Tag archive for "wheelchair"


Wheelchairs: The Trend from Functionality to Individuality – by Dr. Gene Emmer

No Comments 24 November 2009

Wheelchairs have been around for hundreds of years, but early wheelchairs were intended only to help a disabled individual move from point A to point B. As society progressed and disabled individuals became more integrated, the role of the wheelchair began to change as well. Wheelchairs are now considered not only a means of transportation but also as a way to allow users to express their individuality. Users can find custom-made high quality ultra-light high-performance wheelchairs as well as accessories that enable them to individualize their look and style. The move from functionality to individuality is discussed in this article.
There were many attempts to connect furniture to wheels dating back to the time of Christ. But perhaps the first wheelchair was invented for King Phillip II of Spain. A drawing of the King dated 1595 shows him in a chair with wheels, armrests and footrests. However, he needed assistance to propel it and the chair resembled more a modern baby’s highchair than a wheelchair of today. In 1665 one of the first self-propelled vehicles was invented by Stephan Farfler. But it looked more like a present day hand-bike than a wheelchair as it was propelled by hand cranks attached to the front wheel. The modern wheelchair began to take shape in the late 19th century to early 20th century with the advent of push rims for self-propulsion and slings for seat and backrests. The 20th century saw a rapid development in wheelchairs, from the first motorized wheelchair, to the first folding wheelchair, to lightweight and sports wheelchairs.
The most recent two decades have seen the progress in the modern wheelchair accelerate. They are lighter and perform better than ever before. There are now many possibilities available to improve the ride, from suspension systems which help to remove vibrations and jolts, to ultra-light weight frames which enable better performance, to special designs for every individualized need and taste. The recent trend is towards customization. Customized wheelchairs are now being requested for many reasons:
- fitting special physical needs
- improving or providing special performance
- expressing style and image
Wheelchair for a triple amputee mother:
Customization of the wheelchair to fit some special needs of the user can include simple modifications of standard designs or creating an entirely unique design. Imagine a mother who is a triple amputee. How will she move herself and her baby? Special wheelchairs can now be designed to help her. For example a user with an amputated arm can use a special wheel which has dual handrims to allow both wheels to be controlled with one hand. The wheelchair can also be modified so that it stretched in front, allowing the child seat to be attached to the wheelchair in front of the mother. Other examples may include designing extra long or extra short wheelchairs for very tall or small users or reinforced wheelchairs for heavy users or specialized devices for users that have limited motor control or functions.
Customized wheelchairs are now being regularly designed to accommodate nearly every special need.
Individualizing wheelchairs for performance is often required for athletes or very active users. This can include creating special wheelchairs for dance with the ideal center of gravity which help the user to perform spins and complicated maneuvers with ease. Dancers with limited motor control can have special handles created which allow their able bodied partners to assist them in their turns or maneuvers. Tennis players can have special requirements like reverse tilt seating position where the back of the seat is higher than the front, in order to give increased power in the arm and body movements. Rugby players need specially designed wheelchairs that can take a very hard hit without damaging the wheelchair or the occupant.
Customization for performance is not only for athletes, it can also improve the comfort for everyday users. Frames can be custom designed to fit the individual’s body like a glove. Also, customized wheelchairs are lighter and usually perform better. Most mass produced wheelchairs are made by using adjustable brackets to hold the frame together so that a prefabricated wheelchair can be adjusted to fit different individual’s sizes and requirements. However, these brackets create weight. Customized wheelchairs are made to fit the individual that they are created for. Instead of using adjustable brackets, the wheelchair parts are welded together. This means that the wheelchair is not at all adjustable, so it must be designed correctly by an experienced professional. However, since welds are lighter than brackets, customized wheelchairs are considerably lighter. They also usually perform better since the energy from the push may be lost in small movement within the brackets.
Customization can also individualize the look and style. Wheelchairs can be painted with special colors or designs, upholstery can be made to order, lighted casters, funky spoke guards with individualized patterns and bling-bling wheels with rotating spinners give the wheelchair a very unique look. Accessories can be purchased to complete the look. Leather, zip-on, frame covers can give an elegant style and bags made from material to match the upholstery can complete the look.
Advances in assistive technology, such as the recent progress in wheelchair design make it easier for disabled individuals to integrate into society. But even with new technology, users would not be able to integrate without public access and funding to purchase the new technology. The best wheelchair in the world would not help a disabled person to move about if society did not provide ramps, special doors and other infrastructure to enable access to public spaces, transportation, sidewalks and roads. And while in some countries laws have been created and public funds have been set aside to help disabled people integrate, in many other countries access is not yet available and wheelchair users are left at home. In such countries wheelchair individualization is still a thing of the future. Assistive technology can improve the wheelchair but it takes a progressive society to improve the surrounding world.

Dr Gene Emmer is President of Med Services Europe GmbH, a Zurich, Switzerland registered company. In addition to RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves (http://www.newdisability.com/gloves.htm) we represent Colours Wheelchairs in Europe and the Middle East. We are seeking distributors and dealers for our products. Dealers are encouraged to contact us for more information at www.NewDisability.com or www.MedServicesEurope.com or +41764249963.


