Traditionally, heavy-duty wheelchairs are made to carry the weight of a plus-sized individual.
However, you should not look at only weight when considering the type of wheelchair to get.
You need to consider your body structure.
As a plus-sized individual, you need a chair that has added structural features to support extra depth, width, and strength.
Heavy-duty wheelchairs are not just for enhancing mobility. Far from it.
It helps the physically challenged to regain their independence and go wherever they want to go and whenever they feel like.
For those who are suffering from a permanent or temporary condition that has affected their freedom of movement, the wheelchair has become their saving grace.
Heavy duty wheelchairs come in various designs and models to satisfy the needs of its many users among us.
However, it doesn’t matter if you’re using the wheelchair for a few days or for a lifetime,
a wheelchair can make a huge difference in the life of an individual who is physically challenged.
Our complete guide will help you in making the right choice as you ponder on what heavy duty wheelchair to purchase.
We will answer all the possible questions you can think of and offer tips to look out for when you want to purchase a heavy duty wheelchair.
Questions you need to ask yourself before you purchase a heavy duty wheelchair.
How long will you be using your wheelchair?
It is crucial to note that a lot of people use a wheelchair for different purposes.
Some use it as their primary means of movement while others use it occasionally.
So once you decide that you will be using it for the rest of your life and not short-term, you need to purchase a wheelchair whose features go beyond the norm.
However, if you only need the wheelchair for a relatively short period, and you have people who are readily available to push it for you,
then you can consider the manual heavy duty wheelchair which is a good effective solution.
For the elderly or people with worsening conditions, an electric wheelchair is recommended because it is less stressful to use.
Bear in mind that if you subscribe to purchasing the electric wheelchair, you need to get one with a lot of battery power,
together with a backup battery to make sure you have adequate power to enjoy your mobility.
Some heavy duty wheelchair for teenagers who are on the plus side includes a variety of design features and accessories that enable adjustments and modifications as the user wants.
How much support should be expected from a heavy duty wheelchair?
If you have a compromised motor control or you are not able to support your lower body, likewise your upper body,
then you will need a wheelchair with high support and safety options such as headrests, safety belts, and lateral stabilizers.
Upright or reclining design?
The reclining wheelchair design is for patients who spend a huge number of their time in their wheelchair and want some form of flexibility.
A reclining wheelchair can be adjusted backward to enable the user flex their muscles and change position as they please while on the wheelchair.
On the contrary, you can go for the upright wheelchair design as it offers comfort to physically challenged persons who have compromised their motor control and enable them to sit up properly.
It will also benefit their digestive and respiratory system among other things.
Can you push your wheelchair by yourself?
Some people have the strength to push their wheelchair by themselves while others cannot.
If you have the strength to push your wheelchair forward, then you should get a manual wheelchair.
However, if you don’t have the strength to push your wheelchair forward, then you need to get a power chair to make life very easy for you.
To clarify matters, if your limitation in mobility is from the waist down, you can make good use of your upper body strength to push a manual heavy duty wheelchair.
But, if you can’t move due to a limitation in mobility that affects a huge part of your body, an electric wheelchair will be the best solution for you.
Manual wheelchairs can either be pushed by a caregiver or by the user propelling the chair toward a direction of their choosing.
What is your body size, height, and shape?
Before you purchase a wheelchair, you need to take your weight and size into consideration to make sure that the chair can support you properly.
This is why the heavy-duty wheelchair is recommended for those who weigh over 300 lbs.
Heavy duty wheelchairs are specially designed to safely comfort and accommodate users who are obese or heavier and larger than the average man.
The heavy duty wheelchair comes with an enhanced bracing support system for stability and safety and a wider seat for a more desired comfort.
How can you fit a wheelchair from measurements?
According to christopherreeve, an estimated 80 to 90% of wheelchair users are sitting on a chair that isn’t suitable for their body.
Should you choose a wheelchair that is suitable for you, it will maximize your posture and mobility and prevent chronic medical problems?
Some of the benefits of choosing a proper fit include improved breathing, swallowing and digestion,
prevention of hip and pelvic problems, pressure wounds, and general fatigue and discomfort.
The ideal wheelchair user needs to follow a 90-90-90 rule which creates a 90-degree bend within the knees, the hips, and the ankles.
