Wheelchair is not a new idea. The very first wheelchairs are believed to be invented in Ancient China dating between 6th and 5th Century BCE. The early versions of wheelchair are resembling to wheelbarrows mostly. While technology advances, wheelchair technology also advanced rapidly.
The modern wheelchairs were first used in 1933. Harry C. Jennings, Sr. and his disabled friend Herbert Everest invented the first lightweight, steel, folding and portable wheelchair. Jennings and Everest were both engineers. They didn’t only invented modern wheelchair, but they also made them available in the mass market. Their design which called x-brace is still used in modern days while folding a wheelchair.
Manuel Self-propelled Wheelchairs
These have a frame, seat, one or two footrests and of course four wheels. They have larger wheels at back that allows user to maneuver the chair by pushing them.
Manual wheelchairs have two different types, folding or rigid. Folding chairs are generally low-end designs. But they are easy to fold. It is an advantage for part time users who need to store the wheelchair rather than using it frequently. Full time and active users mostly prefer rigid wheelchairs. These chairs have fixed joints and less moving parts.
Hoyer lifts are used for transfers when a person requires 90-100% assistance to get into and out of bed.
A pad fits under the person’s body in the bed and connects with chains to the hoyer lift frame. A hydraulic pump is used to lift the person off the bed surface.
Once the person is suspended in the air, the hoyer lift can be maneuvered to a wheelchair or another surface by pushing the lift on its wheels. A wheel mechanism is slowly turned to lower the person into a seated position. The pad will stay under the person, but the chains are disconnected.
Hoyer lifts require significant space to maneuver in a home, and a caregiver must be able to operate them alone.