When walking is a struggle, transport chairs provide full-body support to make it possible. However, the large number of transport chairs available on the market today can make the choice confusing and overwhelming.
What, exactly, are transport chairs?
Just like wheelchairs, mobility devices capable of relieving pain, supporting your full-body weight, and preventing injury are the top features of transport chairs. However, the difference between transport chairs from wheelchairs includes:
- More portable and lightweight option
- Needs to be propelled by a companion or attendant
- Used primarily for short travel trips such as running errands
How to know if you need to use a transport chair
The number of times you need full-body support determines whether you need a transport chair. It is beneficial to consider a transport chair when you tire easily while walking or are incapable of walking long distances. If walking using a walker or rollator tires you, transport chair provides the perfect solution.
However, opting for transport chairs can be an impractical choice for people who, while needing full-body support do not have someone to propel the chair. The wheelchair is the best option for people with no caregiver or attendant.
Yet, transport chairs provide multiple benefits to people that:
- Needs temporary or part-time use of a wheelchair
- Cannot propel themselves
- Cannot walk long distances or easily tire while walking
- Are unable to walk or have trouble walking
Things to consider in the choice of a transport chair
There are a few things you need to consider when you’ve made up your mind to purchase a transport chair, including:
How often will you need the transport chair is the top thing to consider before investing in one. A pricier model with many customised features is a sound investment to make when you want the ultimate chair comfort. Opt only for an inexpensive model when your mobility aid does not rest primarily on a transport chair.
Size of the chair
There are three sizes available with transport chairs:
- Wide (wide seat of 22” or more)
- Narrow (wide seat between 16” to 17”)
- Medium (wide seat between 18” to 20”)
The importance of choosing the right seat size includes:
- Easy manoeuvrability through passageways
- Staying comfortably seated for long periods
- Great support and stability
The best way to determine the right seat size needs the following steps:
- Sit on a flat surface
- Measure the width of your backside while sitting
- Ensure comfortable seating by adding an inch or two to the measurement
- Measure the narrowest passageway your chair needs to travel and deduct an inch or two from the measurement. This ensures easy and safe manoeuvrability through the passageway.
Total weight capability
Your safety rests on the weight capability of your transport chair. Chair size determines the weight capacity. People weighing 120 pounds or less can be supported by narrow chairs. Medium chairs can readily support people weighing between 120 and 300 pounds. Heavy-duty and wider transport chairs are the ideal choices for people weighing between 300 and 500 pounds.
The next important thing to decide on after you’ve determined you need a transport chair is: to rent or buy one. Renting is a good option if you only need to use the chair for short vacation trips, or while recovering from surgery or injury, or attending a special event. If you decide to buy, choose from leading transport chairs in the market.