Wheelchairs can liberate - ask someone with a spinal cord injury or an older person with arthritis. Wheels can open up the world outside the home. For the sports inclined, a sports chair can allow participation.
If you are in the market for a Wheelchair or want accessories for your chair, we have links (see below) to websites in the EU and in the US.
Attendant, Transit wheelchairs
Attendant-propelled chairs (or transport wheelchairs) have push-handles and are designed to be propelled by an attendant using them. The back wheels have no rims and usually smaller than standard. These chairs are often used as 'transfer chairs' to move a patient when a better alternative is not available (for instance within a hospital), or as a temporary option. They are useful in places where the standard chair is unavailable or will not fit. They are generally unsuitable for long-term occupancy.
Shop for Attendant-Transit wheelchairs on these pages.
Manual (Self-propelled) wheelchairs
Manual wheelchairs are propelled by the user. Many can be folded for storage or to fit into a vehicle. These days most wheelchairs are likely to be rigid framed.
They are usually propelled by rotating the large rear wheels, which are from 20-24 inches (51–61 cm) in diameter and very much resemble bicycle wheels. The user pushes on the hand-rims, circular tubing attached to the outside of the large wheels. The hand-rims are slightly smaller in diameter than wheel they are attached to. Competent users can control speed and turning and often learn to balance the chair on its rear wheels — do a wheelie. The wheelie is not just for show — a rider who can control the chair in this manner can climb and descend curbs and move over small obstacles.
Shop for Manual wheelchairs on these pages.
Sports: the many wheelchair sports tend to use specific types of wheelchairs which bear very little resemblance to their everyday cousins. They are usually rigid with a pronounced negative camber for the wheels (they lean in at the top to give better stability during a sharp turn), and may be made of composite, lightweight materials. Sport wheelchairs are not generally practical for everyday use, and are often a 'second' chair specifically for sport use.
A tilt-in-space or reclining facility is for users who are unable to maintain an upright seating position for long periods. It also helps with comfort by temporarily shifting pressure to a different area for a while. It is also useful for positioning a wheelchair when a user needs to be hoisted in. A recliner moves the back of the seat away from the vertical, while the seat remains horizontal. With a tilt-in-space chair, the seat back and bottom move back together - the angle between the seat and the back does not change.
A standing chair allows a wheelchair user to raise the chair from a seated to a standing position, and then supports the user in a standing position. This enables interaction with people and objects at eye level.
Folding and Rigid Configurable chairs are modular in design and offer a number of options to tailor the chair to your exact requirements. Many chairs will offer some or all of the following (by no means complete) list of options:
Shop for Comfort Reclining chairs, Folding Configurable chairs, Rigid Configurable chairs, and Children's Pushchairs in the UK and EU on this page.
Shop for Sports chairs, Recliners, Tilt-in-Space chairs and Standing chairs in the US on this page.
These are now available for any age, starting from 12 months and on up. Very young children have been shown to learn cause and effect quicker when controlling a powered mobility aid than when using a single switch toy.
These chairs can enhance many of life's aspects. For example, they can increase opportunities to socialise and make those occasions better. They can improve independence, open up sport and leisure opportunities, and possibly improve ability in the work place.
Because safety is of paramount importance, users MUST, when travelling alone, take a phone so as to be able to call for help should the scooter breakdown or the battery run out. Easi-Cabs may not be able to fix the problem but we should be able to get you home safely, along with your wheelchair. Keep our number with you. This is the contact details for powered wheelchairs users, and don't forget to check our office hours.
Shop for Powered chairs on these pages.
Foot propulsion of the wheelchair by the occupant is also common for patients who have limited hand movement capabilities or simply do not wish to use their hands for propulsion. This mode of propulsion also allows patients to get leg exercise to increase blood flow and limit further disability.
One-arm drive enables a user to guide and propel the wheelchair from one side. Two hand-rims, a large and a smaller one, are located on the side of the chair that the user needs. Usually, the outer or smaller rim connects to the opposite wheel by a folding axle. By grasping both hand-rims together, the chair is propelled forward or backward in a straight line. Turning either hand-rim independently moves the chair left or right depending upon the hand-rim used. Lever-Drive is another alternative and moves the chair forwards by the use of a lever that is pumped back and forth. Some chairs may also be configured to allow the occupant to propel using one or both feet instead of using the rims.