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Wheelchairs 101

Types Of Wheelchairs

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There are many types of models of wheelchairs that are made to meet many different needs. The three primary styles are:

Standard Wheelchair

This is the most common and least expensive of chairs. It weighs between 40 and 60 pounds, has a folding seat (sling seat) with a folding backrest. (Typical cost: $500 - $1,000*)

Lightweight Wheelchair

This chair is similar in size to the Standard chair. However, since it's built of lighter weight metals, it usually weighs no more than 30 pounds. These chairs tend to roll easier than Standard chairs on carpeting or gravel. They can take longer to open and fold as they are designed to be more rigid due to their light weight. (Typical cost is $1,000 or more*)

Ultralight Wheelchair

These chairs are made from the same metals used to build aircraft. They are very strong, but extremely light, often weighing half that of the standard chair or less. Their light weight makes them the easiest of the group to pick up and stow in vehicles. Because of their light weight, these chairs may take some practice to maneuver. They move faster because they move with such less effort. Also, there is a tendency for the front wheels to lift when going up a ramp or incline if you are not familiar with their lightness. These chairs tend to cost about twice what a Standard chair costs. (Typical cost is $1,500 - $2,000*)

*Typical costs shown are general. Prices can vary substantially depending on your geographical location, who is paying for the chair, and other factors.

Specialized Chairs

These chairs are made for a wide variety of special needs. There are racing chairs, sports chairs, beach chairs, and almost any other chair that someone may have a need for. (Typical cost is expensive to very expensive)

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