Loss of mobility has confined many individuals to a wheelchair for varying reasons. Some as a result of injury, of a health disorder, or a congenital physical impairment; while for many others, as a consequence of an ailment or injury related to old age.
Numerous wheelchair-bound individuals have proven through the years that loss of mobility does not pose as an obstacle to fulfilling hopes and ambitions. Many of them have in fact achieved fame and prominence; serving as inspiration for furthering improvements that will create a sense of normalcy in the lifestyle of people with disability.
Invention and Development of Wheelchairs for Persons with Mobility Problem
Today’s generation of persons with disability and mobility problems are far luckier. Mainly because the modern day models of wheelchairs come with features that allow them to manage immobility with greater ease.
The very first wheelchair purposely designed for managing immobility was said to have been built in 1595 for King Phillip of Spain. The contraption was a kingly chair outfitted with an adjustable backrest and wheels attached to all four legs of the chair. The wheels made it possible for servants to move the monarch around and about the palace, without diminishing the king’s stature and regal posture.
Decades later, an English inventor named John Dawson invented a wheelchair that largely resembled a carriage. Supported by two large wheels in the rear and one small wheel in front. Dawson named the wheelchair as Bath, after his hometown. Although the wheelchair user was provided with a stiff handle as steering wheel, the Bath contraption can only be pushed or pulled by a horse or donkey. All other models of wheelchair that came about during the next 40 years of the era, were modeled after the Bath chair. .
It was only during the 18th century that self-propelled wheelchairs were invented, whilst evolving into mobility contraptions resembling the modern day wheelchairs. In 1932, an American engineer named Harry C. Jennings developed the first transportable folding wheelchair using tubular steel for his friend and fellow engineer, Herbert Everest.
The two later founded the pioneer company that mass-produced the mobility equipment. The Everest and Jennings Co. was in fact, the only representative of the wheelchair industry for several decades.
Subsequent Wheelchair Developments Focused on Special Needs
After the Everest and Jennings Company lost its monopoly on wheelchair manufacture, mobility devices started taking on new forms and features that made them more responsive to different personal needs. This phase in the development of chairs for persons with disability and mobility problems, started after World War II brought home critically wounded and disabled soldiers. The most significant of such transformations include wheelchairs geared as electric-powered mobility equipment.
The Need to Research Well When Looking to Buy a Wheelchair for Specific Needs
Manufacturers of mobility equipment and adaptive devices continue to invest on developing improvements that can make wheelchairs functional for a specific need, Today. there are wheelchairs designed to serve or furnish specific purposes, such as bariatric, pediatric, sports or even for beach use.
The array of choices is broad, as some persons with mobility and disability concerns have to have the best fit in terms of material, construction and/or design such as lightweight, ultra lightweight, reclining, tilting, motion-sensing, or with robotic features. Currently, there are even research initiatives looking into the possibility of creating a connection between the mobility chair and the user, to make possible, the production of wheelchairs that can be controlled by way of neurological impulses.
Reviews and feedback about wheelchairs are important because they provide information that can narrow down the search for the most appropriate wheelchair to buy, especially for an elderly. To further trim down the search results presented as choices, not a few were inclined to add [phrase incl. best wheelchairs for seniors] to their search words.