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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Wheelchair News

  • Public Access for Wheelchair Users

    Those who find it hard to walk, whether due to permanent disabilities or temporary illnesses and injuries, have no choice but to use wheelchairs or other assistive devices to keep them mobile. Wheelchairs are currently considered to be the most popular type of mobility device.

    In many major countries, laws have been created that require public buildings to be constructed to accommodate wheelchair users. Public buildings are required to install facilities to accomodate for wheelchair users such as wheelchair ramps, wheelchair lifts and automatic opening doors. Furthermore, many amenities like sinks have been installed lower so that seated individuals can still make use of them without difficulty. Grab bars and large stall spaces can also be found in many bathrooms.

    In addition, hospitals have been adding wheelchair ramps across all floors. Ramps are even designed and installed carefully to ensure that wheelchair users will not find them to steep. For multi-storey buildings, wheelchair ramps can be found in most of the lower floors and lifts are made to be accessible to wheelchair users.

    Smaller portable wheelchair ramps are also available in some buildings that were built before legislation for accommodating wheelchair users. Even public transport has been more accommodating as wheelchair ramps that are portable are now featured in many train and bus stations. Airports have done the same.

    Regular lifts that are often found in small buildings or less frequented areas can generally accommodate 6 to 8 people at a time. However, larger building and public areas that are frequented by larger amounts of people have the need to make use of much larger lifts because wheelchair users must have enough space to manoeuvre their mobility devices in and out of the lift.

    Because buildings and public facilities have become more accommodating to wheelchair users, physically disabled individuals are now able to enjoy more areas in their neighbourhood. Although much more can be done in many different areas, the changes that have been made are enormous.

  • Wheelchairs for Independent Lifestyles

    Today's wheelchairs don't only provide mobility to individuals who are unable to walk or have difficulty walking. They allow users to move around and maintain more active and independent lifestyles and to project their personal styles or individuality. Current wheelchairs coupled with appropriate wheelchair accessories can liberate the user from dependence on otherse. To meet a myriad of users' needs, the two general types of wheelchairs in the market now come in many variations.

    Current manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs perform diverse functions and come in different sizes, shapes and colours to suit individual preferences and physical needs. Additionally, variations in equipment such as wheelchair lifts, ramps etc make more areas and activities accessible to the wheelchair user.

    For those users with upper body strength, the more economical solution is the manual wheelchair. The majority of manual wheelchairs easily fold and fit into small storage areas such as the boot of a car, under the stairs etc, making it the optimal solution when the wheelchair is not being used.

    If the user has neither the strength nor the ability to operate a manual wheelchair or if operating one may aggravate their medical condition, an electric wheelchair is most probably the better option. An electric wheelchair has the benefit that its propulsion is carried out using an electric motor, making it ideal for users that are unable to propel manual wheelchairs themselves.

    Using a joystick or other form of wheelchair controller, the user can change the direction, speed and other wheelchair functions without physical exertion. In order to choose the electric wheelchair control system best suited to the user's physiological state, test drive a number of electric wheelchairs before deciding which to purchase. As with manual wheelchairs, Electric wheelchairs are also customisable to address the user's specific physical needs and taste.

    Compared to manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs are more costly owing to their complex functions and construction. However, electric wheelchairs have greater manoeuverability and superior suspension systems. Moreover, the ease of use and variety of functions provided with an electric wheelchair give the user a greater measure of independence.

    Rapid technological advancements give wheelchair users ever increasing capacity to participate in different wheelchair sports such as downhill racing, wheelchair skiing, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis, etc. Each wheelchair sport involves a chair customised to meet the particular requirements of the sport (speed, agility, etc.).

    Regardless which wheelchair and wheelchair accessories are selected by any individual, all prescribed precautions and safety measures must be conscientiously followed.

  • Wheelchairs for Temporary Disability or Travel

    Renting wheelchairs is an appealing choice not only for those who suffer from temporary disabilities but for wheelchair users that wish to travel. There are an extensive amount of companies that provide wheelchair rentals. Through local services or over the internet, people interested in wheelchair rental services can can choose from manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs and scooters.

