Monday, 23 April 2018

New Wheelchair Technologies

Although wheelchairs offer a form of mobility to those who would otherwise be confined to a very limited area, their functionality is basic. Ask anyone who has been confined to a wheelchair for any length of time and you will be told that while it is useful, it is far from perfect. Only a wheelchair user will know the obstacles that have to be faced everyday. However, advances in technology have made new designs possible which in turn offer much greater comfort, mobility and flexibility of use.


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           ·         Carbon Fiber Wheelchairs: The use of carbon fiber has transformed the bicycle from a humdrum means of transport to a high tech piece of equipment that can be used for everything from daily transport to world class sports. The same now applies to wheelchairs. Carbon fiber wheelchairs are very tough, light and offer much cycle like features, including lights for night time use.
         
                 ·         Off Road Wheelchairs: Motorized, using tank like tracks and with precision controls, including joysticks, these offer wheelchair users the chance to enjoy the outdoors like never before. From beaches to snow cover hills, they are like ATVs and can go to places that an ordinary wheelchair cannot.

                 ·         Workout Wheelchairs: Made from high grade industrial materials and using special design features, these wheelchairs offer users the opportunity to work on their core, back, shoulders and arms to build up strength and stamina. Most offer a range of seating position options each of which enables strengthening of a specific part of the body when the wheelchair is being used. A seating position for normal use without placing stress on any one part of the body is also available. This can be selected for normal daily use.

                 ·         Power Assisted Wheelchairs: There are now power units available that can be attached to a normal wheelchair to provide the extra power needed to climb hills or cover long distances. These are wheeled, independently powered units that are attached to the front of the chair and controlled by handlebars like a cycle.

                 ·         Sports Wheelchairs: These have been around for some time and are a common sight in marathons and other sporting events. These are special chairs and are not suitable for daily use. Now, there are sports wheelchairs available that combine the best of both worlds. With some minor adjustment, which the user can do themselves, the chair can be converted from sporting use to normal indoor functionality.

           
There are Still Limitations

Even with the best of wheelchairs, traveling for any distance can be difficult, if not impossible. That means that motorized transport is needed. While some wheelchair users are able to drive themselves using specially adapted vehicles, other are dependent on public transport (if available) or friends to take them where they need to go. This can often be difficult or awkward. That is where Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) plays a role. NEMT provides special vehicles with trained drivers to transport wheelchair users and others with mobility problems to where they have to go. Reliable, reasonably priced and always available, an NEMT is an ideal way for those with mobility limitations to enjoy the freedom of movement that means so much to everyone.