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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

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.

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