Guide to Buy a Wheelchair in Malaysia
Becoming wheelchair bound doesn’t mean you can’t do anything anymore or you can’t get around. On the contrary, it can help you in ways you might not have imagined without it -BUT it’s crucial you choose the correct one for your or your loved one’s needs.
For first-time wheelchair buyers, getting a suitable wheelchair can be a big decision and a daunting task. So many decisions to make in terms of comfort and mobility -all for the sake of improving the quality of life, a better health and independence.
Wheelchairs are no longer one size fits all. There are many different types of wheelchairs available today. They come with customizable features, various shapes, sizes, and designs. What you choose can have a huge impact on your comfort level, easy to get around, and overall satisfaction with your purchase.
So, what are the criteria needed when selecting a wheelchair in Malaysia. Make sure the device has the freedom of movements with care, easy manoeuvrability in tight-spaced areas, lightweight, comfortable and must have energy saving features.
Some seniors have this mental block that being wheelchair bound means they are incapable of moving around. On the contrary wheelchair boosts mobility and keeps them:
- Socially active
- Alleviates confidence
- Makes them self-reliant, and fearless
- Lessens the chances of skin infections or UTI
- Their involvement and contribution to their family and society increase.
Having said all the above - What are the features you need to look for when purchasing a wheelchair and how do you choose a wheelchair? Here are some questions that needs answers so that you can consider the options.
- How will the wheelchair be used? Temporarily, Occasionally or Permanently?
- How often will you use it and how much time will you spend on it?
- Where will it be used most – in the home? Outside of the home?
- How will the wheelchair be transported? Does it need to be folded?
- What kind of terrain will it be used on? Sidewalks? Ramps? Outdoors?
- Will the wheelchair support you for a physical or medical condition?
The Big 6 Important Wheelchair Features to Consider
1. Manual or Electric?
If you opt for a manual wheelchair, you will need to choose between a self-propelled or attendant propelled model. Wheelchairs you can operate on your own have larger wheels and hand rims.
Lightweight Foldable Wheelchair
What would your loved one prefer if he/she was to choose a wheelchair. To enjoy an active lifestyle, a lightweight manual wheelchair would be the perfect choice over a heavy and bulky one.
A lightweight manual wheelchair that is easy to fold, easy to lift, easy to stow, and looks and feels great for the user wins hands down. They are designed for maximum mobility and easy manageability.
Choosing a rigid or foldable frame is another important decision when buying a wheelchair in Malaysia. The chassis of the chairs with a rigid frame is much lighter since it lacks joints and hinges.
Foldable chairs on the other hand are easier to transport, but with them the energy utilization is lower: in a folding wheelchair, the pulse energy is reduced with respect to the rigid ones. The aluminium wheelchairs are light and easy to transport and better still the titanium ones are the lightest.
2. Wheelchair Size and Dimensions
Finding a wheelchair which is the correct size is so important as you need to feel secure whilst sitting on the wheelchair. There should be no ill fit ones and most Importantly the person should not slip out.
Measuring the height and the width of the chair is a good idea. The age, weight and height should all be considered, and each chair has a maximum weight limit. Most wheelchairs can accommodate up to 100kg.
All models will outline the overall seat width and height dimensions. So, checking that out is important. A removable seat cushion Is handy for easy washing and maintaining hygiene. An Ideal feature for users with continence issues.
3. Arm and Footrests
The support and comfort of the Arm and footrests are designed accordingly, and they also need to be sturdy and secure when you make transitions in and out of your wheelchair.
There are a variety of arm and footrest designs to consider. The length, ability to move and swing your arm and leg rests will provide you with greater comfort, manoeuvrability, and flexibility.
4. Storage and Transportation
When you need to buy a wheelchair, you need to consider not only the usage but also the storage and portability of the wheelchair. It’s important to choose a model that not only meets your mobility needs at home but wherever you need to go.
Always consider the chair dimension and your vehicle or mode transportation together. If you drive a car in Malaysia, consider a lightweight chair that is easy to fold. If you travel in a van or use assisted transportation you have more space to work with.
5. The Wheels
The wheels you choose are important. Durable tires are a necessity and so important as they need to match your mobility needs. For example, if you use your chair outdoors frequently, you will need a more durable tire that is designed to operate on multiple surfaces.
You also want tires that are low maintenance such as foam filled tires. They are less likely to go flat. Tread and grip may also be an important consideration if you use your wheelchair outside when the surface is slippery.
6. Tilt and Recline Support
Reclining and Tilt Wheelchairs are specialized wheelchairs built for individuals with significant mobility constraints. It’s essential you find a chair that provides you with the right amount of back and head support.
If you need a lot of support, tilt in space wheelchairs provide you with a variety of positioning options – this allows you to adjust the chair to meet your needs and ensure you are completely comfortable.
For many wheelchair users, these reclining wheelchairs can position the individual at the right angle to optimize spinal adjustment and breathing.
Being able to tilt and recline on a single mobility base offers the person several potential advantages. The benefits include pressure relief, maintaining range of motion, helping to manage spasticity, and increasing sitting tolerance.
When you tilt, your hip angle remains the same, but your body tilts backwards and your weight shifts to your back. When you recline, the seat-to-back angle changes, but your seat angle to the ground stays the same. You get to stay in position by tilting and then reclining.
Stay active, remain positive, and command your moves as always. Mobility aids allow you freedom with their convenient, state of the art assistive technology and utility.