wheelchair for handicapped sitting outside of a building

5 Things to Look For in a Wheelchair for Handicapped Individuals

Searching for the right wheelchair can take a lot of time and research. Some of the tops things to take into consideration when making such an important decision is the comfort of the chair, its cost and the cost of accompanying mobility products, and your daily needs. To help you in your decision-making process, here are five things to look for in a wheelchair for handicapped individuals:

1. Consider the Seat Width in a Wheelchair for Handicapped Needs

When you're choosing a wheelchair, the first thing to look for is an appropriate seat width. This is very important because a person's ability to sit in a chair for long periods of time will depend upon his or her comfort. If the seat width is too narrow or far too wide, it won't be a good fit. The most common seat widths are 16", 18", or 20". 

For special requirements, pediatric wheelchairs have seat widths of around 14" while bariatric wheelchairs go up to 30" wide. 

2. The Depth of the Seat

After taking the width of the seat into consideration, the depth of the seat is the next step. Seat depth is the measurement from the front of the seat toward the back. When looking for the right depth for your chair, measure from the back of your pelvis while sitting straight to your shins. If you have an old chair that worked well for you, measure its depth and then look for a chair with the same measurements. 

3. Measure From Seat to Floor Height

A wheelchair for a handicapped person should be the correct height when measured from the seat to the floor. It's important to determine if his or her feet will be dangling from the chair or dragging on the floor.

For some people who are accustomed to pushing themselves forward with the help of their feet, getting a chair where the seat to floor height is a little lower will be of use. 

4. The Right Back Height

The backrest on a wheelchair should be measured from the top of the backrest to the bottom. You don't want to get a chair with a backrest that is too high and hits the neck awkwardly nor do you want one that won't offer full support of the back and shoulders. 

5. Useful Arm and Leg Rests

Armrests and leg rests matter a lot when choosing a wheelchair. It's crucial that you consider your needs or the needs of your loved one before settling on a chair. Armrests come in either full length or desk length. Desk length allows easier access to desks and tables while the full-length armrests provide extra arm support. 

Leg rests can be either swing-away rests which rotate to the side to allow for easy entering or exiting or elevating leg rests which elevate to prevent swelling of the legs. In either case, leg rests are removable and include the ability to adjust them to the desired length. 

Find the Right Products With Our Help

These are five of the most common things to look for in a wheelchair. But in addition to finding the right chair, you'll need mobility products to complement your chair and allow you greater freedom. We're here to help you find the perfect mobility products for you or your loved one's needs. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services. 

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