Information on Wheelchairs - Limits and Restrictions

As the average age of the population increases, the number of people who will use wheelchairs temporarily, permanently or occasionally becomes larger. Fortunately, the attitudes of the past that wheelchairs equal immobility are gone. Today, laws protect the ability of the wheelchair-bound person by mandating accessibility for many public places. Public transportation and businesses have become better able to accommodate everyone.

Many products are available to help make life safer for those whose physical abilities are not within the standards that were once considered normal. The responsibility for knowing whether your wheelchair will be able to fit the demands of the accessible society is yours. You need to have some important information on wheelchairs.

Outdoors vs. Indoors

Wheelchairs are designed with certain limitations. Accessibility standards are set within certain norms. It's up to you to determine which information on wheelchairs is needed to fit your wheelchair into which parts of life. Manual wheelchairs are designed to be pushed by an attendant or to have its rear wheels propelled by the occupant. These chairs are light weight to make this task easier. If you intend to use yours for "strolling," know whether your chair is meant to be used outdoors and know the distance that you or your attendant is capable of achieving.

The important information on wheelchairs here is that indoor wheelchairs can be damaged by outdoor use. Electric or power wheelchairs are operated by motor and may not be designed for much outdoor use. Check the information on wheelchairs to make sure you don't plan to exceed the limits of their battery charge. Know how far you can travel safely and leave a little margin of safety.

If you plan to navigate a specific building, find out if there will be any limitations. If the building is "wheelchair accessible," you may be able to rely on elevators, ramps and accessible bathrooms. Check the information on wheelchairs to make sure that your wheelchair is within length, width and weight standards. If you have an extended leg rest, you will need extra turning space. If your chair is extra wide or has extensions to carry equipment, you may not fit through doorways.

If you carry oxygen, you may be limited in some areas. If your chair is much heavier than normal, you may be barred from certain areas or find yourself in difficulty. Most of the public is concerned about making your life more accessible. Make sure that you have the right information on wheelchairs to make their job easier.