Fact on handicap mobility scooters

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Fact on handicap mobility scooters

  1. 1. Share Report Abuse Next Blog» Create Blog Sign InFrontline Mobility InformationEmail address... SubmitWednesday, September 7, 2011 Total Pageviews Fact Sheet on Handicap Mobility Scooters 1,263 ABLEDATA Fact Sheet on Scooters Introduction Mobility Scooter For many individuals with mobility disabilities, a powered scooter is an attractive alternative Fast to a manual or powered wheelchair. Scooters are often lighter, more compact, and more EWheels,18 mph & 45 maneuverable than power chairs, and in many people’s eyes their appearance is more mile range, One & Two appealing. This fact sheet is intended to help people with mobility disabilities who are passenger, from interested in learning more about scooters. Topics discussed include features and $1,599 www.ElectricW heelStore.com … components of scooters; factors determining whether a scooter is an appropriate mobility aid; and considerations in scooter selection. The fact sheet also provides a list of Test Drive the Q6 manufacturers and sources for scooter reviews. Edge Get the Edge from Scooter Features and Components Quantum Rehab Electric scooters (sometimes called “mobility scooters” to distinguish them from the Powerful Motors, recreational scooters popular among teenagers) all share a recognizable set of features. Smooth Ride www.q6edge.com Each has a seat at the rear of a wheeled platform, with controls and sometimes handrests on a column in front of the seat, called the tiller. The wheeled platform is the base unit. It Wheelchairs On supports the feet and batteries and contains the drive system. Scooters can have either Sale front- or rear-wheel drive, and most have either four wheels or three (two in back, one in front). Over 100 Different Models & Sizes 75% Off, Live Help, Free Shipping www.specialtym edicalsupply.com … SCOOTER Store Contact Us Today For A Free Scooter Evaluation. Call 866- 818-7036 Now! www.electric-W heel-Chairs.com … Wheelchairs on Sale Free Shipping On All Wheelchairs! Shop 150+ Models Starting At $97 www.W heelchairSelect.com Figure 1: The RT Express from Amigo Mobility International is a 3-wheeled scooter designed primarily for indoor use. Base Unit The base unit is the body of the scooter. Generally it consists of a steel, aluminum, or Followers composite frame with a fiberglass or composite floor to support the feet and batteries. Some scooter bases include a shroud over the front wheel and drive head, giving the scooter a bullet-shaped appearance. Certain scooter models also use the shroud to create a dashboard housing some of the instrumentation (such as a key lock for turning the scooter on and off and a battery-level indicator) for the scooter. The base also includes the wheels and the drive train. In some scooters, the seat post is part of the base. The scooter’s maneuverability and its suitability for indoor or outdoor use largely depend on the characteristics of the base unit such as its turning radius, the size of its wheelbase, its ground clearance, and its overall dimensions. The base unit also affects the comfort and safety of the rider. When evaluating a scooter, it is important to be certain that the base can accommodate the users needs. The floor should provide enough space to comfortably support the feet at a natural angle, and the overall dimensions should permit the controls to be easily reached and manipulated. Some manufacturers offer models with optional extended bases for tall people or shorter bases for small adults. Some models also offer optional extended footrests for those who wear leg braces or who have difficulty bending their knees. It is important to evaluate the base for safety features, including its overall stability. A scooter should not tip easily during sharp turns or on inclines such as curb cuts (if the scooter is designed for outdoor use). Anti-tip wheels should be included as part of the frame Blog Archive to help support and stabilize the scooter. On front-wheel drive units, anti-tips are often located laterally just behind the front wheel because they generally lack the power for steep ▼ 2011 (212) inclines. Because most rear-wheel drive scooters are intended to negotiate more rugged converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  2. 2. inclines. Because most rear-wheel drive scooters are intended to negotiate more rugged ▼ September (2)terrain, they are usually equipped with rear anti-tips to support the scooter on hills. Side anti- Fact Sheet on Handicaptip wheels are sometimes offered as options. It should be noted that lateral anti-tippers may Mobility Scooterscause difficulties on curb cuts and ramps.Some scooters can be disassembled into modular units for transport and storage. Modular The Worlds Lightest Wheelchairs availabledesign may also allow the scooter to be converted from a 3-wheeled to a 4-wheeled model or at Fron...from indoor to outdoor use. ► August (67) ► July (118) ► June (25) About Me mosbon View my complete profile Figure 2: The Legend XL from Pride Mobility is a 4-wheeled scooter intended primarily for outdoor use.Drive Train and Power SystemThe drive train is an integral part of the base unit and provides either front- or rear-wheel drivefor the scooter. Front-wheel drive is usually found on smaller scooters designed primarily tobe used indoors or outdoors on flat, paved surfaces. The motor of the front-wheel drivescooter is located over the front wheel and drives only that wheel. Because of the motor andwheel configuration, front-wheel drive scooters are usually direct-drive units, eliminatingchains and belts. This means that front-wheel drive models generally have smaller motorsand that the front wheel pulls the weight of the unit and the