When any person needs to use a wheelchair for any reason, the proper wheelchair fitting is of the utmost importance. To get the proper fitting, you need to take several different things into consideration, the most important of which is the user and their comfort while in the wheelchair. An improperly fitted wheelchair can not only be uncomfortable, it can cause a variety of health issues as well.
When fitting a wheelchair, there are several things to consider, such as how the user will get around in the wheelchair. For manual wheelchairs you need to determine if he or she will maneuver the wheelchair by foot or by use of their arms, or will there be combination of the two. This makes a big difference in the proper fitting because this will determine the height of the seat on the chair. Another aspect that determines height of the seat is how the user will get in and out of the wheelchair.
For instance, if the chair seat is set at a higher level, it may cause the person to have poor posture because they will have to slide on the seat just to reach the floor when using their foot to maneuver the wheelchair or transferring in and out of it. Poor posture in a wheelchair is the number one cause of long-term spinal damage. Having to slide in the seat to reach the floor can cause breathing issues as well.
Having the wheelchair seat too low to the floor can also be a problem since this could cause unsafe conditions for transferring and use. It is a good idea, especially for those who use their feet to get around in the wheelchair, to have an appointment to make sure that the hip and knee are even, while still being able to reach the floor.
In wheelchair fitting, the back of the wheelchair makes a big difference as well. While there are many different styles and adjustments on wheelchairs, for someone who is taller or shorter than the average person, they may need a wheelchair back that is adjustable. At the same time, the weight of the wheelchair is of importance too. If the user has a lack of strength in the upper body region, it is a good idea to get a wheelchair that is lighter which will make it easier for the person to pull or push.
When considering weight, you also need to consider the weight of the user. On average, the standard one has the ability to carry as much as 250 pounds of weight. If the user weighs more, you may have to look into a custom built or specialized manufacturer to get the right wheelchair.
Before making your purchase, it’s very important to decide how the wheelchair will be transported and to make sure that the client or their helper is able to load the chair into their vehicle. Now is the time to discover any potential issues.
Getting a correct wheelchair fitting not only means that the user will be comfortable during use, but also ensures their safety and alleviates health concerns as well. We’ve covered some of the basics in this article, but there are many subtleties that only someone will experience in fitting wheelchairs will know. Before you start shopping for a wheelchair, make sure that you have all the necessary information that will allow you to get the right wheelchair for you.