wheelchairs

Why You May Want A Power Wheelchair – by Emmanuel M. Aubrey

No Comments 28 November 2009

Wheelchairs have been built in order to help people who cannot move by themselves. The simple initial device has been later on motorized and improved to enable handicapped persons perform more tasks. There are two basic types of wheelchairs: the manual wheelchair and the power wheelchair. Some lead wheelchair producers are Invacare and Whirlwind Wheelchair International.
What Is an Electric Wheelchair?

An electric wheelchair (or a power wheelchair) is a chair that uses electric power in order to move the wheels. They are mostly used by people who don’t have enough strength to move their arms. These motorized wheelchairs uses batteries that need to be recharged on a regular basis.
Types of Power Wheelchairs
The Folding, Lightweight Power Wheelchair

These power wheelchairs have a pretty similar design with the manual wheelchairs, but they have two motors and rechargeable batteries. They are made for indoor use. They have small wheels in front. These wheelchairs are controlled with the use of a small joystick. Quadriplegics, who cannot move their hands, may use a special device for breath or mouth control.

The advantage of the folding power wheelchairs is that they are easy to use in very small spaces. Anyway, it is not very safe to use them outdoors.
The Lightweight Power-Assisted Wheelchair

For most of the time, these wheelchairs are used in the same way as manual wheelchairs. This model of power wheelchair is ideal for a quadriplegic or paraplegic person, who needs to use his arms for the benefit of the physical exercise. The electric power is used when the user gets tired or has to climb inclines.
The Non-Folding, Stand-Up Power Wheelchair

This model of power wheelchair has a special function to help people who cannot stand by themselves be stood up when they have a face-to-face conversation with someone standing up or for some household chores. They do not have casters so they are more difficult to use in small spaces. It is advised to use the standing-up function only on perfectly flat surfaces.
The Outdoor Power Wheelchair

This power wheelchair has been designed a long time ago, mostly for being used in rural areas. It weights up to 500 pounds so it is very unsuitable for being used in the apartment. Nevertheless, it is very efficient outdoors and can also be used in public buildings, hotels or hospitals.
The Indoor Stair-Climbing Power Wheelchair

This power wheelchair is built to be used in apartments and public buildings. Apart from the basic power wheelchair functions, it also has a stair-climbing facility.
The Combined Indoor-Outdoor Power Wheelchair

This type of power wheelchair tries to mix the characteristics of indoor and outdoor wheelchairs in order to reduce costs and storage space. Anyhow, they do have lots of safety limitations and many functions are performed poorly.

For More Information on wheelchair go to power wheelchair

Emmanuel Aubrey
Researcher
http://www.wheelchairhelpcenter.info

wheelchairs

Further Expansions Underway at Colours Wheelchairs – by Gene Emmer

No Comments 26 November 2009

Colours ‘N Motion, a U.S. medical product manufacturer, announces further steps to expand its operations. Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Anaheim, CA (PRWEB) January 12, 2005 — Colours ‘N Motion, a leading U.S. manufacturer of innovative and lightweight wheelchairs, announced that it has relocated its operations to a larger facility in Corona, California. This announcement has come only weeks after the announcement of expanded sales operations in Europe. John Box, President of Colours ‘N Motion, said: “Colours new production site in Corona is more that twice the size of our previous facility in Anaheim and will enable us to enhance our operations”. In December, Colours announced that it had selected Med Services Europe B.V. to build up its European distribution network. Med Services Europe will be responsible for locating, selecting and managing a distribution network in Western and Eastern Europe. European distributors of quality medical products interested in representing Colours Wheelchairs in their market are encouraged to contact Dr. Emmer, President of Med Services Europe, directly. About Colours ‘N Motion Colours is considered a leader in the rehabilitation industry for its design of innovative everyday, sport and pediatric wheelchairs. Colours’ wheelchairs are lightweight, adjustable and customizable. At 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg) the custom-designed Zephyr (http://www.colourswheelchair.com/products/prod_zephyr.htm) is one of the lightest wheelchairs on the market. The Boing! (http://www.colourswheelchair.com/products/prod_boing.htm) is the first wheelchair on the market with four-wheel independent suspension. Colours is disabled owned and operated. For more information: www.ColoursWheelchair.com About Med Services Europe Med Services Europe B.V. is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and specializes in Sales, Marketing and Business Development services for the Pharmaceutical, Diagnostic and Medical Equipment Industry. Med Services’ area of focus is Europe. For more information: www.MedServicesEurope.com Telephone: +31648566707 (in Amsterdam)

wheelchairs

Determining the Best Wheelchair Power for you – by RuLoterina

No Comments 24 November 2009

Do you need a wheelchair, but you are not sure what type is ideal for your body? Or you might be having doubts on buying manually operated wheelchairs. This page can help you decide.

