Manual wheelchair guide
We understand it can sometimes appear daunting when looking for the ideal wheelchair for your needs. This basic how to choose a wheelchair guide will help you before contacting us for a personalised assessment
Find out which type of user you are
Are you an active wheelchair user?
An active user will use a wheelchair as their only way of getting around. Typically, you might have experienced a spinal cord injury, live with a congenital difficulty or be a younger person who needs a wheelchair frequently. On average, an active user will be in a wheelchair for 12 hours a day.
Are you an mid-active wheelchair user?
If you are a mid-active user, you will want to be active when using a wheelchair but not necessarily use one all the time. For example, you might be someone who can mobilise around the house but struggles with longer distances. Mid-active users commonly recover after surgery or use a powered wheelchair full time and need a manual wheelchair as a backup. Wheelchairs for mid-active users tend to help people with conditions such as MS, Parkinson’s, undiagnosed neurological disorders, ME and early-stage Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Recently injured patients in hospitals can also be regarded as mid-active users, typically in a wheelchair for 3 to 4 hours a day.
Are you an occasional wheelchair user?
If you are an occasional user, you will be an individual who only needs a wheelchair now and again. You will not use it for extended periods of time, commonly around two hours a week or less. Typical users will benefit from a wheelchair when visiting hospitals or the shops.
Find out about the different types of wheelchair
These wheelchairs are designed to be stiff and as light as possible. The main benefit of this is to convert the most amount of energy used to push the push rims into forward motion. Folding frame wheelchairs are less rigid and hence less efficient as some propulsion effort is lost in the natural movement of the frame. Although the frame of a rigid wheelchair cannot be folded for transport, these types of wheelchairs can be fitted with a folding backrest and removable wheels. This makes transporting a rigid frame chair possible for many people who drive.
Rigid frame chairs are set up for the user’s specific needs. This tends to mean they are highly manoeuvrable as minimal hip and arm movement will instantly swing a chair around on smooth surfaces. Wheelchairs such as these are popular with sportsmen and women; para-basketball players are a prime example. Rigid frame wheelchairs can also be set up to change a user’s centre of gravity to benefit posture and support, typically seen with amputees.
These wheelchairs are designed to need less space when storing at home or in a car. Folding frame wheelchairs tend to be heavier than rigid framed designs as there are more components. However, this is why the Helio C2 by Motion Composites is a popular choice as it retains a lightweight structure. A folding frame is common in wheelchairs for mid-active and occasional users as they are not used full time and need to be stored.
This configuration is not so common; however, it can provide unique advantages. Specialist wheelchairs that combine lighter lifting and advanced folding mean users benefit from easy handling and storage – the Veloce from Motion Composites is a proven example.
Hemi / hemiplegic
This type of wheelchair will assist a user to self-propel even if they have restricted movement in part of their body. This could be an individual, for example, who has experienced a stroke and has weakness down one side. A hemi-framed wheelchair can be set up, so the user propels comfortably and safely with one hand and foot. This is achieved by setting up the wheelchair with specific floor-to-seat heights and chassis configurations. Another suitable scenario includes light exercise for a wheelchair user with arthritis in the knees, as it encourages movement without weight-bearing. An Helio A7 aluminium wheelchair or the Helio C2 carbon fibre wheelchair manufactured by Motion Composites has been designed to achieve this.
Wheelchairs are specifically designed for children with disabilities. Paediatric frames often include features that keep the wheelchair more stable and configured for a child’s growth. In terms of behaviour, paediatric wheelchairs need to encourage independent movement and motor skills development through an ability to engage and have fun. Dynamic adjustment is another important consideration which means quality paediatric wheelchairs provide adaptable configuration. This allows the wheelchair to be changed as the user becomes more familiar with how the product moves – developing from an inexperienced to an active user with ease. Helio Kids and Helio C2 wheelchairs can be configured in this way.
These wheelchairs are designed to make sedentary users as comfortable as possible when sitting for sustained periods of time. By nature, they are often used in care homes and for long term/end of life care. They have special features that allow the user to be moved comfortably within the wheelchair to aid pressure relief and comfort. They are also widely used for specialist seating applications such as the PDG Mobility range of wheelchairs from Recare.
Motion Composites wheelchairs
Motion Composites is an innovative, specialist manufacturer of wheelchairs based in Canada. We are proud to represent this quality brand in the UK, awarded the prestigious international Red Dot Design award in 2019 for its carbon fibre Veloce wheelchair. The range we provide includes:
The entry-level folding wheelchair from Motion Composites. It may be the basic wheelchair in the range. However, the Move still delivers exceptional design and support for users. Its price point is higher than many competitors due to its superb quality. Nevertheless, the long term value provided by the Move results in lower costs over time. Plus, the precision engineering from Motion Composites results in a wheelchair that is far more energy-efficient to propel than most competitors. The Move is well suited to occasional users.
An active user wheelchair is designed to be as stiff and light as possible. The use of a high-quality carbon fibre frame and components means the Apex is highly manoeuvrable, and lifting is strain-free. The wide range of options allows the user to personalise the Apex for their own needs. The exposed carbon fibre with a superior finish provides high quality, contemporary finish.
This is the ultimate choice for active users with a cutting-edge, super-lightweight carbon fibre frame for maximum motion efficiency.
A wheelchair that includes all the impressive features of the Apex Carbon at a lower price.
An award-winning folding rigid wheelchair. It is lightweight, highly responsive and encompasses a folding frame for easy storage. This world-class design is ideal for users who require all the benefits of a rigid framed wheelchair but have limited space for storage at home or in the car.
Including all the popular features of the Veloce, with the added ultra-lightweight benefits of carbon fibre.
This collection of quality wheelchairs from Motion Composites meets users’ requirements that range from mid-active to active. They are highly adaptable, which means their designs can be easily altered if the user’s needs change. This is an essential capability for most wheelchair users who are new to a disability or have a degenerative condition. The range includes:
- Helio A6 (Aluminium): similar to the Move, this wheelchair is however more adaptable and includes more advanced features. As a wheelchair for mid-to-active users, it is a highly competitively priced product for a large range of users.
- Helio A7 (Aluminium): the ultimate version of the Helio A6. It features even more options, high-end accessories and a higher quality 7000 series aluminium frame designed to reduce weight and improve rigidity. The Helio A7 will meet the needs of many mid-active to active users.
- Helio C2 (Carbon fibre): the carbon fibre frame version of the Helio A7. It includes all the high-end features of the A7 with the very latest in folding frame technologies. It is a top-of-the-range wheelchair for mid-active and active users.
- Helio Kids (Aluminium): specifically designed for the needs of developing children. This specialist paediatric range includes many features to support changing needs, such as adjustable floor to seat height, seat depth growth, adjustable centre of gravity and a wide range of accessories. A mid-active / active child may be suitable for this wheelchair.