The Advent of Wheelchairs by bpkhermansyah


									                       The Advent of Wheelchairs

The Advent of Wheelchairs

November 24, 2008 By: medicmagic Category: Hospital

In the year 1881, the first modern wheelchair was unveiled in Europe. Since then, people with
walking disabilities have found hope. Even if they would not be able to walk again, they
would be able to take mobility through the use of the simple machine. Basically, wheelchairs
are machines simple seating furniture that is attached to a pair of wheels to facilitate mobility.

In the 20th century, more initiatives were done to be able to further contribute to the
development of wheelchairs. In 1918, the pioneering motorized wheelchairs were developed.
Following that, in 1933 miner Herbert Everest and his engineer friend Harry Jennings Sr built
wheelchairs for their own use. Mr Everest was paralyzed in a mining facility accident.

The modern wheelchairs are direct descendants of the wheelchair jointly developed by a team
of inventors and innovators, including Jeff Minnebraker of California, Rainier Kuschall of
Europe and Errol Markheim of Germany. The group was able to come up with a wheelchair
that was lightweight and highly adjustable. The wheelchair was made up purely of aluminum,
which is attributed for the light weight. Wheelchairs have since been convenient and light and
were easily transported from a site to several other different locations.

The modern wheelchairs

Since the development of wheelchairs, many initiatives have been made to modify and update
the basic features of the machines. In the past, wheelchairs were heavy and were very bulky
to accommodate the user. Now, those features are scrapped and are reversed so as to provide
users with convenience and easier access to wheelchairs’ usefulness.

The modern wheelchairs are also different and exhibit significant improvements from the
early models and types of wheelchairs that have been rolled out earlier in the market. While
in the past, wheelchairs were principally and basically pulled and pushed to become mobile,
modern wheelchairs are employing the aid of different energy sources to facilitate movement
and mobility.

On top of that, modern wheelchairs are also made to become more comfortable and cozy. The
seats are made softer and cushions used are better and more convenient to facilitate more
comfort. The wheels are made bigger, lighter and more efficient so as to facilitate better
movement and mobility.

Modern types of wheelchairs

Wheelchairs are currently categorized into two big groups, namely, manual wheelchairs and
power wheelchairs. The two differ on how they basically operate.

Manual wheelchairs are impressively the direct forefathers of modern types of wheelchairs.
These wheelchairs are basically moved by manual or mechanical pushing and pulling. There
are two basic and most common subgroups: self-propelled and attendant-propelled. Self-
propelled wheelchairs tend to lend some form of independence. The wheelchairs enable the
user to decide and empower himself or herself on the direction of the operations and the
speed. The user manipulates the wheels directly.

Attendant-propelled wheelchairs tend to make users dependent on other people. That is
because these wheelchairs move when they are propelled or pushed by an attendant or
another person who is taking care of the wheelchair user. As such, the attendant has the more
control of the direction and speed of the machine, with or without the instructions and
directions of the user.

Power wheelchairs

Power wheelchairs are those that are operated less conventionally. These machines run using
energy derived from energy sources like electricity and gasoline. It can also be easily inferred
that power wheelchairs are more convenient and are more preferred by a rising number of
wheelchair users all over the world.
The manner by which power chairs are operated also varies from traditionally and
conventionally operated ones. Power wheelchairs can be run using steering wheels like in
cars or in modern times, are sun by joysticks like those used in modern consumer electronic

Prices for different types of wheelchairs also differ. Of course, it is easily inferred that
wheelchairs are a little premium priced especially in the modern markets. The materials used
even in the simplest wheelchairs are costly. Thus, the cheapest brands are also sometimes not
afforded by common and average-income households.

Power wheelchairs are having tag prices that are significantly and noticeably high. With the
modern technology used in the development and manufacturing of such products, it is widely
anticipated and expected that such sophisticated wheelchairs are expensive, making them
impossible to be afforded by the masses. Aside from that, maintenance and operations are
costly because of the energy requirements.

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