Base your selection on what is best for the user but also remember the caregiver has to be able to safely lift and maneuver the chair.The overall size or the width of the chair has to fit through the space you need it to go,so be sure to measure your narrowest doorway to know if you will fit through.The weight of the wheelchair is extremely important to both the user and caregiver.Lifting a chair in and out of a car is a challenge even for the able bodied.
Will the user be self propelling the wheelchair or will a companion be the pusher?If a companion will be pushing the chair you want to look for a transport wheelchair also called a companion wheelchair.These have four smaller wheels instead of two front small wheels and two large back wheels,the back ones used by the person in the chair to self propel themselves.If that is not needed, a transport chair is a wise choice to save the extra weight of the two back wheels.Transport wheelchairs are lightweight and easier than standard wheelchairs to fold and carry.If the wheelchair is to be self propelled,choose a model that has large rear wheels.Many of these manual wheelchairs are ergonomically designed and much more lightweight than models from years ago.With sleek modern styling these lightweight wheelchairs are both comfortable and stylish.The Karman Wheelchairs are a nice example of modern lightweight wheelchair design that can be self propelled and customized with a variety of seat sizes,armrests,leg rests,colors and other desired options.
The size of the user is important to know when narrowing down your choices.Look for a heavy duty model,also called a bariatric wheelchair for a user weighing close to or over 300 pounds.These models have reinforced construction and roomier seating to accommodate the larger size individuals.If the user is small or petite,a junior or pediatric size may be appropriate.
Measuring for the correct size transport wheelchair or lightweight wheelchair requires determining the seat width and depth needed for the individual.Measure width by putting a book on each side of the users hips while they are seated.Measure in between the books for the basic seat width they will need.Add another inch or two to accommodate heavy clothing and for a roomier fit. For the seat depth,measure while seated,from the back of the user's buttocks to the back of their knees.If the person will be propelling the wheelchair with their feet,measure,while seated, from the back of the knee to the floor.Once you have these measurements you can research and review the various models of lightweight and transport wheelchairs that are available where you can purchase from a large selection of economy to high end mobility products with free shipping and at wholesale prices to the public.