rider. Consequently, these typesof scooters have a lesser capacity to move their load than do rear-wheel drive models, andare therefore less capable of handling hills, curb cuts, and other outdoor terrain. Front-wheeldrive scooters often have a shorter range, less speed and power, and a smaller rider weightcapacity. These same factors, however, usually result in a scooter that is smaller than rear-wheel drive models, more maneuverable, more capable of fitting in tighter spaces, and morelikely to be compatible with van and bus wheelchair lifts.Conversely, rear-wheel drive scooters are powered by motors connected to the rear axle,either via a chain, a belt, a transaxle unit, or some combination. Because the scooter isdriven by the rear wheels, they push the combined weight of the unit and the rider, ratherthan pull it. The combined weight of the rider, the motor, and the batteries over the rearwheels, generally create better traction than that usually provided by front-wheel drivemodels. The increased traction combined with the more powerful motors used on rear-wheeldrive scooters results in better climbing ability. Rear-wheel-drive scooters also have a greatermaximum speed, a longer traveling range between battery charges, and a larger rider weightcapacity. These scooters have a wider wheel base and a greater overall length, making themless maneuverable and rendering some models unsuitable for indoor use. They may also betoo large for van or bus lifts.Front- or rear-wheel drive does not necessarily determine whether a scooter is powerfulenough to meet the users needs, nor does the horsepower of the motor. The torque of amotor is more often a determining factor. Most scooters use permanent magnet motors,some with lower torque than others. Lower torque motors frequently provide greater speed onflat, smooth surfaces, while higher torque motors may seem slow in that environment. However, the higher torque motor will generally offer more power for climbing hills andnegotiating other outdoor terrain. Again it is essential, when evaluating scooters, to keep thescooter’s primary intended use in mind.BrakesMost rear-wheel drive scooters utilize an electronic or electro-mechanical dynamic,regenerative braking system. This type of braking system works in tandem with the motor,first to slow and then to stop the vehicle when the pressure is released on the thumb leversor the controls are otherwise disengaged. When the scooter is not being powered forward orin reverse, the brakes are engaged, thus preventing the scooter from moving. During theapplication of the brakes, excess power from the motor is channeled to the batteries,providing recharging. Because the brakes are engaged when the scooter is not beingactively powered, most scooters with this braking system are equipped with a clutch on themotor or another release lever to manually disengage the brakes to allow the scooter to bepushed in case of emergency.Some scooters also use disc brakes alone or disc brakes in combination with the brakingsystem discussed above. Some scooters—usually front-wheel drive models—are notequipped with electronic or electro-mechanical brakes. In the absence of a brake system, amanual parking brake applied by lever to a rear wheel is provided. Manual parking brakesmay also be offered either as optional or standard features on other scooters to provide extra converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  3. 3. braking on hills and inclines. Figure 3: The Buzzaround 4-Wheel Scooter, model GB-104, from Golden Technologies, Inc. is a lightweight, portable scooter designed for indoor or outdoor use. It can be folded and broken down into components for easy storage or transport.Batteries and ChargersMost scooters utilize 12- or 24-volt motors and electrical systems, generally with one or two12-volt batteries to power the drive train and controls. Twelve-volt systems are mostfrequently found on front-wheel drive scooters, and usually require one 12-volt battery,although two six-volt batteries are sometimes used. Some manufacturers offer add-on unitsfor 12-volt systems which allow them to utilize two batteries to extend the scooters rangebetween charges, although speed and power are not affected. Rear-wheel drive systemsgenerally require two 12-volt batteries to power 24-volt systems.These batteries are “deep cycle” batteries intended for wheelchairs and scooters andgenerally last between 12 and 18 months, although with conservation and regular charging,longer life may be achieved. Deep cycle batteries are designed to provide a steady supply ofpower and to be discharged and recharged on a regular basis. In contrast, automotive andmarine batteries are designed to be starter batteries, providing short bursts of power only.Consequently, marine and automotive batteries should never be substituted for deep cyclebatteries.There are three basic types of batteries available for use with scooters: lead acid (or wet cell) batteries sealed lead-acid batteries gel cell batteries.Lead acid batteries are the least expensive of the three types, but they also require themost maintenance. In addition to regular charging, electrolyte and water levels must bechecked regularly, with water added frequently to maintain appropriate levels. Becausethese batteries are not sealed, there is danger of acid spillage and explosion if the batteriesare not handled properly. Despite these potential problems, lead-acid batteries provide thebenefits of a two- to six-month longer battery life and up to a ten percent greater running timethan other battery types.Sealed lead acid batteries are maintenance-free versions of lead acid batteries. Becausethey are sealed in cases, it is unnecessary to add water and the danger of acid spillage isreduced or eliminated. The cases are vented to prevent gas build-up that