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Wheelchair Purchasing Tips

This article was mainly written by Torte, a member of this site, and was added to by different users of this site in the forum before posting

Author: Torte

  1. What wheelchair type?  Basically there are 2 tips of wheelchairs

o rigid frame – this wheelchair has, as the name says, a rigid frame:
Positive: lighter(less material), easier to drive and, for me personal, better looks
Negative: needs more space more expensive

o foldable – this type you can fold together
Positive: needs less storage space, cheaper
Negative: Heavier (Folding mechanism)

  1. What size?  A wheelchair is like a pair of shoes if they are to small you cant get your feet in or they hurt if they are to big you get blisters or they fall of well in the same way it is with wheelchairs if it is to small you wont get in or it hurts if it is to big you loose energy and driving is not easy. There are basically 4 measurements you need they are all done in sitting position (body to thigh 90°, thigh to calf 90° and calf to foot also 90° angel)
    • Seat Width: This is the width of the seat to get this measurement measure at widest point of your rear end while sitting and add ¾” or 2cm for clothing
    • Seat Depth: When sitting this is the length form your back to where your calf begins
    • Calf Length: Yes the length of your calf from knee to the bottom of your foot
    • Back Height: this is the length of you backrest for a pretender what you like with a SCI it depend how hi the injury is and a small tip for ordering in other country’s 1” = 2,54cm

  1. Where to get one?  That is a bit tricky and depends on where you live but look in the links section and there is also one place that has everything (I mean it) E-Bay.

Well that is it for now but if you have anything else, I did a mistake ore anything else please post it and yes you may post this in wheelchair tips no copyright on this document all by my self.

Now the legal stuff (I’m sorry) I am no doctor or anything else this information may bee used by your one risk I am not responsible for any damage.

Additional Inforangle1mation

We did not want this document to be biased but I thought I would add some of the things we talked about in the forum when Torte first created this article.  We came to the conclusions that although folding chairs are better space savers in a horizontal sense, ultimately for serious long term wheelers a rigid chair is best.  The less moving parts there are, the less there is to go wrong.  Although a rigid chair costs more initially, you end up putting less work into it in the long run.  Please note that with most rigid chairs, quick release rear wheels and folding backs come standard.  They are very easy to lift in and out of cars compared to folding chairs.  There are other factors to think about when buying and modifying a chair to your needs.  One thing is the seat angle.

You can either choose to have it at a 90º like in the diagram, or you can have the seat angled upwards.  The benefits of having your seat angled upwards are that you have a greater propulsion range and better trunk stability.  One would choose a 90º seat angle over an angled one, as with your seat angled, your pelvis is rotated backwards and this results in bad pressure distribution.  Even if you are only pretending, your skin will still react in the same way that a genuine user’s skin would, this is why it is important to do pressure relief.

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