If the time spent sitting in a wheelchair is in your near future, you’ll want to purchase a chair with comfort in mind. Of course, you would think all wheelchairs are designed to be comfortable, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. An ill-fitting model can even be dangerous and cause bruising, soreness, and pressure ulcers. However, you don’t have to settle for a chair that causes discomfort. Here are four ways to make sitting more enjoyable, even if your wheelchair is a little stiff.
A wheelchair that doesn’t have the right measurements can cause discomfort, physical harm and lead to further health complications. If the seat is too wide, you may slip or slump in the chair. Over time, this can leave you with bad posture, causing back pain, pressure ulcers, and even lung compressions. Another thing to avoid is a seat that is too narrow. A narrow seat will cause hip pain, as repetitive rubbing will cause skin breaking and pressure sores.
Therefore, it’s best to find one that fits your unique body. We recommend planning time to test out several models before making any purchases. Measure your hips, legs, and torso ahead of time and share these measurements with your local store or manufacturer. In addition to finding a good fit, a tilt in space wheelchair can help you to adjust your posture on the go.
Lateral side supports are small protrusions on either side of your backrest that stabilize your torso, meaning that you won’t need to keep adjusting the chair as often. Lateral side supports also offer assistance if you have bad posture, balance problems, or conditions that can lead to poor torso control.
One thing to keep in mind with these supports is that you must make sure they’re placed in proper contact with the wheelchair trunk. Placement that’s too low makes them ineffective. Too high will irritate the shoulders and skin and limit your arm movements.
Not everybody takes the time to test out armrests on wheelchairs. If you plan to be in your wheelchair for extended periods of time, it’s a good idea to invest in decent padding where your arms will be resting when not in use. Some wheelchairs come with fairly hard or barely cushioned armrests. These hard materials can cause skin irritation, bruising or slight breaking that causes sores. So, a little padding can go a long way — it will save your arms from discomfort.
What you wear can affect how your chair makes you feel. Thick coats, hoodies, or anything with excess fabric can bunch around your back or sides. You might feel compelled to lean forward to avoid the discomfort, as it might be difficult to reach behind and adjust in the chair. Instead of thick cotton garments, we recommend warm clothing made from thinner fabrics like wool, silk, or fleece.
Being comfortable in your wheelchair plays a huge role in your quality of life. It will also improve your condition and decrease a decline in mental health. And while not every chair is designed for ultimate comfort, it’s easy to enhance the chair your purchase with these four ideas.
We recommend planning plenty of time to test out a few potential chairs. Pay close attention to the size measurements and armrests on each model. If necessary, consider ordering later side support and armrest padding. You may also need to invest in some clothes that will be more comfortable to sit in.