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Enhancing Rigidity in Folding Wheelchairs

25/04/2017

The Clinical Corner article, Manual Mobility: The Basics, describes the different categories of manual wheelchairs, known generically as transport, standard, custom folding, custom rigid and tilt-in-space. It was noted that the more rigid the wheelchair, the easier it is to propel the chair as rigidity decreases flex in the frame of the chair. The ideal is that all of the energy of propulsion is translated into movement as any frame flex is lost movement. The more rigid the wheelchair, the more efficient the propulsion can be. This is one of the reasons that custom rigid wheelchairs are selected for individuals. Sometimes, however, an individual requires a custom folding wheelchair to suit their needs. In this case, it is important to understand how rigidity can be enhanced in a folding frame wheelchair in order to optimize efficient propulsion. (Recall that rolling resistance also effects efficiency of propulsion. See the Clinical Corner article, Rolling Resistance in Manual Wheelchairs, for more on rolling resistance.) This month’s Clinical Corner article will look at some of the ways in which rigidity can be enhanced in a custom folding wheelchair.

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Knowledge to Action: Wheelchair Cushions

25/01/2016

Hello all! When I lead in-person education sessions on wheelchair cushions, one of the questions that I am frequently asked is, “How do you get staff to put the cushions on the correct way?” When the cushion is removed from the wheelchair to clean the cover and/or the cushion base, mistakes some...

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The Steps to Wheelchair Provision

16/12/2015

Let’s finish the trilogy on assessments by looking at the overall process of wheelchair provision, of which assessment is only one step, by taking a broader look at all the steps that go into providing an appropriate wheelchair for an individual

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The Science of Manual Tilt Mechanisms

28/08/2015

Have you ever sat in a chair and tried balancing yourself by tilting backwards onto the back two legs of the chair? Perhaps you held onto the table in front of you and used your arms to push yourself backwards to find the balance point? You may remember doing this when you were a child in either grade school or high school. Some o fyou may have experienced going past the tipping point and having the chair fall behind you, or if you were lucky enough, you quickly recovered bu moving your weight forward to prevent falling backwards. (I am not recommending anyone try this while sitting in a chair - it can be dangerous and you can fall backwards and get hurt! I just realize that it is something I have done in my youth and I have seen my own children do it too – and, of course, I cautioned them against it.)

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WC19: Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles

25/11/2014

This month, let’s think about safety, wheelchairs, and transit.  Individuals who remain seated in wheelchairs while travelling in vehicles are “45 times more likely to be injured in a crash than the typical passenger”1 (p. 2).  The “typical” passenger in a vehicle transfers into the vehicle manufacturer’s seat, which is secured to the vehicle, and uses the occupant restraint system; that is, the seat belt system that also is secured to the vehicle.  Individuals who must remain seated in wheelchairs while travelling in vehicles also are at risk of injury in “non-collision events”, such as sudden braking or sharp turning, resulting in the wheelchair tipping, securement failure, or the occupant falling out of the wheelchair1 (p. 4).  Many individuals who must remain seated in the wheelchair during transit do not have postural control or the ability to stabilize themselves or their wheelchairs during these non-collision events, which can result in serious injuries.

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Selecting a Cushion Based on Assessment Findings

Bariatric Measurement Chart

Measurement Chart

Seating Assessment Form

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