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Product Advice


An individual's condition will determine what type of equipment is the most suitable. Here are some useful considerations you should take into account when you are purchasing daily living aids and equipment. This helpful guide has been produced by the in-house Occupational Therapists at Nottingham Rehab Supplies.



Wheelchairs


There are many types of wheelchairs and one of the most basic factors when choosing is if a self propelled or attendant controlled is appropriate. Once this has been established, you can then focus on the frame of the chair and what aspects of mobility are important to you. Will you be using the chair indoors as well as outdoors?


Considerations:

  • Physical measurements of the person and the wheelchair - see 'Physical measurements basic' below
  • Support and comfort - will they require additional comfort support i.e. a wheelchair cushion?
  • Environment of use - is it for home use? Is the home accessible? Will furniture require moving?
  • Weight of chair - an aluminium frame is lighter than a steel frame i.e. it is easier to transfer a light weight chair into a car
  • Foldable/storage - taking wheelchair components off, i.e. foot rests, can make the chair more compact for storage and lighter to lift
  • Transfers - will they require detachable armrests to transfer from wheelchair onto another chair or seat?
  • Pressure relief - if prone to long sitting periods, you may require a pressure relief cushion
  • Budget - there are a large range of wheelchairs available, you will require help to choose a chair that fits your mobility needs and budget

  • Physical measurements basic:

  • The top of the back rest should be level with the bottom of the shoulder blade when seated on the chair
  • The seat depth should be the length from back of bottom to behind knees
  • The footplates should be adjusted so your hips and knees are bent at 90 degrees
  • Width of chair should be same as hip width when sitting, so there is no sideways sliding movement
  • Check the maximum user weight of the chair
  • Armrests should be in a position that allows you to comfortably rest your forearms when seated


  • Rollators


    A rollator is useful for people when they need to mobilise but cannot lift a walker. They primarily consist of 4 wheels and have hand leaver brakes. There are 3 wheeled walkers and 2 wheeled versions available. Some come with the option of accessories such as baskets for convenience and a seated rollator is useful for people who need to take regular breaks when walking. It is always a good idea to measure doorways to make sure that the width of the rollator can go through. Most rollators can be folded away for ease of storage and can be used indoors or out. They are not suitable for users with balance problems.


    Considerations:

  • Size - check the width of the rollator is not too wide for the user's environments, i.e. doorways, and the width corresponds with the user for stability
  • Number of wheels needed - a 4 wheeled rollator is for someone who requires more stability, so it is more stable than a 3 wheeled rollator
  • Weight of rollator - an aluminium frame is lighter than a steel frame i.e. a lighter frame is easier to transfer into a car
  • Seated option - for people who need regular breaks when walking, a rollator with a seat is more practical
  • User weight - check the maximum user weight of the rollator, a larger person may require a heavy duty rollator
  • Height adjustment - the height of the rollator should be adjusted so the handles are at the person's waist height
  • Size of wheels - bigger wheels are easier to push and have smaller turning circles for manoeuvring in a tight space


  • Nottingham Rehab Supplies professionally trained Occupational Therapy Helpline Operator will be pleased to help and guide you on product purpose, suitability, usage and provide technical details to help you make the right choice of product.


    Telephone: 0845 121 8110

    Email: productadvice@nrs-uk.co.uk