Like the automobile, the wheelchair was developed to meet the different needs of different users. Modern wheelchairs have different styles and models. Each has different purpose and permits a lot of adjustments. Wheelchairs were changed according to foot support positioning, arm support adjustment, joystick positioning and upholstery placement. These are called powered wheelchairs or power wheelchairs.

Wheelchairs are divided into two main categories: scooters and powered wheelchairs. The two differ on the way they are steered. A conventional powered wheelchair has an electronic control, such as a joystick, that causes different amounts of power to go to each of the rear wheels to control both speed and direction. A scooter only has handlebars at the end of a tiller that is attached to the front wheel which is used to mechanically turn the wheelchair. Scooters require more arm movement and hand function than powered wheelchairs.

You can identify scooters by its seat that is mounted on a pedestal attached to the floor of the scooter. It usually has three or four wheels. Most four-wheeled scooters have front wheels that are connected together. So when the tiller is turn left and right, the front wheels turn left and right together. The tiller controls the movement, but it is the lever attached to the handlebars that controls the speed.

Powered wheelchairs have three different drive wheel types. The front-wheel drive chairs are built with large front drive wheels and casters in the rear. The mid-wheel drive chairs have larger wheels on the rear and casters on the front. The rear-wheel drive chairs are designed in such a way that the main drive wheel is centered under the user’s center of mass. Others are called specially powered wheelchairs, such as stair climbing powered wheelchair that are designed for off-road use.

A powered wheelchair has base that contains the motor, battery and wheels. The seating system is mounted on top of the base. Wheelchair of this sort usually has four wheels and is controlled by input switches.

There are also wheelchairs that can be folded and are specially designed for use in traveling. Traveling with wheelchair requires a personal vehicle that is modified to contain the wheelchair. These wheelchairs have batteries that are housed in separate boxes that are easy to remove.

If you are still not satisfied with power mobility that your powered wheelchair offers, there are other options available. There are add-on power systems which convert manual wheelchair frame into a power mobility device, and power-assist wheels that are considered transitional products between manual mobility and power mobility.

For additional Information about the articles you may visit http://www.wheelchairspower.com

wheelchairs

Wheelchairs: The Trend from Functionality to Individuality – by Dr. Gene Emmer

No Comments 24 November 2009

Wheelchairs have been around for hundreds of years, but early wheelchairs were intended only to help a disabled individual move from point A to point B. As society progressed and disabled individuals became more integrated, the role of the wheelchair began to change as well. Wheelchairs are now considered not only a means of transportation but also as a way to allow users to express their individuality. Users can find custom-made high quality ultra-light high-performance wheelchairs as well as accessories that enable them to individualize their look and style. The move from functionality to individuality is discussed in this article.
There were many attempts to connect furniture to wheels dating back to the time of Christ. But perhaps the first wheelchair was invented for King Phillip II of Spain. A drawing of the King dated 1595 shows him in a chair with wheels, armrests and footrests. However, he needed assistance to propel it and the chair resembled more a modern baby’s highchair than a wheelchair of today. In 1665 one of the first self-propelled vehicles was invented by Stephan Farfler. But it looked more like a present day hand-bike than a wheelchair as it was propelled by hand cranks attached to the front wheel. The modern wheelchair began to take shape in the late 19th century to early 20th century with the advent of push rims for self-propulsion and slings for seat and backrests. The 20th century saw a rapid development in wheelchairs, from the first motorized wheelchair, to the first folding wheelchair, to lightweight and sports wheelchairs.
The most recent two decades have seen the progress in the modern wheelchair accelerate. They are lighter and perform better than ever before. There are now many possibilities available to improve the ride, from suspension systems which help to remove vibrations and jolts, to ultra-light weight frames which enable better performance, to special designs for every individualized need and taste. The recent trend is towards customization. Customized wheelchairs are now being requested for many reasons:
– fitting special physical needs
– improving or providing special performance
– expressing style and image
Wheelchair for a triple amputee mother:
Customization of the wheelchair to fit some special needs of the user can include simple modifications of standard designs or creating an entirely unique design. Imagine a mother who is a triple amputee. How will she move herself and her baby? Special wheelchairs can now be designed to help her. For example a user with an amputated arm can use a special wheel which has dual handrims to allow both wheels to be controlled with one hand. The wheelchair can also be modified so that it stretched in front, allowing the child seat to be attached to the wheelchair in front of the mother. Other examples may include designing extra long or extra short wheelchairs for very tall or small users or reinforced wheelchairs for heavy users or specialized devices for users that have limited motor control or functions.
Customized wheelchairs are now being regularly designed to accommodate nearly every special need.
Individualizing wheelchairs for performance is often required for athletes or very active users. This can include creating special wheelchairs for dance with the ideal center of gravity which help the user to perform spins and complicated maneuvers with ease. Dancers with limited motor control can have special handles created which allow their able bodied partners to assist them in their turns or maneuvers. Tennis players can have special requirements like reverse tilt seating position where the back of the seat is higher than the front, in order to give increased power in the arm and body movements. Rugby players need specially designed wheelchairs that can take a very hard hit without damaging the wheelchair or the occupant.
Customization for performance is not only for athletes, it can also improve the comfort for everyday users. Frames can be custom designed to fit the individual’s body like a glove. Also, customized wheelchairs are lighter and usually perform better. Most mass produced wheelchairs are made by using adjustable brackets to hold the frame together so that a prefabricated wheelchair can be adjusted to fit different individual’s sizes and requirements. However, these brackets create weight. Customized wheelchairs are made to fit the individual that they are created for. Instead of using adjustable brackets, the wheelchair parts are welded together. This means that the wheelchair is not at all adjustable, so it must be designed correctly by an experienced professional. However, since welds are lighter than brackets, customized wheelchairs are considerably lighter. They also usually perform better since the energy from the push may be lost in small movement within the brackets.
Customization can also individualize the look and style. Wheelchairs can be painted with special colors or designs, upholstery can be made to order, lighted casters, funky spoke guards with individualized patterns and bling-bling wheels with rotating spinners give the wheelchair a very unique look. Accessories can be purchased to complete the look. Leather, zip-on, frame covers can give an elegant style and bags made from material to match the upholstery can complete the look.
Advances in assistive technology, such as the recent progress in wheelchair design make it easier for disabled individuals to integrate into society. But even with new technology, users would not be able to integrate without public access and funding to purchase the new technology. The best wheelchair in the world would not help a disabled person to move about if society did not provide ramps, special doors and other infrastructure to enable access to public spaces, transportation, sidewalks and roads. And while in some countries laws have been created and public funds have been set aside to help disabled people integrate, in many other countries access is not yet available and wheelchair users are left at home. In such countries wheelchair individualization is still a thing of the future. Assistive technology can improve the wheelchair but it takes a progressive society to improve the surrounding world.

