There are several different types of wheelchairs out on the market today, some light weight, some heavier than others, some smaller, some wider - basically there is something out there that will be perfect for your situation!
Your classic design wheelchair will be very basic not too many options or "bells and whistles". These are usually intended for basic use, getting someone from point A to point B with relative ease, they also tend to be heavier than a lightweight wheelchair and roughly 3-4 times heavier than a transport chair. The classic wheelchairs tend to be made out of metal, therefore not ideal for the more active person. Something else to consider is who the person is that will be taking the wheelchair in and out of cars, storing the chair, or in some situations bringing the chair up and down stairs or steep inclines. This should be an important determining factor for someone in the market.
Another choice that you will have are the "next generation" wheelchairs; these chairs more often than not have several different features to them that make them a much more versatile chair. A big difference is that they are usually made out a composite fiber or a much lighter metal making them extremely easier to use as well as being much lighter. Many of these wheelchairs will have the option of removing the manual wheels which results in a lighter chair or a narrower wheelchair, making situations like storing/lifting the chair much easier and less stressful for the person that is in charge of doing so. When the manual wheels are removed they in essence have transformed into a transport chair: navigating down a narrow hallway or trying to make it into a narrow doorway has now become much easier. Another feature to consider is removable or reversible armrests. If you need to transfer a person from a chair or couch or even a bed into the wheelchair, removing the armrest allows this task to be accomplished with ease. When reversing the armrest this usually has two intentions behind it. The first is to allow the person in the wheelchair to become more comfortable or a preference to what they believe to be more comfortable. The other is to allow the person using the chair to sit closer to a table or a desk, also making it more comfortable for the person in the chair.
The final basic design is the transport chair; the transport wheelchair is significantly less in weight which makes this type of chair ideal for the more active person or the person on the go. The most noticeable difference with the transport chair compared to your typical wheelchair is that the transport chair does not have the outer manual wheels, which for the most part means that the person in the chair will have to rely on someone else to push them. They can use their feet to scoot along but will not be able to go very far to say the least. These chairs are the best option if the person that is in charge of storing or taking the chair in and out of the vehicle lacks strength because transport chairs weigh so much less than classic wheelchairs.
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