Wheelchairs Shopping 101 – by Viojieley Gurrobat

No Comments 24 November 2009

Shopping for a wheelchair is not as easy as choosing the right dress for your date tonight. People who shop for a wheelchair for the first time are often overwhelmed by the number of choices. When you are not able to get the right wheelchair your disability will seem to get worse instead of better. Keep in mind that every wheelchair user will have different needs. If you are unsure which wheelchair to buy you can consult your doctor or therapist for advice.

Factors that you have to consider in choosing the right wheelchair includes your age, body type, gender, and type of disability. If speed is important for you, you may prefer an electric wheelchair over a manual chair. Wheelchair tires should also be chosen based on your driving conditions. The price that you pay for your wheelchair will depend on the cost of the chair itself, the cost of addition features, and cost of wheelchair accessories, cost of training on how to use the wheelchair, replacement parts, maintenance costs and future wheelchair upgrades among others.

Remember that you would perhaps use your chair for a long time. Thus, as expensive as they may seem, comfort is still the most important factor in buying a wheelchair for an uncomfortable wheelchair is the same as being uneasy in your own skin.

Buying a used wheelchair is not always a good idea. There is nothing to ensure you that the used wheelchair will fit your needs. Since wheelchairs are individually customized medical devices they are generally not meant for resale. Thus, choosing the right wheelchair requires the collective input of a doctor, therapist and you to make sure that the right wheelchair is matched to you.

Nevertheless, with the increasing cost of health care it is understandable if people look for alternatives like buying used wheelchairs or scooters. Just remember though that if you decide to buy a used wheelchair, make sure that your size and weight is within the capacity of the used chair. Remember also that second hand wheelchairs don’t have transferable warranties. This means that even if the warranty is still valid, if its ownership is transferred then the warranty would no longer be enforceable. So decide wisely when shopping for a used wheelchair.

To make sure that you are buying the right used wheelchair you can check on ads on the bulletin boards, websites and newsletters at your local rehabilitation hospital, independent living center or local disability organization. Do not rush into buying the first wheelchair that you see. Most importantly, do not buy a wheelchair simply because you like its style or color.

For comments and suggestions kindly visit Power Wheelchairs Online

Viojieley Gurrobat loves readings books in her spare time. She writes stories and poems about anything under the sun.


Wheelchair: stick for the needy individuals – by Nandeshori Devi Konthouja

No Comments 24 November 2009

Wheelchair is the mobility tool of the structure of a chair lying on wheels, employ by the individuals who are deprived of walking capability due to poor health, illnesses or disability. The Wheelchair incorporates helpful spaces to help position and weight cushions, in numerous cases. Wheelchairs and seat resolution frequently are purchased all the way through government prerogative programs or insurance either of which categorize the wheelchairs as therapeutic device which are prescribed characteristically by well specialized occupational therapists or physiotherapists.
Wheelchairs appear in numerous colors and size and are generally highly personalized for the character user, with loads of configurations probable together with dimension of the seat including depth and width, height of the wheelchair, leg rests, frontage caster outriggers, nervousness bendable backrests, and many more. On the basis of the requirements and their utilities wheel chairs can be categorized as general wheelchair, manual wheelchairs, power chairs or Electric wheelchairs, Sport wheelchairs etc.
Every form of wheelchair is obtainable with a variety of garnishing that guarantee safety, steadiness, postural reliability, and functional aptitude of the character user including anti-tipping handles for preventing rearward unsteadiness when mounting a gradient), bearing belts, nervousness adaptable backrest, tilt or lounge etc. Various electric chairs are modular and permitting its power-unit to be disconnected and substituted by a manual alternative. Some competent companies create power assisted center for self impelling wheelchairs.
Research studies and experiments reveal that wheelchairs are created with remarkable options, approximating the mecanum wheel or omniwheel. These permit additional directional movement preferences. The electric or power wheelchair fixed in the midst of Mecanum wheels or Ilon wheels that give it absolute liberty of movement. The electric or power wheelchair enables to driven backwards, forwards, diagonally, and sideways, and also twisting around a spot or turned about while moving and all functions are controlled by a straightforward joystick.
Manual or physical wheelchair is that form of wheelchair which requires human muscular control for its movement and attendant-propelled, self-propelled, and wheelbase are the main three types of manual wheelchairs. The manual wheelchairs have the advantage in keeping and placement at vehicles and all as these can be folded. In self-propelled form of wheelchairs the user character has to propel the large back wheels by him using circular tubing handrims and skill of the user is essential for effective, beneficial and safety use of the wheel.
Another recent invention is the Engineering Plastics form of Wheelchair which is very light in weight and lofty cost is connected in the market of manual wheelchairs. The competence of the wheelchair is measured effortlessly in a non-technical way. The user may merely see the probable movement in that wheelchair, as numerous joint and overall weight of wheelchair, its folding etc which are important points to be considered while selecting a correct a wheelchair.
The wheelchair producers made choosing a wheelchair easier by offering a prescription figure for a number of models. Considering the complication of the requirements of the user the wheelchair producer may recommend the skilled expert’s service to assist their prescription. Whatsoever the style of the wheelchair one chooses, a wheelchair mitigates should be suggested which enhance the posture, effortlessness and helpful in preventing pressure sores. Self selection should always be avoided and right wheelchairs must be selected consulting the expert doctors considering the condition of individual user, his daily activities along with his any other particular requirements.

