7 Things You Should Know About Reclining Wheelchairs

by Bethany
[nextpage title=”Next” ]

The need for wheelchairs has been around throughout the years, leading to great improvements and new developments over time. Wheelchairs have been around for centuries, if not longer, as a necessary means of transportation for many individuals. In more recent years, adaptations have been made to create self-propelling functionality, the addition of extra storage, and even cup holders.

Added functionality such as these, and improvements in comfort and health advantages, like the ability to recline or tilt, have been put in place to make life a little easier. For the senior generation, any improvements made on something like a wheelchair, which is both a necessity for mobility and also a part of daily life, are especially crucial and can even drastically improve the quality of life of its user.

7 Things You Should Know About Reclining Wheelchairs

The addition of a reclining feature in a wheelchair not only allows the comfort of a normal recliner, and the advantage of a more relaxed seating option, but also serves to combat certain health issues and provide adjustments for redistribution of pressure. Of course, there are many options available for seniors to choose from. Finding the right model in your budget can make a much-needed difference in daily life, for many health conditions and comfort reasons, to those who rely on a wheelchair for their everyday mobility.

What Is a Reclining Wheelchair

A reclining wheelchair is exactly what it sounds like, at its core. Other differences are inherent between a reclining wheelchair and a conventional one as well, and a reclining model wheelchair is rarely a run-of-the-mill wheelchair that just happens to recline. Additional safety measures are added to make the reclining feature best for its user. First, a higher back is almost always seen in the design of a reclining wheelchair, for support. Additionally, reclining wheelchairs tend to have more calf support as well, enabling a safer recline for the user. Most often a hand brake system is the means of reclining; with the lever placed on the handles near the back to prevent accidental recline while the user is mobile.

It is common for those who need additional support to look to a reclining wheelchair to give them just that, and many others purchase reclining wheelchairs to prevent issues with skin breakdown. Many reclining models have additional features that these two types of users may rely on. For this reason, a tilt function is most commonly seen as an added measure of reclining wheelchairs. This function allows the seat to be pivoted through a similar hand brake, and creates a shift in weight that can redistribute uncomfortable pressure.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next” ]

Improving Your Mobility

The need to recline is not a luxury for most; in fact, a relaxed, inclined position is very important for blood circulation. A reclining wheelchair will first improve mobility by eliminating the need to shift, at some point during the day, from the mobile wheelchair to a stationary recliner. The wheelchair’s recline and tilt advantages offer the extra needed support and redistribution of pressure. In this way, the user is able to utilize the wheelchair as not only a means of transportation, but the same way they would a stationary chair. This increases mobility by letting a person move where needed in the wheelchair, but also remain stationary anywhere they choose, in the same chair.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next” ]

Comparing Wheelchair Models

As we mentioned, these wheelchair models are known to come with certain additional features and benefits to increase the quality of life. In addition to the much-needed tilt function, some models are known to include adjustable armrests or detachable arms, elevated or swing-away leg rests, adjustable seat height, and of course, anti-tipping features. It is also important to take into account those factors that you would see on a regular wheelchair. Many of these reclining models are not self-propelled, and it is also common that they are not equipped to be folded up and stored. Each of these factors must be taken into account for the individual user, creating a combination of most necessary features.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next” ]

Cost of Reclining Wheelchairs

While it is true that the many additional features listed above can create more comfort and health benefits, it is of course necessary to find one at a price within your budget. Often times, many of the additional features will have a higher price tag; and while it would be nice to purchase a reclining wheelchair with all of the bells and whistles, this may not be an affordable option to everyone. Overall, reclining wheelchairs are rarely self-propelled and are pushed by hand, creating a difference in price range from motorized wheelchairs. Standard models of reclining wheelchairs with fewer of the functionalities listed above are known to run between five hundred and eight hundred dollars; however, higher priced models can be more than double this when adding on some of the extra features.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next” ]

Used Reclining Wheelchairs

Purchasing a used reclining wheelchair is an option that many seniors will want to consider. Keeping in mind that the wheelchair will likely be used daily and will serve as a necessary tool for the user, eliminate as much risk as possible by purchasing through a reputable source, and getting as much information as possible before the purchase. If possible, go for a test drive, and bring along someone who is handy enough to inspect all of the features and working parts. In the long run, buying an affordable used reclining wheelchair can save even up to a few hundred dollars (depending on the model), but one that is not reliable or is poorly cared for can pose an even greater risk to the user.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next” ]

New Reclining Wheelchairs

New reclining wheelchairs will have a higher cost than a used one, but may have more benefits. Just like any purchase that you can make between new and used, it depends on what is available in the market. Shopping around for a used model is a great place to start, using reputable sources, but there is still no guarantee you will find a model with the features you need within your budget. New models typically come with a warranty, and often customer service is available to the user for any questions or concerns down the road. It will all come down to budget and the reliability of what can be found in both used and new markets you have available to you.

[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Next” ]

Folding Reclining Wheelchairs

Along with choosing features that are right for you such as the tilt function or adjustable footrest, it is important to decide how important it will be for your reclining wheelchair to be folded up and transported. Again, it is not especially common to have this functionality for a reclining model, but it is available in some models. Often, many of the foldable options will have less additional features, but some lightweight and foldable models can be found with some of the great extras, such as swing-away and adjustable leg rests and even an adjustable headrest, in or around the thousand dollar range. No matter what features you decide are most important to you, and whether or not you need something easily transported, the anti-tipping feature should always be guaranteed for safety purposes.