Wheelchair armrests are designed to help user’s upper body balance while seated. If the user, however, has adequate upper body strength, wheelchairs without armrests or shortened armrests can be purchased. Wheelchair armrests, lap trays, or forearm troughs are commonly used while the occupant is in his or her wheelchair. Rigid arm boards often are preferred to the use of slings while the patient is in the wheelchair because they allow the humeral head to approximate the glenoid fossa at a more natural angle and are less restrictive. Wheelchair armrests will certainly add weight and complexity to the wheelchair. Depending on the type of armrest the added weight may be considerable.
Wheelchair seating power functions are also available such as tilt, elevating or recline. Additionally, available wheelchair armrests include removable flip-back, height-adjustable, etc. Wheelchair seat depth is measured from the front to back of the seat. To determine the existing size you need only measure the distance from the front edge of the seat to the back where the seat meets the back upright. Wheelchair should fold quickly and easily for storage and transportation. Most available wheelchairs come complete with braked handles for use by the attendant or owner.
Folding wheelchair frames typically have about 1 to 2 inches of seat width growth in the cross brace. If your frame does not, a growth kit can be ordered from the manufacturer, which typically provides a new cross frame and footplates. Folding frames have a cross-brace system that allows the wheelchair to be collapsed for storage or transport. Rigid frames may have a folding back and quick release wheels.
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