Transport Wheelchair: What You Need to Know
A transport wheelchair is an especially useful home mobility aid that is designed for easy transference from a wheelchair to chair, sofa, bed, toilet or into a car seat.
Many disabled people need help from caregivers or occasionally from family members to do routine, everyday tasks like going to the handicap toilet, taking a shower,
or getting into an automobile. This is inconvenient for the
disabled person, not to mention embarrassing at times.
Today's modern technology has helped to alleviate personal
anxiety, in many cases, and has provide a way for disabled
people to be independent and more mobile than ever before.
One of the most important mobility aids continues to be the
wheelchair. One especially useful type of manual wheelchair
in the home is the transfer or transport wheelchair.
What Is A Transport Wheelchair?
Transfer chairs are transport wheelchairs designed for easy
transference from a wheelchair to chair, sofa, bed, toilet, shower seat or into a car seat. They are also convenient for short distances such when used on residential elevators for the ride to a lower floor in the home. They typically have fold-down backs and detachable swing-away footrests.
Sometimes called companion or rollabout chairs, transport wheelchairs are designed for ease of use for the caregiver or attendant other than the disabled person. This type of wheelchair folds up when not in use and is quite portable. The upholstery can usually be removed and washed for cleaning.
Types and Features
Most standard wheelchairs have two large wheels in the back and two small ones in the front. Transfer chairs have four small wheels, although the back ones are sometimes slightly larger than the front. Transport chairs come in various widths and weight capacities. Their frames are the same or similar to standard manual wheelchairs. There are three basic types of transport wheelchairs:
- Standard - This type typically weighs around 26 pounds. They are suitable for people in the 250 to 300 pound weight range. Most standard transport chairs have folding backs for easy, compact storage.
- Lightweight - These usually weigh 22 pounds, with some as light at 16 pounds. Their weight capacity is between 225 and 300 pounds. These wheelchairs usually cost more, but they are much easier for a companion or caregiver to push and lift.
- Heavy-duty - These are designed for a weight capacity of over 300 pounds, and some are capable of holding weights up to 450 pounds. Also known as bariatric wheelchairs, these have large width seats, large casters, and reinforced cross braces for additional support.
Transport chairs are convenient, lightweight devices for moving a disabled person from one place to another. They are beneficial for caregivers because they are easy to fold and lift into vehicles. They also are easily packed into almost any style of vehicle. You can find both transport pediatric wheelchairs as well as adult transport models.
Since the wheels on a transfer wheelchair are smaller than those on a standard wheelchair, disabled people cannot use these chairs by themselves. A caregiver must push the chair for them.
Transport wheelchairs are available for purchase online or at a medical supply store. The cost of a chair ranges from $100 to $350 or more. Medicare will cover durable wheelchairs and walkers with a doctor’s prescription. Transport chairs, however, are usually not covered by Medicare.
Things to consider before purchasing this mobility aid include the chair’s frame, armrests, footrests, seat widths and material, wheel size, fold-ability and storage, and carry straps for ease of lifting. Most sellers will honor manufacturer warrantees for transport wheelchair parts, and they will sell parts not covered by a warrantee for a reasonable price.
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