Wheelchair technology continuously evolves and the latest mobility chair trends provide users and caregivers more functionality, comfort, and convenience.
According to Mark. E Smith of New Mobility magazine, which is published by the United Spinal Association, the latest wheelchair advancements include these areas:
Enhancing the power of 24-volt electric chairs, 36-volt models are now available that offer greater performance, specifically when traversing inclines and rough surfaces. With the increase in power, come changes in the type of electronics, charger, and battery that are built into the chair design.
Seats with Greater Elevation
Power mobility chairs are now being designed with enhanced elevating seat systems. This allows users greater capability by easily adjusting the power seat to reach higher and differing levels.
This enables individuals to comfortably sit at taller countertops, more easily transfer to surfaces at different heights, and reach higher cabinet and closet shelves.
Single-Stage Gear Boxes
For nearly 20 years, electric wheelchairs have typically used multi-stage gearboxes to optimize chair speed with torque. With increasing demands for greater power and maneuverability, manufacturers are beginning to incorporate single-stage gearboxes into some high-end electric chair designs.
Testing has demonstrated that one large gear can be more responsive and efficient for models built with greater speed and power capacity.
Streamlined Wheel Forks
Single-sided wheel forks are now being used in the design of manual and electric wheelchairs. In contrast to double-sided forks, the streamlined fork design takes up less space and doesn’t protrude. As a result, it is far less likely that the wheel forks will scrape and damage walls or other surfaces while in use.
Black Tires - New Developments
Mobility tire manufacturers have made strides in engineering non-marring, non-leaching black tires, according to Smith. These new tires are designed to replace the gray-toned tires that have been used for years because, unlike the earlier black tires, the gray rubber tires didn’t leave floor marks and scuffs.
Yet, even with new manufacturing techniques, some black tires for wheelchairs are still made with carbon-based black rubber that can seep when wet. Therefore, if you are purchasing a new wheelchair with black tires or are replacing your gray, worn ones with new black tires, check to ensure your new tires are non-marring and non-leaching in all weather conditions.
To read Smith’s article with more information about these mobility chair trends, click here.
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