Wheelchairs are technical aids that allow mobility for people with mobility difficulties. Approximately 20% of the world's population has, or has had mobility problems at some point in their life. People with disabilities have different needs depending on their problem. Some solve their mobility problems with crutches or canes, however, there are others who need wheelchairs to get around. But, in general, wheelchairs are the most used mobility equipment among the population.
There are several models of wheelchairs on the market, allowing it to be adapted to the needs of each user. In addition, there are also a multitude of accessories to make the life of those who are in the chair and those who push them much more comfortable, safe and simple.
Origins of the wheelchair
Like many of the oldest inventions in history, its origin is unknown, since it is difficult to determine which was the first chair and who invented it. However, the first is considered to have been invented for King Felipe II of Spain by an unknown author.
The Stephen Farfler model, in 1655, is considered to be the first wheelchair, which was actually a self-propelled chair with three wheels. Since then, they have been making improvements to the 1655 version until they know the chair as we know it today. Everest & Jennings, in 1956, was the company in charge of making the last improvements, since they were pioneers in the creation of the folding wheelchair as well as the electric ones.
Tips for choosing a wheelchair
If you are looking for a wheelchair that suits your needs, you must take into account a series of functionalities. Characteristics such as the measurements of the chair, the type of disability or the load it will have to bear are essential if you want your chair to be the perfect one for you. For example, if you are going to use it continuously, it may be recommended that you get an anti-decubitus cushion, to avoid problems with blood flow and / or bedsores.
In addition, it is also very important to know if the user who has mobility problems can move the upper trunk to propel himself. It is important since the size of the wheels (both the front and the rear) will largely depend on this aspect.
Types of wheelchairs
We can find different types of wheelchairs on the market, depending on the degree of mobility, the needs or even the preferences of each user. Here are the most common chairs that exist today.
As its name suggests, the way to propel or move is manually. They are quite light and adaptable, since most accessories can be included in it without any problem.
Within this type, we can find the chairs that are self-propelled and those that are not. The first of them are ideal for those users who have mobility in the upper trunk, since they do not need to be with another person to move since they can do it themselves. On the other hand, the non-self-propelled ones must necessarily be pushed by another person, although they are smaller and lighter.
This type has a motor and a battery to transport itself, which gives the user greater autonomy to move around. The normal thing is to find a Joystick on the armrest with which the patient controls his direction. In addition, depending on the model, we can find them in rear and front wheel drive.
They have a technology that allows the patient to stand up. This is a very advantageous feature for users, since it gives them greater independence and allows them to change position, avoiding health problems such as ulcers or bone problems.
Surely you have ever seen one of these chairs in Paralympic sports such as basketball, tennis or rugby. Although each one is adapted to the characteristics of each user (weight, height, degree of mobility, etc.), all of them have wheels slightly inclined at an angle. In addition, they are made of much more resistant materials such as aluminum or titanium.
Wheelchairs for climbing stairs
It is the newest type, and some of them are still under study. But, there is already one that allows you to climb stairs independently. And, although there are already systems for climbing stairs, we do not find them in all of them. Thanks to this invention, in the form of a small table with wheels, the user can go up or down any ladder without much effort.
Once you have chosen the wheelchair that suits your needs, it is important to acquire some accessories that will make your life much easier. In addition, some can help you in your mobility and sometimes accessories can make you self-sufficient and not depend on someone else. Here are the accessories that you can't miss.
Having some accessories that make your life more comfortable is very important, especially if we talk about a wheelchair, in which most likely you'll be many hours on top of it. In the market we can find anti-scalp cushions, in addition to these more comfortable, avoid health problems, armrest pads and accessories for eating in your chair as side tables or support for drinks.
In Jicaclick you can also find cane holders to transport your crutches or canes so that they do not represent a burden.
It is also essential that you have accessories that provide some security, since no one wants to fall out of the chair, or catch your foot while moving. For this purpose, there are special seat belts for the chairs, or restraint harnesses. In addition, you can find footrests or armrests for your chair.
Accessories to expand storage
It is very common to have storage problems in the chair, since it is normal that it does not have any compartment to carry your personal belongings. Therefore, it is very important that you have some accessories that allow you to carry all your belongings.
In this section you can find special backpacks for wheelchairs, extra pockets for extra storage and bag hooks. This last option can be found in Jicaclick. The hook is essential to carry not only your bag but also shopping bags. In addition, it is universal and resistant, so you can adapt it to any type of chair and holds up to 6 kilos of weight.
Accessories for better vision
When you go in a wheelchair vision is very reduced, because at night there is no light to see where you go and you can not look back, if this is a problem for you do not worry. In the market there are accessories to improve vision such as LED lights or special rear-view mirrors to alleviate this problem.
Usually, rain is a problem for people with reduced mobility. It can be difficult to adapt an umbrella to the wheelchair or an umbrella on hot days. Fortunately, there are universal umbrella holders and raincoats so that this is not a problem. The umbrella holders also allow you to use it not only for your umbrella but also for a sun umbrella.
In Jicaclick, you can also find mittens or gloves so that in case you need someone else to push you, they won't get cold hands on winter days.