Home Modifications when buying a motorized wheelchair

Home Modifications when buying a motorized wheelchair

Most individuals never consider the home set up before buying a motorized wheelchair. Even though most wheel chairs are of a standard size, homes, and apartment buildings do vary considerably in size and shape. Many homes have narrow entrances, alleys, small corridors and narrowed staircases. So it is vital that one know the home area before rushing to buy a motorized wheel chair. Sometimes people forget that they have steps in front of the home case and a wheel chair quickly becomes redundant.

With the worsening economy, not everyone can afford complete renovation of the home. Moreover, renovations are not cheap and many people on who are disabled do not have the money. However, this should not deter the individual from buying a wheelchair if one is required. There are some options that can help modify the home and make the place more wheelchair friendly.

The first thing to know is that all doorways must be at least 36 inches to allow motorized wheelchairs to go through. If the wheelchair is slightly wide, then one may remove the door frame or the hinges. In most cases, this will add at least a few inches and will suffice in most cases if it involves the doors inside the home. However, if this is the front or back door, this is not a great option because you simply cannot remove the door. So it is vital that before you buy any type of wheelchair, you should know the width of doors in your home or apartment.

In some cases, the door to the kitchen or bathroom may need to be removed. In most homes, bathroom entrances are the narrowest portion and present a common problem to individuals with wheelchairs. Once the door is removed, one can replace this with a curtain, plastic or roll up screen.

In some cases, individuals who are wheelchair bound have little upper body strength and are unable to rotate door knobs or push doors that are heavy. In such cases, the locks many have to be changed to a lever type handle which can be easily manipulated with the elbow.

Other options for these individuals may include installing lighter but strong doors, or doors which open when electronically activated. These automatic doors can be used in all parts of the home and do come with a secure lock system.

For individuals who use wheelchairs, one should avoid placing heavy rugs or carpets around the house. Wheel chairs can be difficult to drive on heavy carpets and can make it difficult to enter the home. Often the doormat edges can trip the individual and also make it difficult for one to get up from the wheel chair.

Moreover, individuals in motorized wheel chairs with poor vision should avoid placing items along alleys and corridors to avoid accidents. Door mats are a common cause of difficulty when entering the home. The best floor material for individuals with wheel chair is tiles or wood.

Finally when one is bound to a wheel chair, a small view window is a great investment. This allows one to see outside and also helps people who have poor hearing. Further, the view window also permits the person outside to see who is at home. The view window is also a safety measure and allows outsiders to check in on their wheel chair bound neighbor.


Measuring for A Wheelchair – Wheelchair Fitting!

When it comes to fitting for wheelchairs, there is nothing more important than making sure the chair is a perfect fit for its owner.

If any measured element of the chair is too long, too short, too wide or too skinny, it can be incredibly uncomfortable for the owner or user. We hope that you read the following article to learn how to measure a wheelchair and ensure it will be a great fit for the owner!

Standard Wheelchair: is Considered to have a 18″ Seat width & 16″ Seat Depth.

Around the home it’s usually a bathroom door or narrow hallway that limits access. In general, use the formulas below to determine the overall width of a wheelchair:

  • Transport Wheelchair: Seat Width + 3″
  • Standard Folding Wheelchair: Seat Width + 8″
  • Reclining Wheelchairs: Seat Width + 8″
  • Bariatric Wheelchairs: Seat Width + 8″Its very important to consider the use of the wheelchair
    1. Will it fit thru the door ways?
    2. Will i need door way ramps?
    3. Sitting for extended periods of times may require specialized cushions such as a ROHO Cushion?
    4. Leg Rests: Elevating or Standard?
    5. Armrest: length has to be considered full for comfort and Desk length allow a user access to the table?
    6. Weight of the wheelchair?
    7. There are a number of types of wheelchairs on the market today.
      1. Motorized Electric Wheelchairs: Battery powered
      2. Transport Wheelchairs: user needs to be pushed
      3. Standard Wheelchair: most common, available in many styles
      4. Lightweight Wheelchairs: made from lightweight aluminum, this type allows the care giver a lot of help in loading and transporting the wheelchair.
      5. Custom Wheelchair: As the name implies, offered are a varied amount of options available.
      6. Mobility Scooter: Easy to use and available in many styles.


      For most folding, standard weight and lightweight wheelchairs the overall width of the chair (outside wheel to outside wheel) is determined by adding 8″ to the seat width.

      Transport chairs generally add 0-3″ to seat width, depending on wheelchair model. (Due to arms)
      Your Patients info:
      Patient Weight._________
      Patient Height.___________
      Seat width. See # 3 in wheelchair diagram below. This is the width of the back-side when sitting on a flat surface. __________
      Seat Depth. Make this measurements by measuring from back of buttock to inside of knee as in “C” below.______________
      Back height. Measure this from the top of the shoulders down to the bottom of the back-side when sitting on a flat surface. See “B” below.___________
      Seat-to-Floor Height. Make this measurement as pictured in “D” below. This is important if the patient is going to propel the wheelchair using feet. Otherwise, wheelchairs are available in various seat heights.__________________

      Our Trained  Staff is happy to assist you in selecting the proper wheelchair! Call 866-218-0902