    If you only need assistance in moving around a small area like your house or office, you may have no use for wheelchair rentals. For those who travel considerable lengths a wheelchair may be a good option to provide comfort, convenience, and less strain. Should you be among these people, ask your physician to prescribe a wheelchair. This way your insurance provider should cover all or some of the costs. If you'd like to rent a wheelchair, you may want to check nearby hospitals and clinics. Telephone directories may also have listings on wheelchair rental service providers.

    If you need access to public transportation while having temporary injuries and limited mobility, check if the vehicles that you use are accessible for a wheelchair. If the standard vehicles arent wheelchair accessible then contact your local transport agency and they will be able to help.

    If you would like to go on a vacation and travel by airoplane, check for wheelchair rental services specifically for those who travel, in general your own or rented wheelchair will be placed in the hold of the plane and for the waiting period and boarding time you will be provided with a wheelchair from your travel partner. Wheelchair rental providers will be more than happy to assist you and make your vacation as comfortable as possible.

    The majority of wheelchair service providers will meet you at the entrance with your chosen wheelchair ready for you to use it. Some wheelchair rental service providers also provide you with other similar services such as car rentals which are wheelchair and scooter accessible.

    On cruise ships, mobility products should also be available for rent. Some cruise lines may even provide specific amenities suitable for those with physical disabilities. These may include wheelchair accessible rooms. Make sure that you have a room with a door wide enough for you to enter with your wheelchair.

    These rooms should also have light switches that are within your reach. Also, the bathroom should have handrails and wheel in showers for you convenience. If not, check another cruise line. Furthermore, make sure that the cruise you would like to go one has staff that are available to assist you whenever you need them to.

  • 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.

  • Benefits of a Customised Wheelchair

    Custom wheelchairs have provided a massive improvement to the quality of life of wheelchair bound physically disabled people. A custom wheelchair is designed with each individual wheelchair user in mind. A custom built wheelchair accommodates the individual's special and unique disability and also provides them with a bespoke wheelchair that is individualised reflecting their personality and taste.

    A custom wheelchair can become much more than just a form of transport. The wheelchair provides physically disabled people with more comfort and helps the wheelchair user to use their wheelchair effectively. Every physically disabled individual has his or her special needs, sometimes it is the attandant or carer that requires the special function(s) of the custom wheelchair. Whatever the need, the custom wheelchair is built to help the wheelchair user.

    Users who are confined to a wheelchair and have lost one of their arms, will find that a custom wheelchair can benefit them. A custom wheelchair can be designed to allow this person to propel him or herself without having to depend on someone else to push the wheelchair.

    Wheelchair users that use their wheelchair in a variety of situations and locations can have a custom wheelchair built to meet these needs. Outdoor enthusiasts will be happy to know that a custom wheelchair can be built that will allow them to move more easily over rougher terrain.

    Sports enthusiasts are can have a wheelchair designed with their particular sport in mind. There are a variety of custom wheelchairs available for most sporting activities.

    Listed below are just a few wheelchair sports that use custom wheelchairs:

    • Wheelchair Tennis
    • Wheelchair Rugby
    • Wheelchair Basketball
    • Wheelchair Racing
    • Wheelchair Skiing

    It is possible for a custom wheelchair to be a fashion statement. Here are some elements that are fully customisable:

    • Wheelchair Colour:
      Almost any colour can be used when designing a wheelchair.

    • Fabric:
      The fabric used to create the seat, backrest and cushion can be chosen.

    • Wheelchair Spokes:
      Wheelchair wheels can have individualised spokes.

    Almost anything that can be dreamed up can be added to a wheelchair to make it the unique property of its owner

    The advances in technology for physically disabled people have allowed a wheelchair user to go anywhere and do almost anything they want. This has given physically disabled people a great deal of independence and control over the lifestyle they want to live. Physically disabled people are athletic and not stopped by any obstacles anymore.

    It is possible for physically disabled people who make use of wheelchairs to live a completely independent lifestyle because of the advancements of customised wheelchairs. It is a whole new world for the wheelchair bound person.

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