Whoever said wheelchairs must be clunky and heavy to be secure was wrong!
Nowadays, there are many devices in the healthcare industry that have evolved from heavy, awkward pieces of technology, to being sleek and trendy while also providing comfort and safety to the users and wheelchairs are no exception!
Lightweight wheelchairs are becoming the norm and many users, as well as their carers, are very glad of it. Not only does it make the mobile seats easier to move about, it also ensures that the chair can be used day to day without causing issues surrounding user mobility. In other words, if the chair is lighter, the person using it (or pushing it) will be more inclined to use it, as it is not heavy and is easy to manoeuvre.
Originally designed for Paralympians, the agile design of the more streamlined wheelchair has now become more popular and has been adopted into the overall construction of many popular chair designs. Even electric wheelchairs are now up to 3kg lighter than they were 10 years ago, meaning a better quality of life for those with limited mobility.
Across the UK there are multiple wheelchair specialists, offering a more stylish design of wheelchair, that can be tailored to the owner’s mobility needs, thus increasing the owner’s independence and confidence.
Benefits of lighter chairs
What are some of the other benefits to lighter wheelchairs? An improved social life for one, as mentioned earlier, if they are easier to use and store, owners will feel more confident taking them out and about, encouraging more social activities and a higher level of independence. Social inclusion was once very difficult for those in wheelchairs and with the low maintenance needs of lighter wheelchairs, there is no need to spend large quantities of money keeping them in prime condition.
Added comfort is another factor in the sleeker wheelchair design. With no heavy batteries to lug around, there is more room for adjustments within the frame. Active wheelchairs can often have the backrest modified, sometimes up to 95 degrees and have top of the line seating systems, allowing for optimum movement within the chair without slipping. Active chairs also offer the ability to change the height of the back wheel with ease, allowing you to set the height to ground level if you so desire.
And of course, every wheelchair has the one piece footplate. Once a rigid, difficult to adjust piece on the more traditional chairs, these footplates are not only adjustable to suit the user’s height, they can also be folded up with ease, if the user needs to get out of the chair or if they just want to stretch their legs a bit. This simple design of folding the footplate is also great for preventing accidents.
Remember, wheelchairs are medical equipment and when searching for the correct wheelchair to fit your needs, always discuss with your doctor or carer what they think is best for you.