If you're considering getting a wheelchair, it's important to measure yourself properly to ensure that you get the right fit. A wheelchair that's too small or too large can be uncomfortable and even lead to health problems, so taking accurate measurements is crucial. In this post, we'll guide you through the steps for measuring yourself for a wheelchair.
Step 1: Measure Your Seat Width
The first measurement you'll need is your seat width. This is the distance between the widest points on your hips or thighs, while seated. To measure this, sit on a flat surface and use a tape measure to measure the distance between the outside of your hips or thighs. Add an inch or two to this measurement to ensure that the wheelchair seat is wide enough for you.
Step 2: Measure Your Seat Depth
Next, you'll need to measure your seat depth, which is the distance from the back of your buttocks to the back of your knees, while seated. To measure this, sit on a flat surface with your back against a wall, and measure the distance from the wall to the back of your knees. Add two inches to this measurement to ensure that the wheelchair seat is deep enough for you.
Step 3: Measure Your Back Height
The back height of your wheelchair is the distance from the seat to the top of your shoulders. To measure this, sit on a flat surface with your back against a wall, and measure the distance from the wall to the top of your shoulders. This measurement will ensure that the wheelchair backrest is the right height for you.
Step 4: Measure Your Footrest Length
If you'll be using footrests on your wheelchair, you'll need to measure the length of your lower leg from the back of your knee to the sole of your foot. Add two inches to this measurement to ensure that the footrests are long enough for you.
Step 5: Consult with a Professional
While these measurements will give you a good idea of the size of wheelchair you need, it's important to consult with a professional before making a purchase. A mobility specialist or physical therapist can help you choose the right wheelchair for your needs and make sure that it's properly adjusted for your body.
Step 6: Measure Your Doorways
In addition to measuring yourself, it's important to measure your doorways to ensure that your wheelchair will fit through them. Measure the width of each doorway you'll need to pass through, and compare this measurement to the width of your wheelchair (including any additional width for armrests). If your wheelchair is too wide to fit through your doorways, you may need to consider a narrower wheelchair or making modifications to your home, such as widening doorways or removing obstacles. It's important to ensure that you can move around your home easily and safely in your wheelchair, so don't forget to take doorways into consideration when choosing a wheelchair.
In conclusion, measuring yourself for a wheelchair is a simple process that can ensure a comfortable and healthy fit. By taking accurate measurements of your seat width, seat depth, back height, and footrest length, and consulting with a professional, you can ensure that you get the right wheelchair for your needs. A well-fitted wheelchair can make all the difference in your comfort, mobility, and quality of life.