Being in a wheelchair shouldn’t hinder you from enjoying the wet and wild side of life. Soak up the sun, race with friends, and paddle away while still remaining afloat, thanks to water wheelchairs.
A water wheelchair is like a regular wheelchair but for people with disabilities or limited mobility. It comes with additional features to help it remain afloat and move easily in water. But how do you start choosing the right water wheelchair for yourself?
Wear your swim cap and join us as we take you through the steps to finding the right water wheelchair. Where there’s a wheel, there’s a way.
Benefits of Using a Water Wheelchair
Well, apart from fulfilling your dreams of becoming a mermaid without holding your breath, here are a few other benefits of using a water wheelchair.
Again, just because you are in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a good time with family and friends. Going to the pool is a golden opportunity to have a nice time. You get to swim and enjoy the sun in a fun and enjoyable way.
Whether it’s a pool party, swimming with friends, or a water aerobics class, water-based activities are the perfect way to strike up a conversation and make new friends. Such activities bring people together and help foster a community. They promote a sense of belonging while reducing feelings of isolation.
Water therapy, also known as hydrotherapy or aquatic therapy, is a form of therapy that takes place in water. The buoyancy from the water helps reduce the impact on muscles and joints, making it easier to move and exercise.
This is beneficial for people with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and arthritis, among others. It is an excellent way of reducing pain and improving your overall health. Doing this in your wheelchair provides a safe and stable platform for movement in the water.
Improved mental health
Yes, studies have shown that water-based activities have a positive impact on your mental well-being. They provide you with a sense of calmness and help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. That’s probably why fish are always active.
Steps to Finding the Right Water Wheelchair
First step done. It’s now time to help you find the right water wheelchair. While the process isn’t rocket science, there are a few factors you should consider. Of course, unless you want to go home with something too small for you.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to weight. If you are only looking to use your water wheelchair to relax beside the lazy water, you’ll be fine with a lightweight model. But if you want some of the action in the water, go for something to handle a bit more heft.
The lighter the wheelchair, the better. It becomes incredibly easier for you to propel the wheelchair and also move it manually. Heavy-duty models can weigh over 10 pounds, while lightweight ones are as light as 25 pounds.
Still on the weight, you want to find something strong enough to carry you. Different wheelchairs have different weight limits, but most lie within the 350 to 400 pounds limit. The wheelchairs are designed to distribute your weight equally and evenly.
It is not a quality water wheelchair unless it can help you keep up with the aquatic adventures. Purchase a wheelchair that is easy to maneuver and steer. Its controls should be responsive to allow you to take on anything your way.Size
Size matters when it comes to water wheelchairs. You want to settle for something big enough to offer you support and stability. But at the same time, it shouldn’t be too big to get you stuck inside the toilet.
The sizes will vary depending on the model and features. Generally though, the average size ranges from 26 inches to 36 inches in width and 36 inches to 50 inches in length. Always check the manufacturers’ specifications beforehand.
Your wheelchair’s framework includes components like the footrest, backrest, wheels, and seat. Its quality will affect the overall comfort and performance of the wheelchair. It should be sturdy, durable, and able to withstand the rigors of the water.
Steel and aluminum are the best contenders for constructing the framework.
The material used to construct your water wheelchair is far more important than you think. It affects everything from durability to weight. Aluminum and titanium are the best materials for constructing water wheelchairs. These are lightweight, durable, and, most importantly, corrosion-resistant.
Arm and Footrest
You want to relax and enjoy the water without having to strain your muscles. The best water wheelchairs come with adjustable arm and footrests customizable to your needs. They should also be comfortable and supportive.
Research Different Models
With tens if not hundreds of different water wheelchair models, finding the perfect one feels like looking for a needle in a haystack. And it’s even worse since cheap and low-quality products have flooded the market.
To save you the hassle, we highly recommend the VipaMat Hippocampe Swimming Pool Wheelchair (pictured above). It’s not the cheapest option around, but it definitely is the best. And with our coupon code and discounts in place, the time has never been riper to buy it.
You can also browse through our list of the best water wheelchairs and grab whatever amuses you. Beside being of high quality, these wheelchairs are pretty affordable.
Make sure to adhere to these safety considerations whenever you are using your water wheelchair.
Check for Proper Fit
Like wheelchairs for outdoors, you must ensure that your water wheelchair fits you properly. This is the first step in preventing accidents and injuries and also ensuring you have sufficient support and comfort in the water.
You will struggle to maneuver if your wheelchair is too big or too small. Luckily, most models will allow you to make necessary adjustments to your armrest, footrest and backrest.
Wear a Life jacket
It may not look good on you, but a life jacket helps keep you alive, even if you are a good swimmer. It keeps you afloat and adds a layer of safety and security when you become overwhelmed or tired.
Look for a lie jacket with different colors and designs to keep things stylish.
Use a Spotter
If you are using a water wheelchair and are inside a body of water, it is wise to have a friend, family, or anyone keep an eye on you and provide assistance whenever required. You never know when things get out of hand.
Consider pool steps or wading pool ramps
Getting in and out of the water is extremely difficult if you are in a wheelchair. To help offset this, consider using pool steps or wading pool ramps. These will provide you with a gradual and stable incline and also make it easy to enter and exit the water successfully.
Here are other key safety tips to remember:
- Always cross-check that your water wheelchair and any other equipment you’ll use are in good condition. Repair and replace those with defects.
- Check the water conditions beforehand. The tides, waves, currents, and water temperature should be optimal. Fix any obstacles or hazards that could pose a threat.
- Avoid deep ends if you are not a good swimmer. Stick to areas where you can touch the water.
- Plan ahead before getting inside the water. Take notes of the exit points and have a way to reach for help if need be.
What have we left out? Nothing, to be honest. Water wheelchairs add fun and sustainability to your life. You can now enjoy the fun of being in a pool like everyone else without feeling left out. So, what are you waiting for? Browse for the best water wheelchair and pick one that suits you best.
And don’t forget to reach out to our support team with any questions or concerns. We are always happy to help!