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Manual Wheelchairs Explained

This guide will help you understand the many differences in manual wheelchairs and allow you select the most suitable. If you’re still unsure please call into one of our showrooms where our friendly and trained team will help you navigate the selection and allow you see and feel what suits you best.

Transit and Self-Propelled
Transit, or attendant, wheelchairs have small rear wheels, which are out of the reach of the person sitting in the wheelchair. Therefor this model can only be use when a carer is pushing the chair.

Self-Propelled wheelchairs, as the name states, have larger 23” rear wheels and are designed for the person in the wheelchair can rotate the wheels and propel themselves. They can also be pushed by a carer.

Lightweight – Steel/Aluminium
Nowadays in Ireland, OT’s mostly recommend lightweight, aluminium wheelchairs. Steel wheelchairs are uncommon and are mostly considered too heavy to push and transport. They are sometimes promoted as a cheaper model, but most suppliers offer aluminium chairs.

Occasional Use/Frequent Use
The difference between Occasional use and frequent use, is that chairs designed for constant/daily use require stronger frames and better comfort through backrest and seat padding. Occasional use chairs don’t need this as they’re used for short trips outdoors or family trips.

Folding – Non-Folding
Similar to the split between steel and aluminium wheelchairs, most wheelchairs nowadays are designed to fold up for storage and transporting in car boots. Non-folding chairs are uncommon and again are promoted as a cheaper model. They will not fit in a car boot or back seat.

Seat Sizes
Most wheelchairs come in seat widths of 40cm (16”), 45cm (18”) & 50cm (20”).
Heavy Duty/Bariatric for larger people chairs come in wider seat widths of 55cm (22”) 60cm (24”) & 65cm (26”).

Recliner Wheelchairs
These are required for highly dependent users who spend all their out-of-bed hours in a wheelchair. They have tilt and recline functions to allow you alter the pressure points during the day.

Crash Test Passed
A wheelchair must be crash test passed for occupied transportation in a van/taxi. Most chairs in Ireland and all better quality wheelchairs will be crash test passed. It’s also a seal of quality because makers of cheaper wheelchairs do not bother to test them. as the test is expensive and the lower quality chairs will fail.

View our Full Range of Wheelchairs: https://murrays.ie/category/wheelchairs/

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