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Disabled Lover: How To Choose The Right Wheelchair For Them

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Love is a beautiful thing and it’s capable of making even the strongest persons vulnerable, especially a disabled lover. It transcends race, color, preferences and phenotypical features. One of the most popular languages of love is gifts. No one ever says “I hate gifts” and as a matter of fact, gifts go a long way in reaffirming the feeling one has for their partner.

For disabled lovers, it’s not different. They appreciate gifts as much as every able-bodied person does. Although the world still has a long way to go in the perception of disability dating, handicapped lovers can, however, make life easy by getting the right equipment for their partners. The major problem faced by handicapped people is how to get the right and perfect mobility equipment to ease their movement.

A lot of handicapped lovers have missed out on great shows and sights due to transportation and inadequate mobility equipment. In most cases, the number one equipment that holds much importance to a handicapped person is the wheelchair. As much as the wheelchair is required to move from place to place, getting the perfect wheelchair in terms of size, fit and measurement has posed a great challenge.

The wheelchair to a handicapped person can be likened to the sports shoes of an athlete. They come in different sizes and designs and to ensure easy movement, one has to find the perfect chair that optimizes performance and eliminates every difficulty. A lot of people have spent so much time and money in getting the perfect wheelchair because the whole process could be very tricky.

The most important factors to consider when getting a wheelchair for your disabled lover includes pricing, comfort, and daily routines. Selecting the perfect wheelchair isn’t as easy as walking into a shop and picking up groceries. It requires adequate information and a lot of things needs to be considered.

Things To Consider When Selecting The Perfect Wheelchair For A Disabled Lover

When you want to get something for someone you are in love with, you want to get something perfect, free of blemish and comfortable. Purchasing a wheelchair for a disabled lover should be done with a kind of mindset, you are not confining them to the wheelchair but rather, you are liberating them with the wheelchair. The wheelchair is going to help them get around quickly, enjoy the basic of life just like anyone who can walk.

There are different kinds of wheelchair and purchasing one seriously depends on your budget, the lifestyle of the disabled person, the nature of the disability and of course, their environment. The different ranges and designs available could cause a selection headache for the buyer but the whole process can be simplified by putting somethings into consideration.

The major reason for purchasing a wheelchair for your disabled lover is to help them get more active, increase their comfort and assist their mobility.

Mobility Requirements to Put In Consideration When Selecting A Wheelchair For Your Lover

The history of the wheelchair can be traced as far back as the 6th century BC where most chairs had 3 wheel chassis with a rigid look. John Dawson designed a fantastic wheelchair that improved on the earlier versions and in 1783, it outsold all others for a long time. Engineers, fabricators and wheelchair designers have since then worked closely with caregivers and health practitioners in order to come up with the best possible version of the mobility equipment.

Thankfully, their innovation has led to lots of positives and today’s chairs are lighter, can be easily maneuvered, more comfortable and easily configured to meet specific needs. Examples of modern day wheelchair extension that provide more comfort includes kerb climbers, supports and brake extensions.

When purchasing a wheelchair for a disabled lover, mobility requirements are of the utmost importance. It’s important to get something that permits easy movement from a platform to the wheelchair and into seats, beds and toilets. It is also important during your wheelchair selection process to consider future changes in your lover’s mobility as well as a possible deterioration in their physical health.

Generally, the choice of a wheelchair depends on the physical proportions of the disabled person and this usually includes weight and size. A wheelchair that would be considered perfect for your disabled lover should have a width that is greater than that of their hip size – between 2cm – 4cm. This is critical in order to allow for easy entry and exit from the chair as well as make movement comfortable.

The weight limit is also an important factor to consider in order to ensure comfortability in your handicap dating. Different wheelchairs have different weight specifications. You should consider the perfect fit or seek the help of a professional when trying to purchase one for your lover.

Individual preferences also go a long way in determining what would fit your lover perfectly. Wheelchairs come in different modifications so if you are someone who loves to fold your chair so as not to take too much space, go for something foldable. If your lover also has a thing for sports or other recreational activities, mobile and light weight wheelchairs have been built to provide them with the necessary support.

The places regularly visited also has a direct bearing on the choice of a perfect wheelchair. For instance, if your handicapped lover lives in an apartment with tight spaces or they work in an office with clustered furniture, a wheelchair with a foldable footrest is preferable. Choosing a rigid or modifiable wheelchair is up to the personal preferences of the affected person. For someone who spends a lot of time indoors, a compact and easily navigable wheelchair is the most suitable option.

If you love to travel and visit new environments or your handicapped lover is highly adventurous, you may opt for a wheel chair that combines both indoor and outdoor features. This type of wheelchair also fits people who go through routes with uneven surfaces. They usually feature pneumatic or mountain tyres as well as suspension frames to improve performance.