can lead to anexplosion.Finally, gel cell batteries are the most commonly used battery type on scooters. They aresealed in their cases and require no maintenance other than regular charging. Gel cells arethe safest of the battery types, with no danger of spillage and limited risk of explosion.However, gel cells are more expensive, usually ranging in price from $90 to $125, and theymay have a somewhat shorter life than other battery types.Many manufacturers do not include the battery or batteries as part of the scooter; rather,they are considered extra-cost options. The type and size of battery used on a given scootershould be selected in accordance with the recommendation of the manufacturer. It isparticularly important that the battery be compatible with the battery charger to be used.Lead acid and gel cell batteries require different types of chargers operating at differingamperage levels, so their chargers should never be used interchangeably; however, dualchargers capable of charging both types of batteries are also available.While the batteries are frequently optional, the charger is usually included with the scooteras part of the purchase price. It may be an on-board internal charger built into the scootersbase unit or it may be an external charger that is totally separate from the unit. On-boardchargers have the benefit of allowing the user to recharge the batteries during extended use,although it may be necessary to carry a separate cord or an extension cord to connect theunit to an electrical outlet. However, should an on-board charger require repair, it isnecessary to take the entire scooter in for repair.External chargers, on the other hand, require the user to carry extra equipment, but theyoffer the benefit of easier repair or replacement. External chargers also have the capability ofcharging the batteries away from the scooter, an option that can be particularly useful during converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  4. 4. travel because the batteries can be maintained without removing the scooter from the van orautomobile.Wheels and TiresThe dimensions of a scooter’s wheels and tires have a direct effect on the scooter’s stabilityand its ability to surmount obstacles. Scooters are generally equipped with six-, eight-, orten-inch wheels, although other sizes may also be used. Some models use the same sizewheels on both front and rear, while others may have smaller wheels in front and larger rearwheels. As a rule, the intended use of the scooter should dictate the size of the wheels andtires. Smaller wheels are generally found on front-wheel drive scooters intended for indooruse. The larger the wheels, the more stable the unit. Similarly larger and wider the tiresprovide better traction and greater capacity to manage obstacles such as curb cuts anduneven outdoor terrain. Those same tires, however, may make it more difficult to maneuverthe scooter in tighter indoor spaces.Several types of tires are available for scooters. Manufacturers generally offer a specific tireas standard equipment, with others available as extra-cost options. Pneumatic tires haveair-filled tubes and are similar to those found on automobiles. Air pressure should bechecked regularly to maintain proper levels, and tires may need to be replaced if punctured. The addition of an anti-flat compound before inflation reduces the risk of tires going flat.Pneumatic tires provide good shock absorption when properly inflated.Foam filled tires are similar to pneumatic tires, but include foam inserts rather than air-filledtubes. These tires cannot be deflated and, therefore, require less maintenance. They maybe more expensive than pneumatic tires and may not offer a consistently comfortable ride.The least expensive tire option is solid tires. These tires require the least maintenance, butprovide minimal shock absorption and are intended primarily for indoor use.Other issues in tire selection include color and tread depth. Most tires are available in blackor gray rubber. Black tires are generally less expensive and have a longer life than do graytires. However, gray tires are specially treated to prevent the marking and scuffing of floorsand walls that is common with black tires.Tires are available with differing levels of tread. A deeper tread provides greater traction andimproved ability to handle such outdoor surfaces as mud, gravel, and grass. However, thetreads do tend to track dirt and debris indoors. Low-tread or treadless tires eliminate thisproblem, but should be confined to indoor use or limited outdoor use on paved surfaces.SeatingMost scooters have a chair-style seat or captain’s chair with a back and armrests, andsometimes a headrest as well. Some lightweight scooters, however, have seats without aback or armrest. Seats are usually made of molded hard plastic or fiberglass, and differ inthe amount of padding. Padded seats usually have vinyl or fabric upholstery. Vinylupholstery is often less expensive, but because it is a more slippery surface, it may not bethe best choice for those whose disability makes it difficult to maintain position or balance.Other options may include ergonomically designed seats, lumbar supports, and separatecushions. In rare cases, manufacturers may offer custom-design and fitting with positioningoptions similar to those found on wheelchairs. Seats are usually post-mounted to the centeror rear of the base, and most swivel up to 360 degrees with stops at every 90 degrees usinga manual lever beneath the seat. A powered seat is a common option. The mechanism isusually controlled from the dashboard or control box and uses power from the battery torotate the seat. Some powered seats also elevate, allowing the user greater access tocounters, cupboards, etc. As with most options, powered seats add to the scooters