first person to notice it. For this reason, it is imperative for you to know what to do or at least who to ask for help when parts need to be fixed or replaced. Manual wheelchairs are easier to maintain and may be cared for using common tools whereas electric wheelchairs need professional attention.

    You should have a regular routine for preventive wheelchair maintenance. Use a rag or some form of cloth to clean your wheelchair on a regular basis. Some wheelchair users use car wax to make the task of cleaning the frame easier. Inspecting your wheelchair for possible day to day damage should be part of your routine. For electric wheelchairs, it is important to test the brakes and anti-rollback functions from on a regular basis. Furthermore, it is important to regularly check parts that may need adjustments. For example, all nuts and bolts must be secure at all times so it is recommended that they are tightened at least once a month.

    For those with limited upper-body functions, assistance from others to perform these regular maintenance tasks may be important.

    Most wheelchairs come with wheelchair guides or manuals, it is important to read through these before performing maintenance tasks. The manual should inform its reader about warranty policies, wheelchair usage and wheelchair maintenance. The guide should also contain instructions on how to properly care for your wheelchair and which tools should be used when maintaining the wheelchair.

    Having a set of tools specifically for your wheelchair will prove to be a worthwhile investment as they may lower your maintenance costs in the long run. Essentials include different wrenches, maybe a set of Allen wrenches, a spoke wrench, and an adjustable wrench. Screwdrivers and repair kits may also be practical. Having them in one place may also be essential in case an emergency arises.

    Proper care and maintenance will surely make you feel more secure about using your wheelchair. Although inspecting and fixing it yourself may do the trick, it is still important to have an expert examine it from time to time.

  • The Costs of Being Disabled

    Physically disabled individuals who were born with their condition may have already become used to some degree of social discrimination. However, employers and the physically able public have become more progressive in thinking and their attitude towards the physically disabled.

    This has led to better accommodation and considerations allowing wheelchair users to be more mobile and become more independent. Although these changes have taken place, it can still become quite hard for the disabled to move around in many public areas. For this reason, assistive devices including electric wheelchairs have become necessities.

    Although the difficulties of physically disabled individuals have been acknowledged, it is difficult to understand the financial damage it can cause unless it is personaly experienced by the person him/herself or his/her family. With necessities that include mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, special furniture, walking aids, specific personal care goods, having a physical disability can easily cost anyone a fortune. None of these are considered luxury goods and they are all costs physically disabled individuals incur.

    Although financial assistance may be available, the assistance often cannot cover the total cost of goods physically disabled individuals require. Because many do not have personal finances to cover all expenses, many have had to decide on having one necessity over another. Families have also had to make certain sacrifices to make the budget fit. This may not be easy especially if the physically disabled in the family quickly grow out of their assistive devices or if they like to enhance their lives through sports that can cause rapid wear and tear to their equipment and quickly need replacements.

    There are assistive devices that allow life to become easier. Because of the costs involved, many have no choice but to make do with what they have. In the case of temporarily disabled individuals, many feel as if they are better off suffering than taking such a huge financial hit for assistive devices that they are not sure they will be using for very long. Of course this is not an ideal situation. When it comes to the mobility needs of individuals, all should have enough money to make their lives easier to live.

    Because of the high costs involved, many physically disabled individuals have learned to purchase items in bulk. For all obvious reasons, this involves lower costs than if they would purchase in retail. Since they are able to save a considerable amount of money, they are able to afford more and better assistive devices. Others have even chosen to purchase seconhand mobility devives especially when their need involves something very pricey. This can be a good decision but in most cases the devices are not built or designed for the individuals needs and specifications.

    Those that have even had to deal with extensive financial strain are families who have disabled children. The reason for incurring more costs is that the children quickly grow out of their assistive devices and they therefore cannot have long term use of what they currently have. Even those who are temporarily disabled find themselves without any use of high-priced items they bought for recovery simply because their needs were only temporary.

    Assistive devices are often suited to their users and their environment, many who have the need to change residences find that their devices no longer fit in their new home. This has led to a wide selection of quality secondhand products that many others may still have use for. Secondhand mobility products can be purchased at much lower prices and the benefit they will get will be the same as if they purchased brand new goods.

    When looking to purchase secondhand mobility products, ask questions about its previous owners to better evaluate the condition of the product and to evaluate if the previous owner had a similiar ailment as yourself. Such questions should involve how it was previously used, whether warranties still apply, what services have been made, and what parts have been replaced.

    When buying assistive devices, whether new or secondhand, it is always better to avoid rushing into a purchase so as to better evaluate the product and others that are available in the market. Taking time when purchasing a secondhand mobility product can pay off as you can research the items and you may well find exactly the product that suits all of your requirements at a cheaper price.

    Although being physically disabled can be costly, many options have allowed individuals to lessen the financial strains. Local foundations, government grants, and insurance covers also help in a significant manner.

  • Helping The Physically Disabled Through Donations

    Those who are or have been physically disabled will surely understand how important it is for those with mobility needs to have their own wheelchairs. However, many of those who really need wheelchairs often do not have the financial capability to purchase one on their own. For this reason, wheelchair donations have become more and more important.

    In todays society organisations around the globe have been exerting much effort to allow individuals with physical disabilities to have access to their own wheelchair. These people have been very grateful as they could not have such privileges if not for the organisations that were willing to lend a hand.

