If you have a temporary or permanent disability, you may have considered the possibility that you may need to use a wheelchair. Although it is based on individual need, if you are unable to walk long distances for any reason whatsoever (disability, injury or other health problem), you may benefit from using one.
There are various types of wheelchairs, two of the most common being manual and electric. You can propel a manual wheelchair with your arms or you can operate a power wheelchair electronically. Based on factors such as physical condition, age, physique, and mobility (among others), your doctor will help you to identify what type of wheelchair is best for you.
Yet, perhaps one of the most important things when it comes to using a wheelchair is achieving and sustaining good posture. This is where a customised wheelchair comes into play. A customised wheelchair is adjusted to better suit your unique disability and includes all the necessary features, such as leg rests and backrests. It can improve your mobility, reduce the amount of energy you exert, as well as cut your risk of long-term health issues.
Adding a more personal touch
You are likely aware of the fact that a customised wheelchair is one which has been customised to meet your individual needs and preferences. However, something that you may not know is that a custom wheelchair has over 60,000 possible configurations!
5 of the most common types of customisable wheelchair parts include:
· Frame – The frame of a wheelchair can either be fixed or foldable, depending on your preferred transfer. A fixed frame is somewhat lighter and easier to handle, while a folding frame is generally more comfortable for transportation and storage.
· Tyres – Consistent with the type of lifestyle you lead, you have the option to choose between different types of tyres for your wheelchair, such as pneumatic and solid tyres. Pneumatic tyres absorb vibrations better so that your ride is smoother; however, solid tyres are sturdier on rougher terrain.
· Wheels – The type of wheels you choose for your wheelchair – front wheels, centre wheels, and rear wheels – is important in regards to manoeuvrability. Each type offers unique advantages. For instance, if you spend most of your time outdoors, rear wheels can make getting around a lot easier.
· Armrests – There are various wheelchair armrests to choose from. Taking into account armrest length and armrest height, you should distinguish between assistance for transferring, comfort while sitting, and balance for weight shifting based on your individual needs.
· Cushion – Comfortability is just as important as functionality. While a wheelchair needs to be able to perform necessary functions, it also needs to be comfortable. Different types of cushions, such as foam and gel (to name a few), offer different benefits. Gel cushions provide the muscles with much-needed support, but they are quite heavy. Foam cushions, on the other hand, are very comfortable but they can wear out fairly quickly.
At GTK, we offer customisations tailoring your wheelchair to your specific needs and requirements. You can choose from a vast array of colours, designs, and tailor-made upholsteries. From aesthetic changes to functionality and comfort adaptions, we aim to find the right fit for you.
With the latest advancements in technology, customised wheelchairs have greatly improved mobility issues and quality of life for chair-bound individuals. A mere adjustment can mean the difference between independence and reliance.
A customised wheelchair is properly fitted for your unique disability, all the while reflecting your personality and taste. It can provide you with more comfort and make daily life easier, to the point of allowing you to go anywhere and to do almost anything you desire. Above all, a customised wheelchair can give you a great deal of independence and control over the lifestyle that you wish to lead.
George Ajaka is the general manager of GTK, a company passionate about providing custom assistive technology to support and enhance the quality of life of others. He has been an active member of the rehabilitation and disability service industry for over 16 years. To read more about George and GTK‘s mission click here.