With over 80% of disabled people using wheelchairs that don’t fit the body, you wouldn’t want your lover to add up to the list. Essentially, a wheelchair is supposed to help the disabled person enjoy some mobility as well as improve the quality of their life. The number of wheelchair misfits keeps increasing and the reason is that most people do not know how to correctly measure their wheelchair size and they also fail to make provision for future changes in their body.

The truth is that the different kinds of wheelchair available provide different utility in terms of fit and feel. Selecting the right wheelchair for your disabled lover could make life a lot easier and the relationship interesting. Maximizing your lover’s mobility and putting them in a position that makes them really uncomfortable is separated by a thin line – a proper wheelchair.

The beautiful thing about whatever wheelchair you choose is that it can be easily configured and adapted to your handicapped lover’s need over time. The various components that make up a wheelchair like a seat that permits you to adjust the seating position. Parts like the backrest, wheels and other accessories can also be adjusted to fit the specific needs of your handicapped lover.

The Types Of Wheelchair Available

The plethora of wheelchair available in the market is a reflection of the diverse specific needs and requirements of the wheelchair user. The major decision you need to make when purchasing a wheelchair for your disabled lover is to consider what works best for them – manual wheelchair or powered wheelchair. The two most important factors to consider when making this decision is your lover’s ability to propel themselves and their level of independence. Both criteria are in fact critical in order to ease the burden of their mobility.

Manual Wheelchairs

People who have a sufficient upper body strength would easily fit in a manual wheelchair. These types are propelled by pushing the arms forward and the wheels and rims are grabbed by the hand for navigation. Weighing about 50 pounds and chrome-plated behemoth, a standard wheelchair was pretty rigid over a generation ago. Today, wheelchairs are no longer monochromatic, they are available in a wide selection of colors and are almost half the weight of what they used to be.

Manual wheelchairs nowadays have been designed to provide a far superior performance. They ride smoother and are super easy to push than the heavy duties of the past. There are also lightweights and whether foldable frame or the rigid frame, they can be easily lifted in and out of vehicles.

Generally, manual chairs are divided into two – the rigid frame and the foldable frame. The rigid frame requires more of the rider’s energy to propel it forward than a folding unit. This means that if your disabled lover has a slim body with medium biceps, movement from place to place might be a little difficult. The foldable chair has a feature that makes it relatively superior in terms of advantage. Its portability is a major factor and when a handicapped person is traveling by air, some of these chairs can fit perfectly into the cabin.

Recent improvements on manual wheelchairs have also seen manufacturers integrating suspension systems.  This is done in order to smoothen the ride and provide the user with more comfort. The suspensions could also be added as an aftersales market provided there is a space for it. If your disabled lover has an existing wheelchair, a suspension could be fit to make it more convenient.

In terms of wheels and tires, manual wheelchairs can be modified in various ways to ease the mobility burdens of your lover. Off-road traction, special performance, and personalized features can be added to make mobility easy for your disabled lover. Spinergy is a perfect example of one of the many companies that manufacture high-performance wheelchair rims that guarantee express mobility. Their rims are lightly weighted and one of their latest rim lines is the innovative push rim.

Thanks to the increased level of creativity in manual chairs, your disabled lover may no longer need to push the rim on the wheel to make the chair move. The propulsion alternatives have now led to the innovation of lever-driven chairs on the market. They protect the shoulders and do not put them at the risk of getting hurt as with standard rims.

The Pivot Dual Lever Drive is a great innovation that substitutes the quick release rear wheels of a standard manual wheelchair and this pivot comes with five effort levels. It’s perfect for handicapped lovers who may have weak arms.

There is also the Wijit Wheelchair where the user only needs half as much strength as they would have needed to push a basic manual chair.

Power Chairs

Powered wheelchairs are very good and if that’s your preference, you need to prioritize your handicapped lover’s fit to ensure there are no lapses. This type of wheelchair is also perfect for people who can’t push. Power wheelchairs eliminate every need to exact a physical force to propel them. They usually work with the aid of a battery and an electric motor controlled by a joystick.

Power wheelchairs come in varying ranges and styles. Ordinarily, they look like the conventional wheelchair that has been stuffed with motors, batteries and a control system. Platform model power chairs is a perfect example of a chair that looks ordinary but with a basic seat or captain’s chair placed right on top of a power base.

Scooters are excellent especially if you fancy something stylish for your handicapped lover. They usually vary between 3 or 4 wheels and are perfect for people who don’t travel on rough terrains. About 2 decades ago, the market didn’t have much in terms of power chairs. The few brands who manufactured power chairs also had their limits in terms of the available models. In today’s world, the efforts invested in ensuring that disabled people have lots of choices has expanded the market. People now have the options to choose a faster, lighter and more durable wheelchair.