finalcost. Another consideration is the draw of power from the battery; frequent use of the powerseat during the course of the day may reduce the scooters range. Some seats also allowfor forward and rearward adjustment to better accommodate the users needs. In addition,some scooters have folding seats, fold-down seat backs, or removable seat posts fortransport or storage.Armrests are another consideration in seating. Some scooters offer armrests only as anoption; others offer fixed armrests as standard with flip-up armrests available. Whatever thetype, armrests are generally constructed of rigid plastic with padded upholstery optional,although some armrests feature a rigid plastic base with padded, upholstered inserts. Whether or not armrests are padded and whether they are fixed or not should be determinedby the needs of the person using scooter in transferring to and from the scooter and whetherthe armrests will help with balance while seated. Padding may make it more difficult tograsp the armrests and fixed armrests may make it more difficult to transfer.TillerThe tiller is the control and steering mechanism for the scooter, usually containing thecontrols to drive the scooter forward or in reverse, as well as steering the front wheel orwheels. Most scooters offer one type of standard tiller with other controllers available asoptions. Possibilities include thumb levers, loop handles, joysticks, and others. Thumblevers are the most common controls, allowing the user to keep both hands on the handlebars while using the left thumb to power the scooter in reverse and the right to power thescooter forward. The amount of pressure applied to the lever will determine the speed of thevehicle (unless it is equipped with a proportional speed control). Consequently, a fair amountof hand control is necessary for safe operation. Finger control levers or a joystick may bealternatives. Some manufacturers may also be able to adapt controls to user requirementsat extra cost.The tiller, itself, is often an upright post attached to the front wheel, but there are alsoflexible, accordion-style tillers that can be adjusted for height or body position. This not onlyenables a person to place the tiller in the most comfortable position while driving, but also converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  5. 5. allows it to be moved up and out of the way during transfers. In the absence of a dashboardor shroud over the front wheel, a control box with the key lock, battery level indicator, speedcontroller, and other features may be affixed to the tiller handlebars.Since a joystick controls both speed and direction, scooters equipped with joysticksgenerally do not have the post-and-handlebar tiller; the joystick is usually attached to anarmrest or to an armrest extension, with a choice of right or left mounting. While this freesthe space in front of the user and may accommodate easier transitions for some, the lack ofhandlebars may make transfers more difficult for others.Other Features and AccessoriesIn addition to the features listed above, which are found in all scooters, manufacturers offer avariety of other features and accessories. Most scooters are equipped with a key lock forturning the scooter on and off, a battery-level indicator, and a proportional speed controller tolimit maximum speed. Available accessories include crutch and cane holders, oxygencarriers, front and rear baskets, trailers, headlights, tail lights, horns, and canopies. Somemanufacturers even offer sidecars to allow an additional passenger. As when purchasing acar, options add to the cost of the scooters. Accessories should be evaluated in light of howthey contribute to maximum user independence. At the same time, it should be kept in mindthat some options may decrease battery life, maneuverability, and travel range.TransportationMost scooter owners find it necessary at some point to transport the scooter. If a van with alift or public transportation is to be used, it may be advisable to consider a scooter with anarrow wheelbase and smaller overall profile to be certain that the scooter can beaccommodated by the lift and be sufficiently maneuverable to be used on buses and otherpublic transit vehicles.There are several options available for people wanting to transport a scooter with theirpersonal vehicles, including scooter carriers that attach onto a vehicle’s bumper or trailerhitch, loading aids to help put a scooter into vehicles with a large cargo space, and scootersthat break down into smaller components for storage in the vehicle.Scooter carriers are platforms mounted on a vehicle’s bumper or a rear trailer hitch that aredesigned to carry scooters. Powered and manual scooter carriers are available. Theplatform on some powered carriers can be lowered to the ground level so that the scootercan drive onto the platform. On other powered carriers, a ramp will flip down to allow thescooter to drive on or off of the platform. Manual carriers remain at a fixed height above theroad, and the user puts a ramp down to allow the scooter to drive up onto the platform. Onceon the platform, the scooter is secured, often using safety belts, so that the scooter remainsfixed on the platform while driving.Figure 4: The Lift ’N’ Go Model 210 electric powered carrier from WheelChair Carrier is mounted on the hitch of a car, truck or van.For vehicles such as vans and trucks that have sufficient cargo space to fit a scooter, rampsor lifts can be used to load the scooter into the vehicle. Ramps can be mounted on side of avan or on the back (Figure 4) of any vehicle large enough to fit a scooter. When the ramp isextended the scooter drives in or out of the vehicle. Portable ramps can also be attached to converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  6. 