The main purpose of a wheelchair is to provide freedom and mobility to those who cannot walk or maintain walking for long periods of time. For some disabilities it may be used to be transported around by a carer or partner, making travelling easier. There are many different styles of wheelchair, each one with a specific purpose, so it is important to find the right wheelchair for you.
Lightweight wheelchairs are a fantastic way to get around, and also provide some relief for your hands. Lightweight wheelchairs are also easy to move around, so you will be able to move your wheelchair around more easily and gain more independence. Often it is a struggle to move a wheelchair when you are not in it but attempting to store it in your home. This should be one of the main considerations behind a wheelchair purchase, how easily it can be stored and moved around in your own home.
Ultra Lightweight Wheelchairs
Many lightweight wheelchairs are extremely light, but some ultra-lightweight wheelchairs boast an 8.5kg carry weight. This can be very useful for those who might be concerned about how much they can lift or manoeuvre. While they are extremely light, they are also durable, and with proper use can last a lifetime.
Pros and Cons Of Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchairs
Weight is the most obvious benefit of an ultra-lightweight wheelchair and will make transportation of the wheelchair easier. However, some wheelchair accessories will need to be sacrificed in order to reduce weight. Some ultra-lightweight wheelchairs may have to sacrifice folding accessories, which means some will not be able to be folded. This means that while the wheelchair may be lighter, it may be more difficult or awkward to store at home. A slightly heavier, foldable wheelchair may be more appropriate, as it will have accessories such as removable arms.
Self-Propelled Versus Transit
Depending on your disability, and preference, you may need to decide whether a transit or self-propelled wheelchair is right for you. A transit wheelchair uses handles and needs an operator to push the wheelchair along, whereas a self-propelled wheelchair uses hand rims, so the user can push themselves along and do not need any assistance.
There are benefits to both wheelchairs. Self-propelled wheelchairs are a great way to stay independent, and also gain some light exercise as you propel yourself around. The independence and freedom is also a fantastic benefit to your mental health, as you will be able to move around on your own, and not need to rely on a carer
However, self-propelled wheelchairs are naturally heavier due to the hand rims, and many people may not have the strength to operate them, if they are elderly or affected by disability in the arms. Transit wheelchairs are a great option, as they are often lighter, and have all the same benefits, but make it easier for the wheelchair user to be transported around.