What is a wheelchair and what are its utilities and point’s of consideration in selecting the right wheel chairs Log on http://bestwellnesscentre.com/and get the detail information on wheelchairs: stick for the needy individuals. Nandeshori Devi Konthoujam has been associated with various sites like http://www.wellbeingnew.com/, http://healthylifeplace.com/, http://fortotalwellbeing.com/, http://greatyourhealth.com/, http&


Wheelchair Sports – by Raquel Simons

No Comments 24 November 2009

There are many sports which have recently become adaptable for individuals who are confined to wheelchairs. Individuals who are quadriplegic and paraplegic can continue to participate in sports, win championships and even take home Olympic metals. Wheelchair sports have come a long way, especially in the past few years and almost all sports have become adaptable to wheelchairs. Here explained are some of the most popular wheelchair sports and some not-so-popular (but just as fun) sports which you may not have known about before reading this article.


Basketball, perhaps the most popular wheelchair sport, was the first sport of its kind to be introduced in the 1940’s. Wheelchair basketball is a highly developed sport and is practiced both for fun and professionally on elite, competitive levels. There are wheelchair basketball leagues for men, women and children to enjoy.


The most popular form of wheelchair hockey is called sledge hockey. Individuals are placed on a sled with skate blades and use mini sticks as opposed to the larger forms of hockey sticks. Sledge hockey allows disabled individuals to participate in and experience the wonderful game of hockey.


Rugby is one of the more physical, fast-paced wheelchair sports that has the potential to become very intense. The rules differ quite a bit from the actual game of rugby, however the sport has been adapted quite well for disabled individuals.


Wheelchair tennis is also one of the most popular wheelchair sports for disabled individuals to participate in. Wheelchair tennis has the same rules and regulations as normal tennis except that the ball can bounce twice as opposed to just once. This makes it easier to get to the ball. This sport can be adapted to all individuals, regardless of their form of disability.

Other Sports and Activities

There are a number of other sports that are available for individuals with disabilities. Some of the other less-popular (but just as fun) sports and activities include waterskiing, tubing, bowling, billiards and hang gliding.

Raquel Simons has done a lot of research on wheelchairs and acts as a freelance writer for http://www.thewheelchairsite.com – a site that offers information on wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, wheelchairs for children and more.


Wheelchair Ramps…Conquering The Final Frontier – by RC Rougeux

No Comments 24 November 2009

Wheelchairs make great 2 dimensional transportation: they move back and forth and left and right very easily… as well, the turning radius on a wheelchair has markedly improved over the past few decades making wheelchairs much more able to get into and out of tight spaces. Today, the final frontier in wheelchair accessibility is making the wheelchair easy to move from one level to another…up and down. Do you need to move your wheelchair from one height to another? You have a few options, which we’ve outlined below.
A lift is one way to move your wheelchair from the ground into or onto a vehicle. Lifts can be attached internally or externally. Often, they attach to the wheelchair and pick it up off the ground; Sometimes they use a hook method and other times they use a platform method. For example, on an external hitch (which hooks into the trailer hitch of your car), you simply drive your wheelchair onto the platform and then get off the wheelchair and raise the platform. Obviously, this type of lift is for users who do not need to be in the chair all the time or who have someone to assist them. An internal lift may work as a hook (without the user in the chair) or as a platform (with the user in the chair), lifting them into the vehicle.
Wheelchair ramps are another way of getting from one level to another. They can be designed from metal or wood. Often, the metal ones are purchased and although you can purchase a wood one, they are often built right onto the house as a do it yourself project. Municipalities often have recommendations for the height and length ratio (which is sometimes called the slope or the rise) in order to ensure the safety of the user. If you are having yours built, be sure to request traction tape or sand paint to be applied to the surface so that you can be sure you’ll be safe when it is snowy, icy, or wet on the ramp.
Of course, these ramps in the above paragraph are permanent. An alternative for some people is to get a portable ramp they can take with them wherever they go. There aren’t many truly portable ramps (that can be easily carried by someone in a wheelchair and placed on the ground in front of them) but there are ramps that – if you have an assistant – the ramp can be put in the car and taken out when necessary. This is the perfect solution for when you go to stores or commercial buildings that are not well designed for wheelchairs.
Another way to get from one level to another, if the level is not too big, is to simply use brute rolling force and a little balance. Most wheelchairs actually come with six wheels on them: four primary wheels for the main purpose of motion and two extra wheels…on some wheelchairs they are in the back and act as supports for when you tip backwards; on other wheelchairs they are on the front and act as “climbers” for when you approach a curb and need to get over.
We’re not yet at a place where a wheelchair can go where anyone else can go…but we’re getting there slowly. Until then, here are a few ways to get your wheelchair from point A to a point higher or lower!

The writer has the website at: www.AssistiveLivingMobility.com the strongest and lightest wheelchair ramps and everything about mobility equipment.

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