6. a vehicle when loading or unloading a scooter, and stored in the vehicle when not in use. Figure 5: The EZ-ACCESS Hitchmount Ramp extends to allow a scooter to drive up into a van, truck or SUV. It folds flat against the back of the vehicle when not in use (see insets).Two basic types of lifts are available: (1) crane-style lifts and (2) platform lifts. A crane-stylelift can be mounted in the vehicle or have its own external base. The lift has a horizontal armto which the scooter is attached using a strap or sling and lifted off of the ground. With thescooter suspended in the air, the horizontal arm rotates to move the scooter into or out of thevehicle, and then lowers it to the ground or into the vehicle. Platform lifts work similarly toscooter carriers. The lift is mounted on a rear bumper or trailer hitch. To load a scooter, theplatform is lowered to the ground the scooter drives onto the platform, and once the platformis raised to the level of the trunk or cargo area, the scooter is transferred into the vehicle.When not in use, the platform is folded vertically so that is does not protrude from thevehicle.If the scooter is to be transported by an automobile without a carrier, it will need to be eitherfolded, if possible, or broken down into smaller components so that it can fit in the auto’strunk. Some scooters are designed with modular components or take-apart frames. At thevery least, a scooter to be transported by automobile should have a folding seatback and/or afolding tiller. Some scooters also offer removable a seat post, seat, and batteries. Factorsaffecting a scooter’s transportability include whether it will be transported in the trunk or inthe back seat, how much space is available, how heavy the individual components are, howmuch the user can lift, and whether a lift or loader can be used.Choosing a ScooterThe first consideration in selecting a scooter is to determine whether it will meet the needs ofthe potential user. The primary market for scooters is individuals with physical disabilities orhealth conditions which affect their ability to walk or limit their physical endurance. Typically,scooter users have some ability to walk, but are limited in distance or stamina—people withmilder forms of cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, arthritis, cardiacconditions, or stroke survivors, among others. Scooters are used to increase and extend therange of personal mobility and help conserve energy. Scooter users often have difficultypropelling manual wheelchairs, but do not require the sophisticated electronic controls andseating systems common in powered wheelchairs.A number of other physical factors must also be evaluated when determining whether ascooter is an appropriate mobility aid. A scooter user generally must be able to sit uprightfor extended periods and have sufficient seated balance to maintain an erect posture. Further, sufficient upper body and arm strength to master the controls and steer andmaneuver the unit is required. In addition, uncorrected vision disabilities, or conditions whichmay cause confusion or memory loss or which inhibit proper safety awareness may render ascooter an unsatisfactory mobility aid.Other considerations in selecting a mobility aid include how and where the scooter will beused, whether or not it will need to be transported, and if so, how it will be transported.Additional factors include whether or not a scooter will be the primary mode of transportation,how far it will need to travel in between battery charges on a given day, and whether it will beused primarily indoors or outdoors, or in a combination of environments. The overallevaluation of all these factors will help determine whether a scooter is an appropriateassistive device for a particular individual in a specific set of circumstances. Personsconsidering a scooter for the first time should seek the advice of a physician, therapist, orother rehabilitation professional about whether a wheelchair or scooter is most appropriate,and what type of scooter best meets their needs.It is also important that a scooter under consideration be thoroughly tested and comparedwith other similar models, if possible, in the setting in which it will be most typically used. Some manufacturers and distributors allow the prospective buyer to take the scooter for on-site trials for a specified period. Such trials allow a person to more accurately determinewhether the vehicle will perform as required in a given setting, and whether the controls,seating, and leg room are sufficiently comfortable for long-term use. Like shopping for anautomobile, it is advisable to test comparable models and their features.Beyond the PurchaseOnce a scooter has been selected, there are other factors to be considered. First, becertain that a warranty is offered and know what the terms of the warranty are. If the scooteris purchased from a local dealer, determine whether the store has trained service technicians converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  7. 