The Benefits of a Lightweight Wheelchair
Being on a wheelchair is all about being mobile. It’s about independence and self-sufficiency. Having a wheelchair gives physically challenged folks the advantage of being able to move faster and more easily, without necessarily needing anyone’s assistance.
This advantage is made even greater if that wheelchair is a lightweight one. Let’s check out what are the benefits of a lightweight wheelchair.
Lightweight Vs Standard
A standard wheelchair weighs anything between 20 and 24kg, whereas a lightweight frame – usually aluminium – can weigh as little as 9kg, ranging up to a maximum of 15kg.
The lighter frame option has many advantages, not least of which is easy portability. The lightweight frame makes lifting the chair up and down stairs, or in and out of the car, a much easier task.
It will save time, because it’s quicker to load and transport. You are also less likely to be huffing and puffing from exertion after getting it loaded!
Another huge advantage of the lightweight wheelchair is the ease with which you can zip around. The light frame is easy to steer, making negotiating tight spaces, turning, and even reversing, a breeze. This is regardless of whether you’re propelling your chair yourself, or with the assistance of a loved one or carer.
Another great factor is that the lighter frames will continue to move forward at a steady pace, between wheel turns, as opposed to the standard chair, which tends to slow down the moment you stop the forward propulsion.
The minimal effort needed to keep moving forward will put a less unnecessary strain on your arms, shoulders, elbows and back. This means you are less likely to feel fatigued after a busy day, and you will be able to stay longer on the sportfields.
The lightweight chairs generally have larger wheels too, adding speed and dexterity to the chair, which makes it more suited to athletic activities. The minimal weight is a huge advantage on the basketball or tennis court too. Read this article if you would like to know how to build a temporary ramp over your stairs.
There are a few options available in the lightweight frames. There are collapsible frames, which fold up smaller and are particularly useful for those who are not fulltime wheelchair users. They can be stashed neatly, out of the way, until needed.
Great for Travelling
For the jet setting businessman, or the avid traveller, the lightweight wheelchair is a must-have, as it is so much easier to manoeuvre on and off planes and buses.
Being rid of the cumbersome clumsiness of a standard wheelchair will offer more freedom to move in narrower spaces, simply because they’re so much nimbler.
Despite their light frames, these chairs can handle the weight of up to 250lbs with ease. They are tough and resilient and offer an improved experience.
The only disadvantage is that lightweight chairs tend to be pricier than standard chairs, but the aluminium frames are less likely to bend or stretch, so they offer a proportionally longer lifespan.
How to Choose?
The best way to choose a wheelchair is probably to test drive a few, until you find the best fit for your needs. You can order extra padding if you prefer, or you can shed as much extra weight as possible to make your chair sporty and fast.
Throughout the article, it clearly shows that the advantages of owning a lightweight wheelchair outweigh the only disadvantage - price. However, this can all be justified with so many cool features a lightweight wheelchair can offer.