wheelchairs

The History of Antique Wheelchairs – by Daniel Gibbs

No Comments 25 November 2009

Modern wheelchairs are lightweight, customizable, and available for sports, battery-operated and constantly being improved. In spite of the modern feel of wheelchairs, they have been around in one form or another for much longer than most people would guess. Probably from the time that wheels were invented and the time that chairs were around, it was natural that the two would come together. If that seems like an exaggeration, then read on about the history of antique wheelchairs.

A Long, Long Time Ago

The oldest existing picture of a chair with wheels is from China – in the 6th Century! The odds that they were around before someone drew a picture that would survive this long are excellent. There is also an image of a wheeled chair from Ancient Egypt. Again, it’s more likely that it exists because their culture made long-lasting images than that they invented antique wheelchairs. Records show that in the 16th Century, King Phillip of Spain owned an elaborate rolling chair and in 1700, King Louis XIV of France used a wheeled conveyance while recuperating from an operation. No doubt commoners with a flair for furniture building found uses for antique wheelchairs as well.

It was in the 18th Century that the antique wheelchairs began to resemble our modern version. It had two large front wheels and a caser in the back. After the American Civil War and World War I, antique wheelchairs were built with wooden frames, wicker seats, big spoked wheels and featured adjustable arm and foot rests. A patent was filed in 1894 for the first wheelchair that could be propelled by the occupant.

The first folding wheelchair was designed in 1932. It was invented by an injured mining engineer and a mechanical engineer who went on to found the E&J Company. These antique wheelchairs are probably quite collectible since the same company developed the first powered wheelchair in the 1950s. This is the same decade that saw wheelchair sports develop in England. The first Paralympics were held in Tokyo, Japan in 1964. Wheelchair athlete Bob Hall completed the 1975 Boston Marathon in a manual wheelchair.

Lighter weight antique wheelchairs began showing up in the 1970s and 1980s in response to the need for sports chairs. Microprocessor controls for power chairs showed up in the 1980s. After this point, the term “antique wheelchairs” seems out of place. The developments in the 1990s were very modern, but nevertheless the history of antique wheelchairs is truly amazing.

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wheelchairs

How To Choose A Wheelchair – by Scootamart Staff

No Comments 25 November 2009

Nowadays, wheelchairs can be cheap to purchase and are widely available, so choosing a wheelchair can be confusing. Some people will have been prescribed a specific sort of wheelchair by an Occupational Therapist whilst others might want a wheelchair for when an elderly relative comes to stay.
Somebody using the wheelchair independently will require a self propelling (large wheels) model they push themselves. A self propelled, or transit wheelchair (smaller wheels) will be appropriate if the wheelchair will be pushed by an attendant.
A folding wheelchair is a good choice for occasional use as they can easily be dismantled, folded and transported by car. The rear wheels will usually come off, and the back might fold down to save space. These wheelchairs are ideal for those going out for the day in the car, or perhaps for someone who can’t walk as far as they once could, but maybe don’t need to be in a wheelchair all the time. A dedicated motor can be purchased to turn the manual wheelchair into an attendant controlled powerchair making hills much less of a problem. If you are looking at a wheelchair for occasional use, the lighter it is, the easier it will be to dismantle and put in a car boot. As a very rough guide, folding wheelchairs weigh around 33-44lbs / 15-20Kg, which doesn’t sound too heavy, but remember that somebody will be pushing wheelchair, and perhaps getting it in and out of the car.
Folding wheelchairs are available in various sizes, but often do not offer the specialised features that a prescribed wheelchair can offer. For others, the wheelchair will be used more often, perhaps all day, at work, or indoors, for example. For this sort of wheelchair user, the comfort and manoeuvrability is likely to be much more important than how much the wheelchair costs. These wheelchairs are less likely to be folding models, as the performance and weight of the wheelchair is more important than whether it folds. These rigid, self propelled wheelchairs combine a lighter frame and wheels. They might have a more specialised back, seat cushion, foot rests and arm rests.
Wheelchair users who lead an active lifestyle, which might include playing sports such as tennis and basketball as well as driving and day to day living, will require a different sort of wheel chair again. These users are likely to move away from a cumbersome folding wheelchair, to one that is very lightweight, smaller and stronger than a traditional wheelchair. A sport wheelchair might even be constructed from titanium which is stronger and lighter than aluminium. It probably won’t have traditional style foot rests, as these will be incorporated into the frame. It might not have arm rests or handles, as it won’t need to be pushed. It is also likely to have customisable front and rear wheels so that the user has the most appropriate wheels and tyres for their needs. The wheels on some rigid wheelchairs can be pushed inwards so that they lean towards the user to provide more responsiveness. The highly adjustable and customisable nature of these wheelchairs means that the user might only needs one wheelchair for all activities – day to day living and sports. These lightweight chairs are easy to put in a car, and the wheelchair user can put their wheelchair in the car from the driver’s seat. This means that they don’t have to rely on others, and can maintain their independence. These very lightweight wheelchairs are utilising a lot of technology and techniques from mountain bike manufacturers. Indeed, some of these rigid wheelchairs resemble a mountain bike more than a traditional wheelchair, and depending on the model and specifications may only weigh 15-17lbs / 8Kg.
The efficiency of a wheelchair can be measured easily in a non-scientific way. The user can simply see how far they move in a given wheelchair, on a given surface in just one push. Because of the number of joints, and weight of the steel of aluminium, a folding wheelchair loses a lot of energy, so a folding wheelchair won’t move as far as a rigid wheelchair per push. A titanium sport wheelchair weighs roughly a third of the weight of a standard steel folding wheelchair, and so will move much further per push. This is an important consideration when choosing a wheelchair.
The process of choosing a wheelchair can be complicated. The wheelchair manufacturers make this easier by providing a prescription form for some models. This is a step by step method of choosing the right wheelchair, based on the user’s condition, daily activities and any other special requirements. Depending on the complexity of the user’s requirements, the wheelchair manufacturer may offer the service of a trained expert to help with the prescription. All sorts of situations are considered from whether the user needs to cross roads, to the size and width of the front castors.
Whatever style of wheelchair you choose, a wheelchair cushion will be recommended; this improves posture, comfort and can help to prevent pressure sores.
If you require assistance in choosing your wheelchair, why not let an experienced mobility dealer guide you into making the right choice.