7. capable of performing routine maintenance and repairs. Be certain that parts such as batteries, tires, chains and belts, and electronics are stocked on the premises and do not have to be ordered from the manufacturer, causing delays in getting the scooter back on the road. If the scooter is purchased directly from a manufacturer, learn whether repairs can be made locally and by whom. Wherever maintenance is performed or repairs are made, the work should be done by someone authorized to do it under the terms of the warranty. Funding Sources The primary funding sources for scooters are private medical insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. Worker’s Compensation insurance may be another funding source if the scooter is needed as the result of a workplace injury. Insurance plans will only pay for scooters and scooter accessories insofar as they are deemed medically necessary and medical necessity can be an issue in paying for scooters. Some insurance plans, including Medicare, may deem scooters not medically necessary for individuals who can walk a short distance without assistance. Issues of medical necessity may also exclude coverage of some optional features that would be beneficial to the individual but which are not deemed necessary. There may be other limitations on coverage as well, such as frequency of replacement. Many States offer an Assistive Technology Alternative Financing Program that help people with disabilities to qualify for and receive low cost loans to purchase assistive products or services. A list of these State projects is available from RESNA at http://www.resna.org/AFTAP/state/. Each State also offers a State Assistive Technology Project that supports consumer-driven, statewide, technology-related assistance for individuals of all ages with disabilities. There are 56 projects (one in each State and in D.C. and the U.S. territories). A list of these projects can be found on the ABLEDATA Web site at http://www.abledata.com/abledata.cfm? pageid=113573&top=16050&ksectionid=19326&stateorganizations=1. For more information on funding sources, see the ABLEDATA Informed Consumer Guide to Funding Assistive Technology. Conclusion Scooters offer individuals with mobility disabilities an alternative in personal mobility aids. For some a more attractive, less “medical” appearance is an important factor. For others, greater flexibility is a primary consideration. For those not requiring the sophisticated electronics or seating systems of a powered wheelchair, the smaller price tag is attractive. Whatever the reason for considering a scooter, models should be carefully evaluated for their capability to accommodate a person’s disability and meet the requirements of the intended use. First-time purchasers are advised to consult with a physician, therapist, or other rehabilitation professional to determine whether a scooter is the best option, and what features are required. For those seeking information on assistive technology, ABLEDATA provides information about more than 22,000 products for people with disabilities. Included in the ABLEDATA product listings are descriptions of scooters currently available in the United States, as well as information about scooter manufacturers and distributors. ABLEDATA can be reached by calling 800/227-0216 or 301/608-8998, or through e-mail at abledata@orcmacro.com. Information specialists are on hand to assist callers in locating the information they need. ABLEDATA offers additional Fact Sheets and Informed Consumers Guides on assistive technology and disability issues, including Fact Sheets on Manual Wheelchairs, Powered Wheelchairs, Wheelchairs for Children, and Informed Consumer Guides on Wheelchair Selection, and Assistive Technology for People with Spinal Cord Injury. All ABLEDATA publications may be downloaded free of charge from the ABLEDATA Web site, http://www.abledata.com; print copies can be sent by mail for a small fee. The Best Online Wheelchair and Scooter Store is http://www.frontlinemobility.com Posted by mosbon at 10:37 AM 0 comments 0 Motorized Wheel Chair 9/10 People Pay Little Or Nothing For a Motorized W heel Chair! www.Hoveround.com /W heelchairs The SCOOTER Store Have Medicare & need a w heelchair? We can help w ith your claim theSCO O TERstore.com Lightweight wheelchair Lightw eight Transport W heelchairs Starting at $97. Free Shipping! ActiveLivingNow.com /W heelchairs No Out-of-Pocket Costs A 1 minute form can tell you if you qualify for a no-cost Pow er Chair. www.uscoot.com /PowerChairTuesday, September 6, 2011 converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  8. 8. The Worlds Lightest Wheelchairs available atFrontlineMobility.com The Worlds Lightest Wheelchairs from the Online Wheelchair StoreWheelchairs have rapidly evolved in recent years. Just a decade ago, theworlds lightest wheelchairs were in the range of 10kg (approximately 22lbs).Now, it is possible to find ultra-lightweight wheelchairs in the range of 5 kg(approximately 11 Kg) or less including wheels. These new ultra lightweightwheelchairs are possible due to advances in materials, technology anddesigns.What is the advantage of an ultra lightweight wheelchair?There are three advantages to an ultra lightweight wheelchair:* Transfers and Travel: An ultra-lightweight wheelchair simplifies traveling.Getting into a vehicle is much easier if your wheelchair weighs 5kg instead of10kg. Many wheelchair users get into a car alone, reach out and pick up thewheelchair and pull it in. This complicated maneuver is considerably easier ifthe wheelchair frame is a feather light 2 or 3 kg, rather than a clunky 7 or 10kg.* Performance: An ultra-lightweight wheelchair is easier to push. Forexample, some wheelchair ramps can be steep. Pushing yourself up a rampin a wheelchair which weighs 5 kg is much easier than in an old-fashionedheavy wheelchair which can weigh anywhere from 5-15 KG more.