Wheelbenches and Reclining Wheelchairs
Wheelchair users are not an uncommon sight these days. With advances in accessibility laws and the technology to comply, people confined to wheelchairs are able to take part in daily life more fully. The average person who is walking around no longer feels the need to stare at a person who is temporarily or permanently in need of a wheelchair.
Chairs propelled by the hands of the occupant, pushed by attendants or motorized are a familiar part of life. However, some people have physical problems that go beyond the assistance that a wheelchair can offer. For some, the only way to get around is by using wheelbenches or reclining wheelchairs.
For those who are unable to sit upright, the use of an ordinary wheelchair is out of the question. Some with severe back disabilities or the inability to control the head and neck are forced to depend on a device that will allow them to travel while lying down or in a partially reclined position. Wheelbenches are similar to wheelchairs but have a gurney-like bed for the patient. There are large wheels in the rear and smaller casters in the front to allow easy turning. The occupant lies flat and can propel himself using the large wheels in the back.
While they resemble a gurney or the examining table in a doctor's office, the bed is cushioned specifically to protect the occupant while traveling over hard or bumpy ground. They may also be equipped with handles for an attendant, straps for stabilization, foot rests and whatever type of customization may be necessary. They are designed to fold up to fit into a car.
The reclining wheelchairs can offer a flat surface or be set to any angle that is needed. Both types of transportation assist those with little upper body strength, pain caused by sitting, progressive curvature of the spine, and seizures. The reclining wheelchairs can be adjusted from an upright position to a flat position and almost anywhere in between. This can be useful for those who can sit up but may need care such as catheterization or leg elevation during the day.
Customization is readily available for reclining wheelchairs including trays, seating systems and communication mounts, and can be fitted with ventilators or oxygen carriers. While they do not break down as easily as ordinary wheelchairs for transportation in cars, reclining wheelchairs are available to assist those with specific physical needs in living a life that is as normal as possible.