For more information about wheelchairs, please visit www.scootamart.com

wheelchairs

Choosing the Right Wheelchairs And Mobility Equipment – by Macharia Kamau

No Comments 25 November 2009

Choosing the Right Wheelchairs And Mobility Equipment
By: Macharia Kamau
The Wheelchair and Mobility equipment industry, like all others, experiences
the same phenomena of consumerism including choice, independence, competition, variety etc.
People with various handicaps need to/ would want to make decisions, and of course informed decisions on the type of wheelchair they buy. Access to reliable information on wheelchairs and mobility equipment is in many cases not readily available unless one has access to a reliable provider of the information or therapist. Of major concern in the choice of wheelchair/seating equipment is the level of disability and dependence/independence.
Other limiting factors in choosing the right wheelchair is cost. Wheelchairs and mobility/seating equipment can be quite expensive and may sometimes require arrangement with third party players (e.g. donors, life insurance providers, Medicare providers, family etc) who may feature quite prominently in its acquisition. The implication is that the equipment purchased must meet the minimum requisite for the particular person/purpose. This is because third party players may not be available for recourse if the equipment purchased is not befitting the purpose or need of the intended owner(s).
People needing rehabilitation equipment such as wheelchairs will therefore require to consult widely and gather as much information from the market as possible on what is available, flexibility, accessories, maintenance & servicing, durability and of course pricing before making a choice. The difficult part is that in many instances the buyer may be limited in their search and would therefore need the guidance/participation of their families and therapists at various levels of the process.
A glimpse at what is currently available in the wheelchair industry can be accessed on the Internet with interesting new developments.
All in all a wheelchair must suit its owner, whether he/she is able to take care of himself or is largely dependent on support from others. Additional features and accessories will always reduce the level of dependence on others. Where possible a manufacturer may even customize a wheelchair for a particular person or purpose. The most recent wheelchair has such enhanced functions as ability to climb stairs, curbs, traverse gravel sand and so on. But then you part with $30,000.
Remember they say that a return to normality is immeasurable, irreplaceable and priceless.
About the author:
Macharia Kamau is a medical representative
For more articles on wheelchairs and mobility equipments Please visit http://www.merpetsales.com.]

Macharia Kamau is a medical representative with a leading pharmaceutical company in Nairobi.

wheelchairs

A transport wheelchair is meant to improve your life. – by ken wilson

No Comments 25 November 2009

For many people all around the world walking became a serious problem because of some disease, injury or disability. Mobility devices, such as the transport wheelchair, exist to help people who can’t walk without a certain amount of support. Wheelchairs are dated as early as the year 1595, when they were first used by a King of Spain. Ever since, many types of wheelchairs have been developed in order to help people with their various mobility problems. The transport chair remains the most popular mobility device, and can be found in many variations to suit one person’s specific needs. At improvelife.com you will find a wide variety of transport wheelchairs.

A transport wheelchair is a common mobility device used by people with certain illnesses or disabilities in order to move from one place to another. Wheelchairs are most often propelled either manually or automatically. The earliest wheelchairs were obviously propelled by manual power, electric wheelchairs being developed only in the 20th century. The first real transport chair was developed in England, in the year 1783, by a so-called John Dawson. This initial model was self propelled by pushing the large rear wheels. The earliest motorized wheelchair was developed in 1918 and has been since the subject of continuous improvements. Nowadays you can find almost any type of transport wheelchair you can think of, depending on your personal needs. Customized wheelchairs are also available and are designed to fit one person’s body precisely and offer great comfort. At improvelife.com you can find any type of transport chair you want at a very convenient price.