* Cool factor: If you have to be in a wheelchair, it is best to be in the coolest,lightest, most innovative wheelchair possible.What is the best material for an ultra-lightweight Wheelchair?Which is the best material for an ultra-lightweight wheelchair is an impossiblequestion to answer. Ultra-lightweight wheelchairs are typically made of fourtypes of materials: aluminium, titanium, carbon fiber and other compositematerials. Comparing one type of material to the other is made nearlyimpossible since each type of material has advantages and disadvantagesand technology is constantly advancing. For example just ten years agocarbon fiber was known for yellowing and breaking. But with improvedtechnology, the best carbon fibers of today have come a long way from thecarbon fiber wheelchairs of a decade ago. Many composite materials are acombination of carbon fiber and plastics or resins and these too have come along way in recent years.As an example, the aerospace industry is on the cutting edge for creatingstrong and lightweight materials, for a simple reason. The lighter the aircraft,the better it will perform and the more fuel efficient it will be. Boeing states thatits new 787 Dreamliner "is the companys most fuel-efficient airliner and theworlds first major airliner to use composite materials for most of itsconstruction" According to the Boeing website the new design has "anairframe comprising nearly half carbon fiber reinforced plastic and othercomposites. This approach offers weight savings on average of 20 percentcompared to more conventional aluminum designs". While most wheelchairmanufacturers will make a wheelchair from either aluminum, titanium orcomposites, Boeing takes advantage of all of these materials and uses themappropriately to achieve the lightest and safest airplane possible.Engineering is more important than materialFurther, not all aluminum wheelchairs or titanium wheelchairs are equal. Thereare so many factors which go into making the frame that an aluminumwheelchair made by one company may easily be lighter than a titaniumwheelchair from another company and vice versa. Tubing diameter and wallthickness effect stiffness, strength and weight. One manufacturer could use athin walled tubing and achieve a lightweight frame which would be verysatisfactory for some users, but which could crack under heavier strain fromother users. The lightest wheelchairs will employ various thickness anddiameter tubing in different parts of the frame in order to achieve the best converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  9. 9. balance of weight, strength and stiffness necessary for the best ride.For example, titanium has a higher strength to weigh ratio than aluminum. Butin 2008 researchers from the Veterans Administration and University ofPittsburgh published a study of tests on four popular brands of titaniumwheelchairs. The scientists found that the titanium wheelchairs that they testedfailed quicker than aluminum wheelchairs that they had previously tested.These wheelchairs were lightweight, but apparently some of the lightness mayhave been achieved at the sacrifice of frame strength.Therefore, it is mistake to assume that a wheelchair made of a particularmaterial is necessarily going to be lighter, stronger or better than a wheelchairmade of a different type of material. The lightest weight and strongestwheelchair of the future will probably be one which uses a combination ofdifferent types of materials as in the Boeing Dreamliner.Some issues to consider about all types of materialsTitanium: Titanium can be difficult to paint. Special painting techniques may beemployed, but they are often costly. As a result, many titanium wheelchairs area dull grey color. Some like it and others do not.Carbon-Fiber: While improving, there are still complaints about carbon fiberframes breaking. Whether or not the technology is mature enough will mostlikely depend on the type of carbon fiber processes that your manufacturer isusing. Also carbon fiber may yellow when exposed to UV light, unless coatedwith paint or some other material.Aluminum: Welded aluminum frames are generally going to be lighter thanaluminum frames held together with brackets and screws. But many people donot like the looks of welding on wheelchairs and welding renders thewheelchair non-adjustable. If you want to sell your wheelchair, you may have aproblem finding a buyer who is exactly the same size as you.How Does The Wheelchair Fit?One of the key issues in selecting an ultralight wheelchair is how themanufacturer makes it fit your body. There are typically three approaches:* Adjustability Approach: A manufacturer may make a wheelchair with a fewframe lengths and widths then use adjustability to make it fit your particulardimensions and requirements. They will adjust the front seat height, rear seatheight, front caster angle, back rest angle, backrest height, foot rest length tofit your requirements. The problem is that adjustability requires bolts, bracketsand screws and these add weight to the wheelchair. Most ultra, ultra-lightweight wheelchairs will have limited adjustability.* Fixed Frame Dimensions Approach: Some manufacturers may save weightby having little or no adjustability and have simply have a "few sizes fits all"approach. In order to minimize the number of frame sizes that they must keepin stock, they may try to minimize some dimensions. For example, somewheelchairs may be offered in only 1 frame lengths and recommend thateveryone, from very short to very tall fit in a wheelchair frame of the samelength.* Custom Approach: Customization means that the wheelchair is built from thebeginning to the exact dimensions of the buyer. This has the advantage that afully customized wheelchair will fit the owners body perfectly. With noadjustability required, a customized wheelchair has fewer bolts, brackets andscrews and is therefore lighter. The disadvantage of a customized wheelchairis that if the measurements are wrong, the wheelchair must be made again. Ifyou are not comfortable the manufacturer may not be willing to build you a newwheelchair. The other disadvantage is that if you ever want to sell thewheelchair it can be very difficult to find a buyer who has the exact dimensionsand requirements that you have.Wheelchair Weight, Comparing Apples to OrangesWhich manufacturer makes the worlds lightest wheelchair?This is probably not as easy to answer as you might think. Many factors willplay a role in a wheelchairs weight and finding the data necessary to compareweights is often an impossible task.Many manufacturers will give the weights of their wheelchair frames withoutwheels, locks, side guards, even upholstery. Other manufacturers will include converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  10. 