In most cases, power wheelchairs are usually rear-wheel driven but front-wheel and mid-wheel drives have also made their rounds in the market. These types of wheelchair are suitable for easy turns and maneuvering tight spaces.

All power chairs have something in common, they are controlled by a secondary source of power but some have special features that make them rugged and fit for off-road purposes. If your lover loves to travel and visit places, these power chairs are suitable. They can be customized for the most complex needs of people with disability.

Although most people walk into stores to purchase the wheelchair that meets their needs, getting a power chair that fits seamlessly into your handicapped lover’s needs requires a bit of help from an expert, occupational therapist or a reputable medical professional. One of the major difficulties when selecting the perfect wheelchair for your lover is how to get the right supplier. An occupational therapist, seating specialists as well as forums where people discuss issues relating to disabilities could greatly assist you.

Power Assist

If your handicapped lover already has a manual wheelchair, you can still beef it up a little by integrating an electric motor. This can be placed either by the wheel units or somewhere beneath the chair seat. The assist has its control and when it’s switched on, a single push on the wheels provides the chair with a forward surge.

There are several power assists that can help your lover enjoy more liberty in terms of mobility. There is the e.motion and it is suitable for different kinds of chairs. The Xtender is also available in two versions for some Quickie Models. The first increases the force applied to the handrails by a proportion of 1.5 while the other boosts the chair by a factor of 3. If you seek an improved riding range for your handicapped lover, power assists can help them achieve this whilst saving time, energy, wear and tear.

The magic wheels are also a great option to consider when trying to choose your disabled lover’s perfect chair. It’s without batteries and motors. It has a 2-gear wheelchair wheels that has a lower gear useful for climbing hills. Power assists focus on the increased health benefits you can derive from a chair because it saves a lot of dependence on the shoulders.

Choosing The Perfect Wheelchair For Your Lover: The Materials

The fit and performance of a wheelchair as well as how convenient it is for the user may also be determined by the materials with which it has been built. Different wheelchairs are built with diverse materials hence, it is important to examine them carefully. The most common wheelchair materials include

  • Steel: as one of the toughest materials anyone could use in building a piece of mobility equipment, steel needs no introduction. They are usually heavy and they improve the stability of the chair but this comes at the expense of easy movement. The implication of this is that your partner would be needing to exert more force in order to complete a forward push.
  • Aluminum: is relatively lighter and it makes the chair very easy to transport. If your lover travels frequently, the lightweight material used in the production of this chair makes it highly convenient to carry. wheelchairs fabricated with aluminum provides an excellent combination of lightweight and convenience.
  • Carbon Fibre: this material is ultra-lightweight and it boasts a tremendous amount of durability. It is sturdy and highly resilient despite its weight.

Service Centres

Whatever chair you are buying for your handicapped lover, you need to consider where it can be serviced or maintained in case of a malfunction. Although some chairs are fabricated from strong and highly durable materials, their overall functionality is quite fragile. They require the skills of a highly trained professional in ensuring that they remain or are restored to a good working condition. Location matters a lot in this case. While there are lots of service centers in the United States for instance, third world countries may not have professionals who can fix a chair.

There is a mistake common to most people. When they travel far distance away from home on holidays or vacation, they purchase a hi-tech wheelchair and return to their location. They often forget that things could go wrong and the tube, tires, seats or even the electric motor can develop a fault. Local technicians may find it difficult to diagnose and rectify the fault when you are far away from a recognized service centre. An uninformed attempt to troubleshoot the chair may leave it in a worse condition. It is, however, important to purchase a wheelchair within the expertise of technicians in your locality.

Final words

A properly-fitted wheelchair has several benefits and this should help your decision in getting one for your handicapped lover. The primary aim of any wheelchair is to improve the mobility of the affected person, affording them more freedom and activeness. This means that when configuring your purchased chair, you must be careful to pay enough attention to every single detail. It is important to carefully consider the nature of your lover’s disability in order to select a chair that liberates them. Sometimes in the name of comfort, most people set up a chair in a manner that puts the user at the risk of more injury. Configuring and accessorizing should be done with the aid of a professional like an occupational therapist or medical practitioner.

A wheelchair may also be considered perfect when it’s not only convenient for the user, but allows them to get back to some of their previous hobbies. Chairs are more flexible and modifiable compared to how they once were. There are different fits and extensions that can provide extra support for your disabled lover. Purchasing the right wheelchair is important but finding enhancing and auxiliary features based on your partners’ preferences makes all the difference.

Do you still have more questions relating to choosing a wheelchair for your lover? Don’t hesitate to use the comment box, we would be happy to respond ASAP.

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