The basic transport wheelchair is considered to be the manually propelled chair, with two large rear wheels, two smaller wheels, a classic seat, a footrest and rear handles. These manual wheelchairs are still used on very large scale all around the world. The advantages to these basic transport chairs are that they represent very practical solutions and aren’t expensive. There are three main categories of manual wheelchairs: the self-propelled chairs, the attendant-propelled chairs and wheelbase. Each category has a different use, depending on the particular situation or disability of the user. For instance, the attendant-propelled wheelchairs are usually used in hospitals and other medical facilities, to transport the patients.

Nowadays, electric wheelchairs are becoming more and more popular because of the high level of comfort and special features they provide. The electric wheelchairs are usually used by those who have great difficulties in using a manual transport chair model. For instance, people with arm or shoulder disabilities would have a very hard time using a manual wheelchair. There are many variations of electric wheelchairs to choose from. Some models are very similar to the classic manual chairs while others resemble small automobiles. The latter are equipped with a steering wheel and have four wheels for better maneuverability. Some people think that power chairs are large and heavy; this is not necessarily true. These types of wheelchairs can even be as light as a manual chair and very easy to fold and transport. Electric wheelchairs can be specially designed even according to the environment they are going to be used in the most. Therefore, there are both outdoor and indoor use electric wheelchairs available for purchasing. Many special features can be added to a power chair in order to simplify control and increase comfort. The seat can be specially modified, the control joystick customized and special accessories added for all kinds of particular situations.

In today’s world, there are many types of mobility devices which aid people with certain mobility difficulties in leading a normal life. The transport wheelchair still remains the most popular mobility device anywhere in the world. A transport chair can even be customized to fit one’s particular needs, no matter what they are. At improvelife.com you will find a wide variety of mobility devices to meet all of your demands.

All around the world, many people face various mobility problems which make going from one place to another very difficult. A transport wheelchair can be the best solution and comes in many different variations. Find out more about purchasing a transport chair by visiting our website.

wheelchairs

A transport wheelchair is meant to improve your life. – by ken wilson

No Comments 25 November 2009

For many people all around the world walking became a serious problem because of some disease, injury or disability. Mobility devices, such as the transport wheelchair, exist to help people who can’t walk without a certain amount of support. Wheelchairs are dated as early as the year 1595, when they were first used by a King of Spain. Ever since, many types of wheelchairs have been developed in order to help people with their various mobility problems. The transport chair remains the most popular mobility device, and can be found in many variations to suit one person’s specific needs. At improvelife.com you will find a wide variety of transport wheelchairs.

A transport wheelchair is a common mobility device used by people with certain illnesses or disabilities in order to move from one place to another. Wheelchairs are most often propelled either manually or automatically. The earliest wheelchairs were obviously propelled by manual power, electric wheelchairs being developed only in the 20th century. The first real transport chair was developed in England, in the year 1783, by a so-called John Dawson. This initial model was self propelled by pushing the large rear wheels. The earliest motorized wheelchair was developed in 1918 and has been since the subject of continuous improvements. Nowadays you can find almost any type of transport wheelchair you can think of, depending on your personal needs. Customized wheelchairs are also available and are designed to fit one person’s body precisely and offer great comfort. At improvelife.com you can find any type of transport chair you want at a very convenient price.

The basic transport wheelchair is considered to be the manually propelled chair, with two large rear wheels, two smaller wheels, a classic seat, a footrest and rear handles. These manual wheelchairs are still used on very large scale all around the world. The advantages to these basic transport chairs are that they represent very practical solutions and aren’t expensive. There are three main categories of manual wheelchairs: the self-propelled chairs, the attendant-propelled chairs and wheelbase. Each category has a different use, depending on the particular situation or disability of the user. For instance, the attendant-propelled wheelchairs are usually used in hospitals and other medical facilities, to transport the patients.

Nowadays, electric wheelchairs are becoming more and more popular because of the high level of comfort and special features they provide. The electric wheelchairs are usually used by those who have great difficulties in using a manual transport chair model. For instance, people with arm or shoulder disabilities would have a very hard time using a manual wheelchair. There are many variations of electric wheelchairs to choose from. Some models are very similar to the classic manual chairs while others resemble small automobiles. The latter are equipped with a steering wheel and have four wheels for better maneuverability. Some people think that power chairs are large and heavy; this is not necessarily true. These types of wheelchairs can even be as light as a manual chair and very easy to fold and transport. Electric wheelchairs can be specially designed even according to the environment they are going to be used in the most. Therefore, there are both outdoor and indoor use electric wheelchairs available for purchasing. Many special features can be added to a power chair in order to simplify control and increase comfort. The seat can be specially modified, the control joystick customized and special accessories added for all kinds of particular situations.

In today’s world, there are many types of mobility devices which aid people with certain mobility difficulties in leading a normal life. The transport wheelchair still remains the most popular mobility device anywhere in the world. A transport chair can even be customized to fit one’s particular needs, no matter what they are. At improvelife.com you will find a wide variety of mobility devices to meet all of your demands.

All around the world, many people face various mobility problems which make going from one place to another very difficult. A transport wheelchair can be the best solution and comes in many different variations. Find out more about purchasing a transport chair by visiting our website.

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