10. these or other parts. The same frame might come with several sizes or configurations. If wheels are included, the type of wheels can play a significant role. Rear wheels often add 2kg or more to the weight of the wheelchair. Rarely does a manufacturer give the specifications of the conditions under which it was weighed. Rarely do they tell you the frame size or wheel type or used during the weighing. Therefore, making a comparison of weights of one wheelchair to the next will be very difficult to do and the weights given below should be used as an indication. Do not use these weights to compare one wheelchair to the next, but rather to get an idea of how light a wheelchair can be. The Worlds Lightest Wheelchairs If you are looking for the worlds lightest wheelchair, here are a few to consider. Pantera X is a carbon fiber wheelchair. Pantera claims that the frame weighs 2.1 KG. Proval is an aluminum frame wheelchair. The lightest weight frame weighs in at 3.4kg. Proval achieves this low weight due to its unique oval shaped aluminum tubing. Quickie Helium (Europe) / Q7 (N. America) is made from formed aluminium technology. Its frame weighs 4.2kg. Tilite ZR is a titanium frame wheelchair and weighs 4.2 kg. If you know of a wheelchair with a frame which weighs under 4KG (9lbs) . http://www.frontlinemobility.com The best online store to buy a wheelchair. Posted by mosbon at 7:28 AM 0 comments 0Wednesday, August 31, 2011 Bariatric Wheelchairs – What You Should Know Bariatric Wheelchairs – What You Should Know Bariatric is a term that represents the population of people who are exceedingly obese and who need medical intervention due to their excessive weight. They are generally classified as patients over and above 250 pounds. In the health care setting, bariatric clients are usually addressed separately from the general populace due to their distinct need for a different set of interventions and specialized medical management. What are Bariatric Wheelchairs? Bariatiric wheelchairs are designed for bariatric patients who need assistance in moving around. These pieces of equipment provide clients with the ability to take up an independent way of life despite their restrictive condition. converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
  11. 11. Obese patients basically have special needs that are different from normal-sized people. They also require specialized design considerations when it comes to wheelchairs. Aside from the excessive weight, these mobility aids need to have appropriate capacity for depth, width and length prerequisites. Wheelchair manufacturers have taken these variables into account. There are in fact numerous types of bariatric wheelchairs in the market today. Each of the styles are modified to meet the unique needs of this population group. Modern bariatric wheelchairs also carry a variety of features, which include durable frames built with advanced welding technology, hardwearing wheels with pneumatic tires, padded upholstery for added comfort, and other extra features. Manual Bariatric Wheelchairs Like the regular variety, bariatric wheelchairs also come in manual versions. These wheelchairs are ideal for people who still have the capacity to push the wheels and set the chair in motion with minimal or no assistance. Manually propelled bariatric wheelchairs also provide a certain degree of exercise to their users. However, other medical conditions – aside from obesity – may get worse because of the added strain created by pushing the wheels. For people with other infirmities, electric bariatric wheelchairs may be more appropriate. Electric Bariatric Wheelchairs These wheelchairs are ideal for patients who have cardiovascular disorders or those who lack the upper body strength required to propel a manual bariatric wheelchair. The ability to move around easily by means of a joystick mechanism provides wheelchair-bound obese clients with the chance to perform a number of routine activities. Posted by mosbon at 10:58 AM 0 comments 0 Labels: Online Bariatric Wheelchairs Home Older Posts Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)PagesHomeSlideshow Popular Posts Online Training For Fire Safety for Wheelchair Users Free Online Training In Fire Safety for Wheelchair Users www.frontlinemobility.com Ziggi | Apr 02, 2010 | Comments 1 United Spinal Associa... Minot, North Dakota, evacuation to start shortly: MINNEAPOLIS | Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:44am EDT (Reuters) - The evacuation of more than a quarter of Min... Shuttle Workers Face Big Layoffs as NASA Fleet Retires Article : Shuttle Workers Face Big Layoffs as NASA Fleet Retires by Denise Chow, SPACE.com Staff Writer Date: 22 July 20... Dementia tied to 7 "modifiable" risk factors: What are they? July 19, 2011 10:16 AM Print Text Dementia tied to 7 "modifiable" risk factors: What are they? By David W Freeman Topics News , D... 2011-06-24 - New! Invacare Kite power wheelchair 2011-06-24 - New! Invacare Kite power wheelchair New! Invacare Kite Power Wheelchair Great performance, compact design Invacare ® Kite™ i... www.frontlinemobility.com Wall Street Markets patience wears thin Markets patience wears thin 68 Comments RSS Email Print Wa... Erectile Function And Libido Improve In Obese Diabetic Men Who Lose Weight Erectile Function And Libido Improve In Obese Diabetic Men Who Lose Weight Editors Choice Academic Journal Main Category: Erectile Dysfun... Housing Crisis Destroys Minority Wealth converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
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