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Choosing your Wheelchair: A Guide

Whether you have limited mobility or use a wheelchair intermittently, choosing the right chair for you is an important step in claiming your independence. 

At Karma Mobility, we firmly believe that your chair should be comfortable, bespoke to your individual needs, and provide you with ease of movement, whatever the endeavour. That is why we have created a straightforward guide on the most commonly used wheelchairs to help you decide which one is most suited to your lifestyle. 

Lightweight Folding Wheelchair 

Lightweight folding wheelchairs are compact self-propelled wheelchairs that lend themselves perfectly to a life in or out of the home. Their foldability makes them easily storable, whether this is in a cupboard at home or in the boot of a car; the ideal option if you need to use a wheelchair intermittently, or if you are a regular commuter. 

Lightweight folding wheelchairs are perfect for those who: 

  • Need a compact chair for moving around the home
  • Travel using public transport or a car
  • Play sports, and need to maintain upper body strength
  • Regularly spend time with a carer 
  • Use a wheelchair intermittently as they are easily storable

Powered Wheelchair 

If your main concern is independence, or the freedom to explore on bumpier terrain is your chief priority, then an electric wheelchair might be the one for you. Powered wheelchairs are customisable, reliable and durable and this makes them perfect for wheelchair users who like to get out and about, or have more complex needs. 

Powered wheelchairs are perfect for those who: 

  • Enjoy a fully flexible and independent life 
  • Travel on long journeys and like to take the scenic route
  • Have limited mobility in their hands and arms
  • Have mobility needs that are likely to change 
  • Are likely to experience fatigue using a self-propelled wheelchair

Active Wheelchair 

As the name suggests, an active wheelchair is the chair for someone who lives an active lifestyle. It is designed to act as an extension of the body and its features can be adjusted to increase performance and manoeuvrability. 

Active wheelchairs are perfect for those who: 

  • Like to keep fit by living an active lifestyle 
  • Play individual or team sports 
  • Travel regularly 
  • Have solid upper body strength and trunk stability
  • Have full range of movement in their arms

Foldable Electric Wheelchair 

Foldable electric wheelchairs combine the convenience of a folding wheelchair with the ease of a powered wheelchair. Foldable electric wheelchairs usually come equipped with a curb climber and are easy to navigate around public facilities. This makes them a fantastic wheelchair for living fully independently. 

Foldable electric wheelchairs are perfect for those who: 

  • Use public transport regularly for work, shopping, and socialising
  • Live by themselves
  • Require a compact wheelchair for the home but experience fatigue using a manual chair 
  • Enjoy travelling 

Wheelchair Accessories 

Once you’ve chosen and bought your wheelchair, the possibilities of customising it continue with wheelchair accessories. You can opt for practical options like wheelchair leg rests and adjustable headrests, or personalise your wheelchair. 

View our blog: Personalising your Wheelchair by Disabled Travel with Georgina to find out how you can make your wheelchair more you. 

Choosing your wheelchair doesn’t need to be a complicated decision, and should always account for both accessibility needs, as well as the lifestyle you want to live. 

At Karma Mobility, we aim to create a chair that is fully bespoke to your individual needs, so you don’t have to settle on one stand out feature. Find a Karma retailer near you, or contact us to discover if we can provide a solution to your mobility needs.

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