    By lending a hand through direct wheelchair donations or providing even a little amount of cash, you can be sure to enhance someone's life somewhere around the world.

    There is an estimated figure of 100 million physically disabled individuals around the globe. The causes include :

    • Birth defects
    • Accidents
    • Diseases
    • War Injuries
    • or old age

    Everyday adults and children alike loose limbs because of landmines and other explosive devices left behind from war. A report published by the World Health Organisation stated that over 29,000 individuals are injured by landmines each year. The report also noted that this estimate only comes from reported cases.

    No matter how people become disabled, they should not be denied of their right to go where they please and they all should have access to wheelchairs of their own. The greatest need for wheelchairs is in developing countries where this need is also expected to increase by 22% over the coming decade. In these areas where few have the financial capability to buy wheelchairs, many have become bedridden.

    Others also use their arms to carry their weight and drag their bodies across the floor. These people have the right to their mobility no matter what their physical conditions may be. Though they cannot enjoy that right on their own, people like you can help them. There are multiple international organisations that accept donations and distribute wheelchairs all across the globe. These foundations pool donations and use it to purchase and deliver wheelchairs in bulk.

    There are also other non-profit organisations that provide similar services. In contrast to the services that the Wheelchair Foundations provide, some organisations allow distribution of wheelchairs to individuals. These groups use donations to refurbish used wheelchairs and give each one to those in need.

    All these non-profit organisations and many others out there need your help so they can continue to provide aid to those in need. While you may also choose to help the individuals in your immediate environment, donating to such organisations will help those in need in a larger scale.

  • Foldable or Folding Wheelchairs

    Folding wheelchairs are perfect for physically disabled individuals. These types of wheelchairs can be folded for easy transportation making it simpler for its users to travel. Among the significant benefits of folding wheelchairs is that they can be transported without having to remove its wheels.

    Folding wheelchairs come in many different varieties and some are even designed especially for patients in hospitals or in nursing homes.

    Wheelchairs, in general, come in many forms. There are the lightweight, ultra-light, heavy-duty, stroller, and even folding wheelchairs. Today, a wide range of folding wheelchairs are available and many of them are affordable. Although people have the option to customise their own wheelchairs, the standard features include handgrips made of plastic, upholstered seating and backrests, armrests with padding, front caster outriggers, and solid tyres.

    People can also choose to have air-supported backrests, integrated seat sling straps, and even caster angles. Seats, backrests, and armrests can even be adjustable according to the height of the user. The axles can also be variable with quick-release functions for better maneuverability. When it comes to the wheelchairs footrests, users can opt for either swing-aways or lift-offs. Side guards can either be made of fabric or solid material.

    When it comes to the frame, users can choose from either anodized or polished material that may even come with customised upholstery. Extra-wide seats can even be made-to-order. For stroller-type foldable wheelchairs, head wings that are padded, seat depth with snap buttons, and wedges made of foam can be ordered.

    Prices are heavily dependent on the type of folding wheelchair to be purchased. Although they may sometimes be pricey, buyers can get good deals from manufacturers that offer online services, zero shipping costs, and money-back guarantees.

  • Independence With Shower Chairs

    For quite a while now, shower chairs have existed to aid the elderly and those who have physical disabilities. Since they were introduced, they have continued to help people gain their independence by requiring little or no assistance when taking showers. Whether people have mobility needs due to physical disabilities, lack of balance, or debilitating diseases, shower chairs have become an appealing option. In today's society the trend to have large or oversized bathrooms has allowed further development of shower chairs.

    Some of the most favoured shower chairs are made of strong plastic as these are most economical. This type of shower chair is lightweight, durable, and strong. Many plastic shower seats are foldable and easy to store. Making sure that the shower chairs are installed or placed securely can assure you of both safety and convenience. There are shower chairs that are more like stools while others feature including support for the back. Although shower chairs with backrests often take up more space they are preferred by those who have back problems.

    When choosing a shower chair you need to evaluate your needs to decide on which type would suit you best. Rubberized contacts or other non-slip material should be used on the bottom of the chair's legs to ensure your safety. However, there are other things to consider, for instance, you may want a shower chair with padding if you don't feel too comfortable sitting on hard surfaces for the length of time it takes for you to shower. These padded shower chairs use a vinyl cover due to its water-resistant property.

    Some shower chairs feature wheels to accommodate those with mobility problems. For added safety, some shower chairs have features that lock the wheels to make it stationary while in the shower whereas others can be converted into stools when the wheels are not needed. This allows you to roll into the shower and sit comfortably while you bathe.

    Shower chairs may range in price depending on the make and model you wish to purchase. While some can cost around £25, others can cost as much as a few hundred pounds. Furthermore, there are water-resistant wheelchairs that can be used both in and out of the shower allowing you to purchase one mobility product for use wherever you may want to go.

    Because of the existence of shower chairs, disabled people require little or no assistance when showering. The usage of these products has also allowed the elderly to avoid nursing homes which not only allows them to stay in their own home but keep their independence and save much money as well.

    Although the idea of shower chairs may sound trivial, these continue to change the lives of people who have come to be more independent individuals. They can now feel more dignified as they gain the ability to bathe themselves. Furthermore, it has allowed them more privacy and more time by themselves.

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