Seat depth: A general rule of thumb stipulates that the seat depth should be 2 inches further away from the back of your knee if you want to stop the blood vessels in your leg from constricting.
Seat width: Ensure the width of the seat is wide enough to accommodate your hips without pain.
However, it shouldn’t be too wide that it gets difficult to get through smaller spaces or doorways.
Wheelchair seat cushions are there to make sure that you are sitting comfortably in your chair and to help you eradicate adverse effects like pressure sores from sitting for too long.
There are various seat cushions to choose from to enjoy the right amount of comfort and support.
These types of cushions help to keep the skin cool and offer comfort and support to high-pressure areas to stop your skin from breaking down.
These are the best economic cushions available for those who have no risk of skin breakdown.
It makes your wheelchair seat very comfortable.
These cushions are known to maximize your blood flow and help keep your skin dry and cool.
It also has air cells that are responsible for reducing pressure points to enable the prevention of pressure sores.
Let’s take a look at some of the best heavy duty wheelchairs on sale
NOVA Lightweight Wheelchair
The Nova Lightweight wheelchair is an incredible all-purpose wheelchair that supports an amazing 300 pounds of user weight and can function properly in a lot or environment.
It is recommended to those who need a heavy-duty, rugged-looking wheelchair that can be used to carry heavy, tall, or big patients.
If you’re bigger than the norm and have been struggling to get an amazing chair due to your size, you’re covered.
It is no longer a secret that there are fewer heavy duty wheelchairs that can support beyond 300 pounds’ weight.
The NOVA is suitable for Travelling, Transport and it is safe.
The NOVA is very easy to use, it is compact and folds easily. It is fitted with secondary wheel locks and detachable Anti-Tippers which act as additional safety gear.
It has an adjustable safety belt that complements the rear handbrakes and the wheels.
What this does is that, if your caregiver is pushing the wheelchair on a sloping environment,
he’ll be able to apply the brakes so he can handle the terrain with ease by hitting the brakes to slow down the chair.
Once the brakes are activated, the safety belt will make sure that the user doesn’t slide out of the chair as it goes down the slope.
There are 2 types of anti-tippers namely; wheeled and rubber-tipped.
The wheeled enables the tippers to roll with the wheelchair as it rolls up the steps while the rubber-tipped acts as a stabilizer in case the chair slips backward.
The NOVA comes fitted with seatbelts which can serve as an additional safety layer to stop you from falling off the chair and inflicting injuries upon yourself.
Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair
The Medline Strong and Sturdy Wheelchair is very comfortable and durable.
It has several long-lasting attractive features and an amazing upholstery finish.
It was built to withstand rigorous usage with its ability to carry over 300lb of user weight.
This heavy duty wheelchair has amazing rollers to make quick turns.
Some of its special features include removable desk arms which are great for office work and dining,
swing-away leg rests which make it easy to get in and out of the chair.
You can also easily fold the chair for easy storage and convenience.
You can never go wrong with it.
Drive Medical Silver Sport 2 Wheelchair
The Drive medical silver sport 2 wheelchair is another amazing wheelchair that was made for patients with low mobility to enable them to move around as they recover from their situation.
It can carry over 350 pounds of user weight and is very easy to maintain. It has a durable steel frame and a silver vein finish.
It has detachable desk arms and elevating footrests that you can manipulate as you see fit.
NOVA Bariatric Transport Chair with Locking Hand Brakes
The NOVA Bariatric was made to handle all sorts of terrain and environment; thus making it easy to move around.
It comes fitted with a handbrake that only requires the slightest of pressure for the brakes to work.
This NOVA heavy duty wheelchair is strong and lightweight which enables you to easily move it as you please.
The armrests enable you to sit under tables and desks. You can easily travel with it.
The NOVA Bariatric is capable of carrying 450 pounds of user weight.
Drive Medical Bariatric Heavy Duty Transport Wheelchair
This wheelchair can carry 450 pounds of user weight with no stress. It has adjustable leg support.
It also comes fitted with removable desk length arms and swing-away footrests.
Furthermore, it also has an amazing 22 width seat to give you a much-desired comfort.
The bottom line
Choosing a reliable and durable heavy duty wheelchair can be a very intensive task, however, we hope we have answered all the possible questions that may cross your mind before you make a buying decision.
Best of luck to you.