Anyone looking for a new wheelchair, be it an attendant-propelled transit wheelchair or a self-propelled version, should take a look at the wide range of lightweight wheelchairs on offer today.
Types of lightweight wheelchairs
There are a great many different types of wheelchair on the market, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits you.
Transit or self-propelled?
The first question is whether you will be propelling the wheelchair yourself, or whether an attendant will be pushing you. This will depend on your strength, health and ability, as well as personal choice.
Transit wheelchairs are generally designed to be pushed by an attendant. To this end, they have smaller back wheels, making them easier to manoeuvre. These lightweight wheelchairs also fold up so they can be fitted into the boot of a car. A transit wheelchair is a good choice for someone who doesn’t require a wheelchair full-time, but will find it useful for shopping trips and days out. Transit wheelchairs are also a useful buy for full-time wheelchair users who need a lighter, folding wheelchair for travelling.
Self-propelled wheelchairs can also be very lightweight. Many models have easily detachable rear wheels, making them easy to fit into a car boot or store away. The large rear wheels mean the user has the independence of propelling themselves, which is preferable for some people.
For some people, a standard wheelchair won’t be comfortable or suitable. Reclining and tilt-in-space wheelchairs offer relief from pressure, helping to distribute body weight and prevent sores. They also offer a greater level of comfort, and can ease transfers. Both transit and self-propelled styles are available.
Those with an independent and active lifestyle may find an active wheelchair suits their needs best. These lightweight wheelchairs are designed for both comfort and performance, with adjustments that can be made to ensure a perfect fit.
When choosing a wheelchair, make sure it includes the features you need to make your life easier as well as ensuring your comfort. An adjustable backrest angle, swing in/out footrest hangers, flip-back armrests, detachable upholstery, and elevating leg rests are a few examples of features to look out for.