By Bryant Belin
Determining what type chair is right for you; especially if it’s your first one, can be a challenging experience. However, working closely with your primary care physician and an occupational therapist is a good idea when deciding what power wheelchair is best for your mobility needs. There are a few important specifications, which must be considered in order to fit you with the most comfortable and efficient power wheelchair. Getting the correct seat height, width and depth are crucial and will largely decide if the individual will be able to complete mobility related activities of daily living (ADLs).
Making sure the chair is wide enough is probably the most important measuring to consider when purchasing a power wheelchair. Width is determined by measuring the widest point between the hips and knees while the individual is sitting comfortable. An additional 1” should be added to ensure comfortability. Wheelchairs are usually referred to as 16”, 18” or 20” sizes (additional sizes available depending on weight).
Seat depth is the second most important measurement to obtain when someone is being fitted for a power wheelchair. To calculate this, while the individual is seated comfortably with legs bent at the knee at a 90 degree angle, measure from the back of the pelvis to the back of the shins. You will then subtract 1” from that number to determine the seat depth.
In cases where one leg is longer than the other, the shorter leg should be used to determine seat depth.
The correct seat height important for adequately functionality during mobility related activities. The measurements should place the individual in a comfortable position with completing activities such as washing dishes, working at a table or desk, transferring to and from a toilet, bed, other chairs, etc. The thickness of the cushion should be subtracted from the height needed.
Our mobility experts here at Aeroflow Healthcare are able to assist in determining what power wheelchair is best for your mobility needs. Contact us today at 888-345-1780 to find out more.