For those of us who use mobility assistance to get around more easily, it is essential to understand the value of different models of wheelchairs, in order to choose the most suitable and applicable style that will meet our needs.
Depending on your level of restricted mobility, as well as the length of time that you need to be in your chair in order to get around, a lightweight wheelchair might be the perfect companion, enabling you to enjoy getting around the house or out and about more easily.
The nature of a lightweight wheelchair means that it is easily foldable and portable, so these features, unlike other more traditional wheelchairs, make them suitable for those people who are not permanently using a chair to get around. Rather, if you find that walking or standing for an extended amount of time is difficult, then perhaps you would benefit from the ease with which you can produce and set up a wheelchair to continue getting around in.
This does not mean it is specifically designed for such people. Anyone who feels that they can benefit from an easily portable wheelchair can enjoy the benefits that these models can provide. There are a few downsides that need to be acknowledged, however, when trading off the stability and comfort of a less portable and heavier model.
What are some of the downsides?
Tackling the possible disadvantages first, you need to understand that these models of wheelchairs are always manual, meaning that you will use your arms and upper body strength to move the chair and yourself around. Although the frame of the chair itself is quite light and therefore easier to manipulate than other manual models, some people who do not have appropriate upper body strength may find it difficult to get themselves around.
This is particularly true when travelling over uneven, bumpy or steep terrains. Although you may be excited to be able to use this type of wheelchair for adventurous excursions out and about, unfortunately, many people find that they do not have the ability to manipulate these chairs for such a purpose.
Also in such conditions, comfort is quite important, as constant bumps and jumps can be tiresome on the body. Without the additional padding that heavier models boast, these quick and easy to set up models are a little lacking in comparison.
Take a minute to consider what the use of the wheelchair is primarily going to be for, so you will look around for the most appropriate model for these occasions. If you are looking for a chair that helps you to get out to the shopping centre and around for the day, then we would definitely recommend a lightweight wheelchair for you.
And the upsides?
There are plenty of positive aspects to these models and as such, they are fast becoming a favourable option for people who are temporarily disabled, due to injury or illness, or are ageing and finding themselves less able to get around.
By being able to quickly fold and unfold these wheelchairs without assistance and have them stored in the boot of a car, if you are looking to maintain your independence, whilst using some form of mobility assistance, you can get the best of both worlds here.