What are wheelchairs?
Wheelchairs are a type of chair transportation device designed for people who have limited or no ability to walk as a result of illness, injury or disability. As individual needs vary greatly, so do wheelchairs. With the assistance of ILC, we can help you select the right wheelchair for you. Prior to purchase, it’s essential to consider both the abilities and limitations of yourself and your carer as well as your budget and transportation requirements. There are two types of wheelchair options available; manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs.
Which wheelchair is for me?
There are two types of wheelchair options available; manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs.
Manual wheelchairs can come with either rear wheel drive, transit or one arm drive options, depending on your needs. Rear wheel drive chairs generally have larger wheels on the back and swiveling castors at the front, whereas transit wheelchairs will have smaller rear wheels. Transit wheelchairs are suitable for people who may injure themselves or their carer by grabbing the wheels, however they are harder to push up curbs or over grass. One arm drive chairs can be operated using one arm and generally have a push-pull lever action or two rims located on one side of the chair. Other variations of manual wheelchairs include amputee set up, reclining backs and tilt-in-space.
Electric or powered wheelchairs may be suitable for those who are unable to self-propel using a manual wheelchair. Electric wheelchairs are not for everyone and it’s advised to seek assistance from a medical professional prior to purchase or hire.
What are mobility scooters?
If you notice that you can walk short distances but struggle to walk any further, a mobility scooter may be able to help. Mobility scooters are available in a diverse range of shapes and sizes and have a range of features to suit individual needs, including for people who may be elderly or living with a disability. At ILC, we can advise you on the best scooter for your needs.
Things to consider:
There are many aspects to consider when choosing the right mobility scooter for you which will determine the level of freedom, comfort and movement you will have. Some of these considerations include:
- Number of wheels: three wheels may allow you to have more movement for confined spaces, however four wheels are generally more stable on uneven surfaces.
- Seat: choose the right seating material for your comfort. Most scooters will allow you to adjust the seating arrangement to suit you.
- Frame: consider whether you will need to transport your scooter in another vehicle. Some scooters can be taken apart while others may require a trailer, carrier, ramp or lifter in order to be transported.
- Ignition: standard keys or jack plugs are used for most scooters.
- Controls: if you have a disability or can only use one hand/fingers, there are some mobility scooters in Perth which can cater to this.
- Safety features: to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you, most scooters should be fitted with indicators, a headlight and a horn.
- Other accessories: Other accessories can include anti-tip wheels, low battery lights, automatic speed reduction in reverse, reversing beepers and self-checking electronics. Your scooter can also be fitted with adjusted levers, canopy covers, rear view mirrors, oxygen carriers, shopping baskets, walking frames and safety flags.
Please remember, when operating a mobility scooter, it is essential that safety comes first. Choose an appropriate speed, be mindful of carrying extra weight and remember to look and listen for pedestrians and other footpath users.
Mobility scooters are not suitable for everyone and you may be recommended to have an assessment to determine the right one for you to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
What are walking frames/aids?
Walking aids are products designed to assist people with walking and general mobility, especially those who may have difficulty moving by themselves. Depending on your needs, walking aids come in a variety of forms including two, three and four-wheel walking frames. At the ILC we can assist you in choosing a walking frame.
Things to consider:
Choosing from a wide range of walking aids can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure of each product’s benefits and its capabilities in terms of meeting your mobility needs. Some factors to consider when choosing a walking frame include:
- Your environment: for your safety, please ensure all indoor and outdoor obstacles are removed and that your walking frame will fit through doorways and other areas of your home. You should also be wary of uneven surfaces including steps and wet surfaces.
- Operation: make sure you know how to operate your walking frame effectively before use i.e. remember to engage brakes when standing and sitting.
- Overall weight: the weight of your walking frame can impact your overall mobility and ability to move more effectively. Aluminium frames are generally lighter than steel.
- Load capacity: depending on your needs, it may be more beneficial to select from a range of walking frames in Perth which can carry a heavier load.
It is also essential to consider which kinds of brakes, handles, seats and backrests are installed as well as the size and transportation limitations associated with your new walking frame. ILC can direct you in ensuring these requirements are met.
The possibilities are endless!
Choosing the right mobility aid for your needs can be a difficult task, especially if this is your first time purchasing one. To find out more about scooters and mobility aids, please contact our friendly team today or call us on 1300 885 886.