When choosing wheelchairs for the elderly, it is important to understand the users’ needs. Generally, we would suggest going with the lightweight and foldable one as it would cause less weight burden to the users. In some cases, a power wheelchair is also good choice that offers the elders more independence.
First, let’s learn about the different types of wheelchairs base on the purpose used :
1. Wheelchair used at home
For basic daily use, indoor wheelchairs should meet two criteria: compact and easily maneuvered around the house, e.g., around tight corners and through often narrow doorways. Depending on the users’ bodies and symptoms that he/she can either choose SOMA or KARMA series. SOMA series is more basic and recommended to elders who don’t have to sit for long hours every day.
Meanwhile, Karma’s S-Ergo series is designed with patented S-seating which offers more comfort for users sitting for long hours. S–Ergo 125 is the most comprehensive model of this series since it has the features of the swing-away footrest and detachable armrest to safely move in/out of the chair.
2. Wheelchair to go outdoor
What to look for when choosing a wheelchair to regularly take elders out of the house must be lightweight, rear wheels, and handgrip with brakes.
In this case, Ergo Lite lightweight series is the best choice since it is around 8.7KG, offers both small/big rear wheels depending on users’ needs, and is equipped with S-seating as well.
Last but not least, the handgrip is composed of a 2-in-1 Push and Pull brake system to stop and park the chair immediately.
When the user isn’t using the chair if it can be folded and stored out of the way or taken in the car.
3. Positioning wheelchairs
Positioning wheelchairs is also quite demanding among elders who use the chair frequently. The benefit of this model is to allow the elderly user to switch different positions to relieve pressure and, if needed, can facilitate the care of the elderly user if necessary. KARMA’s positioning wheelchairs can be tilted, reclined, or both.
Manual or power? Will the elders be able to control electric wheelchairs themselves?
The decision between choosing a manual or power wheelchair largely depends on the mobility of the elderly user. If the elderly person has good mobility in the arms and torso and good balance, then it is possible for them to use a self propel manual wheelchair. If they do not have any mobility and need to travel regularly, then a power wheelchair is the way to go.
The decision is usually made by the person who will be caring for the elderly user. If the elderly person has good decent balance but unable to self-propel the chair, they can opt for a wheelchair with transit wheels that can be pushed by a caregiver. This is a good option for day-to-day use together with the assistance of a caregiver. If the elderly user does not have someone who can help them, then a power wheelchair may be a better choice.
Generally, what should keep in mind before choosing a wheelchair for elders:
- The level of mobility decreases in most cases. This is why it is advisable to choose a wheelchair that is adjustable to adapt to the progressive loss of mobility an elderly person may suffer. Mobility products adapted to your needs and comfort.
- The heaviness, foldability, functions of the wheelchair.
- For a power chair, it is necessary to make sure the elders are still able to control the electric system.
KARMA Mobility wheelchairs are extensive safety tested to meet various international standards. If you still need advice about which chair to choose, you can contact your local KARMA dealer or contact KARMA here.