Dr Gene Emmer is President of Med Services Europe GmbH, a Zurich, Switzerland registered company. In addition to RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves (http://www.newdisability.com/gloves.htm) we represent Colours Wheelchairs in Europe and the Middle East. We are seeking distributors and dealers for our products. Dealers are encouraged to contact us for more information at www.NewDisability.com or www.MedServicesEurope.com or +41764249963.

wheelchairs

Wheelchairs Shopping 101 – by Viojieley Gurrobat

No Comments 24 November 2009

Shopping for a wheelchair is not as easy as choosing the right dress for your date tonight. People who shop for a wheelchair for the first time are often overwhelmed by the number of choices. When you are not able to get the right wheelchair your disability will seem to get worse instead of better. Keep in mind that every wheelchair user will have different needs. If you are unsure which wheelchair to buy you can consult your doctor or therapist for advice.

Factors that you have to consider in choosing the right wheelchair includes your age, body type, gender, and type of disability. If speed is important for you, you may prefer an electric wheelchair over a manual chair. Wheelchair tires should also be chosen based on your driving conditions. The price that you pay for your wheelchair will depend on the cost of the chair itself, the cost of addition features, and cost of wheelchair accessories, cost of training on how to use the wheelchair, replacement parts, maintenance costs and future wheelchair upgrades among others.

Remember that you would perhaps use your chair for a long time. Thus, as expensive as they may seem, comfort is still the most important factor in buying a wheelchair for an uncomfortable wheelchair is the same as being uneasy in your own skin.

Buying a used wheelchair is not always a good idea. There is nothing to ensure you that the used wheelchair will fit your needs. Since wheelchairs are individually customized medical devices they are generally not meant for resale. Thus, choosing the right wheelchair requires the collective input of a doctor, therapist and you to make sure that the right wheelchair is matched to you.

Nevertheless, with the increasing cost of health care it is understandable if people look for alternatives like buying used wheelchairs or scooters. Just remember though that if you decide to buy a used wheelchair, make sure that your size and weight is within the capacity of the used chair. Remember also that second hand wheelchairs don’t have transferable warranties. This means that even if the warranty is still valid, if its ownership is transferred then the warranty would no longer be enforceable. So decide wisely when shopping for a used wheelchair.

To make sure that you are buying the right used wheelchair you can check on ads on the bulletin boards, websites and newsletters at your local rehabilitation hospital, independent living center or local disability organization. Do not rush into buying the first wheelchair that you see. Most importantly, do not buy a wheelchair simply because you like its style or color.

For comments and suggestions kindly visit Power Wheelchairs Online

Viojieley Gurrobat loves readings books in her spare time. She writes stories and poems about anything under the sun.

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