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Your Wheelchair Questions Answered

Mar 7, 2008
If you have ever broken an ankle or leg then you know how important mobility is to a person. Being trapped in one position, unable to venture out to work or to perform routine daily tasks can make a bad situation even worse. A lack of mobility can greatly reduce the quality of life a person has and can make a medical situation worse if they are unable to get around independently.

Wheelchairs may bring to mind the elderly but in reality wheelchairs are a great factor in many people's lives on a day-to-day basis. You may be unfamiliar with wheelchairs and their necessity and be wondering how you or a loved one will be able to get around.

This article will discuss the differences between wheelchairs as well as what to expect when operating a wheelchair. No one has to be stuck in bed or in a chair stationary any longer. A wheelchair can improve their quality of life and let them get out of the house or hospital.

When was the first wheelchair invented?

The wheelchair has had a long history with mankind. The first foldable wheelchair with steel tubing was invented by Henry Jennings in 1932. Early wheelchairs have been linked back to the Chinese as far back as 525 CE and even have been documented with royalty. King Phillip II of Spain was depicted in a wheeled chair with head, foot and arm rests but it was not self-propelled.

What sizes do wheelchairs come in?

Wheelchair sizes range from those used by children upwards to those chairs that can accommodate plus size adults. Each wheelchair has a maximum weight limit it can support. If the individual weighs more than the recommended weight allowance, a bigger chair will be needed to support his or her girth and weight.

Does insurance cover the cost of a wheelchair?

If the attending physician writes a prescription for a wheelchair, your insurance company will cover the cost or at least a portion of the costs. It must be a medical necessity in order for insurance to pay for the chair. If you do not have insurance you may be able to find a wheelchair in a medical supply outlet or find a used one in good shape. There are also organizations and charity groups that provide wheelchairs for people with limited income.

How do I make my home wheelchair accessible?

You can make your home wheelchair accessible by installing a few items that can help the impaired individual. You must make sure that your door is wide enough to accommodate the width of the chair and wheels. You should also install a ramp leading to your door if there are steps involved.

Hopefully you have a downstairs bathroom; otherwise you will have to install equipment that can allow the person to see to their bathroom needs. If you find that you are not skilled enough to make the changes, you can hire a contractor that specializes in handicap renovations.

My wheelchair is not motorized and the palms of my hands are becoming irritated by the wheels. What can I do?

Manually operating a wheelchair can be very rough on the arms and hands. Most people who use a wheelchair a majority of the time will elect to wear special gloves. The gloves are made of light weight leather, have padding in the palms and are usually missing the finger tips. The absence of the finger tips allows the user the freedom to perform tasks without being forced to remove their gloves.
About the Author
Visit Mike Selvon portal for more information on wheelchairs, and leave a comment at our wheelchair accessories blog. Don't forget to claim your FREE gift.
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