Wheelchairs can be used by a range of individuals for a variety of reasons. Individuals who use a wheelchair may have limited mobility due to reduced strength, endurance and/or coordination. The use of a wheelchair can allow people to access their community and remain independent.
There are a number of different types of wheelchairs such as manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs, transit wheelchairs and many more. If an individual is considering the use of a wheelchair, they may wish to seek advice from an Occupational Therapist in regard to the most appropriate wheelchair for their specific needs.
Factors to consider
- Ability of the individual – is the individual able to propel the wheelchair themselves or will they require a powered wheelchair or will they need someone else to push them?
- Fit of the wheelchair – the seat width, seat depth, cushion, arm rests and backrest height are very important to getting a good fit of the wheelchair
- Environment – where will the individual be using the wheelchair? Outside, home, shopping centre, work. How far will they be traveling in the wheelchair?
- Transfers – how will the individual get into and out of the wheelchair safely?