Wendy's Wheelchair Info & Tips
Here are general guidelines
to help you select your wheelchair:
Get Medical Advice
First. Ask your medical doctor or physical therapist what
they recommend for your individual situation. Each person's needs
are different and getting personal advice for your particular diagnosis
is our recommendation. We are happy to find you exactly what has been
prescribed for you at the best price.
How to decide what type
of Wheelchair? Base your selection on the patient's needs first
but also consider the caregiver's ability to safely lift and maneuver
the chair. The overall size of the wheelchair must also be considered
to be sure it fits where you need it to go.
Transport Wheelchairs are
also called companion wheelchairs. They have four smaller wheels and
fold for easy transport and storage. The companion pushes this chair
which is narrower than other chairs and lightweight due to the smaller
wheels. These chairs are not meant for the patient to propel themselves;
in that case a chair with two large back wheels is needed.
Standard Wheelchairs are good for use up to several hours at a time. They can be folded and
self propelled. They have many options such as removable, elevating
and swing away legrests as well as desk arms, full arms and removable
armrests. They weigh more than other chairs making them more difficult
Lightweight Wheelchairs are best for people who will use the chair more
frequently than a few hours a day. They come in all sizes with many
armrest and legrest choices, colors, upholstery and a full range of
many other options. Their many options and lighter weight, less than
34 pounds, make these ideal for many users.
Heavy Duty (Bariatric) Wheelchairs
accommodate users weighing
over 300 pounds. Their heavy duty construction and sizing make them
the right choice for anyone in this category.
How to decide what size?
Make sure the wheelchair will fit through the narrowest doorway through which you
need to go. In general, transport wheelchairs are 3" wider
than their seat width, and other chairs are 8" wider than their seat
width. Measure your doorways and check the exact sizes on each wheelchair
page to be sure it will fit.
How to measure the user
for the right size? Measuring for most chairs requires the correct
seat width and depth. You can measure the needed width by putting a
book on each side of the user's hips while they are sitting. Measure
the space between the inside of the books. That is the basic seat width
they will need. If heavy outer clothing will be used, add another inch
to accommodate. To measure the correct seat depth needed measure, while
seated, the back of the user's buttock to the back of the knee. If
the person will be propelling the chair with their feet, be sure to
measure, while seated, from the back of the knee to the floor. Once
you have these measurements check on each wheelchair description page
to select the right size options.
Remember these above tips are
general guidelines and your medical professional should be consulted
for specific questions about your individual needs.
Determine Seat Size
• Seat width should be determined by measuring from hip to
hip in a straight line. Add two inches to this measurement.
• Seat depth should be determined by measuring from the back
of the hip to the back of the knee of the user while seated.
Subtract one inch from this measurement.
Determine Arm Type and Height
• If the user is going to be standing up to do pivot transfers,
they will require a full-length arm on the chair to help support
them as they push off to stand.
• Desk-length arms are suggested for ease of use with tables
• Determine the height of the wheelchair arm by measuring from
the elbow to the seat of the chair while the user is holding their
arms up with their elbows bent at a ninety degree angle. Height
adjustable arms are suggested when possible.
Determine Footrest Style
• Elevating legrests are always suggested when patients
are required to raise their legs for conditions such as edema,
swelling or injury.
• Determine the length of the footrest by measuring from
the back of the knee to the heel of the foot.
• In taller patients, consider using articulating legrests.
These legrests extend longer as the elevating portion of
the leg rest rises.
Determine Back Height
• Determine the measurement from the patient’s scapula or
collarbone down to the seat while the user is sitting in a chair.
• Taller back heights may be required for patients that require
upper trunk support or other support devices that may be
installed for the user.
Determine Floor to Seat Height
• Determine if the user will need to use his or her feet to
propel or move. Measure the distance between the back
of the knee to the heel to determine the seat to floor height.
Determine Wheelchair Weight and Weight Limit
• Determine the patient’s weight in order to choose what
weight capacity wheelchair will be required.
• Determine the level of upper body strength in the user.
Weaker patients will require lighter wheelchairs.
Achieving a proper fit for a user in his or her new
wheelchair can be extremely critical to the patient’s
health and wellness. It can make the difference
between either promoting recovery or causing further
injury. Some of the issues that an improper fit can
cause for the user of the wheelchair are:
• Posture issues
• Breathing problems
• Pelvic issues
• Hip problems
Measure for a perfect fit
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