How can you turn wheelchair replacement parts into a fun activity?
If you are using a wheelchair for some time now, maybe you should think about the replacement of some of the wheelchair parts.
However, you can turn the replacement of parts of your wheelchair into an interesting activity – by making your own, custom wheelchair.
This means that being in a wheelchair doesn’t have to be boring.
You can turn the consequences into your benefit.
First of all, no one will know better than you what do you exactly need, and secondly – this will be an activity to share with some of your friends or family so that they could help you.
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Which wheelchair replacement parts break the most?
Wheelchairs are made for long-term use, but still – nothing lasts forever.
Sooner or later, your wheelchair might need a replacement.
Maybe you want to know in advance which are parts that break the most, so you can take additional measures in time.
It won’t harm you if you have in mind what exactly will you need some time in the future.
Do you know all the parts of your wheelchair?
If you maybe need accessories for wheelchairs or replacement parts, it would be great if you know every part of your chair.
Here is the list of the wheelchair replacement parts, so you can check your knowledge.
- Push handles,
- Steering knob,
- Seat and the backseat,
- Footplate and heel loops,
- Caster wheel and fork.
As you probably know, there are two main wheelchair categories – manual and power wheelchairs.
As they function differently, different wheelchair parts break due to the use over the years.
We will enumerate top three wheelchair replacement parts that break the most often:
- Steering knob,
- Front casters or wheels.
As you can already see, two of three wheelchair parts are from the power wheelchair category.
Footrests break as much as with the manual and power wheelchairs.
Steering knob is probably the most sensitive part of the power wheelchair, as you use it to direct your movement.
As you will be using it very often, the knob will lose its function over time.
On the other side, if you are using a manual wheelchair, you are using the power of your hands to steer the wheels.
This means that you will push your weight forward.
Most of the wheelchair users use a footrest, as it makes things more comfortable.
As you are steering the wheels, you push the footrest with your legs, which will cause cracking.
Wheelchair wheels are one of the crucial handicap equipment.
Wheels provide the mobility and the smooth ride.
Additionally, the speed and maneuverability depend on wheelchair wheels the most.
Because of this, you should pay special attention to this part of wheelchair parts, as your security also depends on it.
If one of your wheels or front caster brakes during the ride, you might fall off the wheelchair, and that is something you surely don’t want to.
Luckily, you can get an easy replacement of the broken parts, or you might want to get yourself a new one.
READ MORE: Best Electric Wheelchair Battery
How can you tell if you need a new wheelchair?
First of all, we want you to think about one thing.
Do you need a new wheelchair or you want a new one?
This is a simple question, but the answer might be a bit complicated.
You should know that getting yourself a new wheelchair even though your old one still works pretty well is not a big deal.
This is your choice and your decision.
All you should do is to consider if the costs won’t endanger your monthly budget and you are ready to pick a new model.
On the other side, how will you know if you really need a new wheelchair?
Different medical conditions require a bit different types of a wheelchair.
If you are in a phase where your medical condition changes (for example, if you lose some weight), your old chair probably won’t be suitable anymore.
If you are almost 100% sure that you need a new wheelchair , we recommend you to sell your old one.
Maybe that one doesn’t provide you what you need, but if it is in a good condition, you might help someone else who doesn’t have enough money for the new one.
On the other side, if you sell it – you will have more money for the new wheelchair.
Do you wonder how to sell your wheelchair? Contact some nursing homes or hospitals in the first place.
Secondly, you can put it in the local adds.
Maybe you don’t need any money, but don’t want to keep this old wheelchair.
As a true humanist, you can donate it to a facility or someone for whom you know that needs a new chair. (source)
Wheelchair specialists may help you define the changes and the type of a wheelchair that will fit those changes the most.
On the other side, additional handicap equipment won’t solve the problem. If your wheelchair has obvious mechanical issues, it is better to replace it completely.
How much does it cost to fix broken wheelchair parts?
So, you probably want to know at least approximate price for your wheelchair parts repair.
We know that you initially had to invest a solid amount of money to buy a new wheelchair, but you can try to find some affordable wheelchair parts.
There is no right way to calculate the exact costs in advance, as much depends on the type of your wheelchair or the other conditions, such as its state or the technician’s costs.
However, you still have some options here.
If you want to buy the original, branded wheelchair parts – you would have to spend a high amount.
On the other side, you can try with generic wheelchair parts.
They do the work well, which is the most important things here.
The third option is to try to find used parts.
This is the least expensive option, but we don’t recommend you to apply it in many cases.
The middle is always the best.
Between these three solutions, you will make the best choice if you go for generic wheelchair parts.
Let’s get this clear, you want to find something that is not that expensive, as you have some additional costs besides the parts, such as potential taxes and provisions.
If you take your wheelchair to the technician, expect his costs also.
Maybe you would have to pay some amount for transportation too.
As you can see, wheelchair parts can be pricey sometimes, but you still can avoid the unnecessary costs.
We will stress out that in some cases the purchase of a new wheelchair might be too expensive, or even inefficient.
Maybe you just need some simple adjustments that you can fix on your own.
We will explain this in the next chapter.
A custom wheelchair might fulfill all your expectation about a wheelchair
Getting a new wheelchair is sometimes a pricey option and it can weight your budget for a couple of months.
Even though this will be the only solution at some moment until then you can work on your custom wheelchair.
Wheelchair replacement parts are pretty much affordable, so you can easily get the ones you need.
However, your chair doesn’t have to be broken in order to transform it into a custom wheelchair.
Custom wheelchairs are a great option for disabled people, as everyone out there has special needs.
What fit one person doesn’t fit another one and that is completely normal.
And you surely want the perfect fit when we talk about wheelchairs.
If you decide to customize your wheelchair, you will easily get everything you need.
These simple changes will bring in a big difference in your everyday functioning.
This means – better quality of living.
Some people with severe physical disabilities have to spend the whole day in their chairs.
There is no way to change the posture, so the chair has to provide maximum comfort.
A wheelchair might be too high, or too low – depending on the height of the person who uses it.
The footrest will do a good job here, but check if you can do something more.
On the other side, the seat, as one of the most important wheelchair parts should be wide enough for people who weigh a few pounds more.
Still, if a person is petite, the seat shouldn’t be that wide.
One more important section when it comes to custom wheelchairs is wheelchairs for kids.
They need an additional care and support when we talk about this topic.
A custom wheelchair might be a life change for disabled kids.
As this will be the first contact with the wheelchair, so it should be a good one.
If you make this little fellow happy with the wheelchair design, it will see the world from another perspective.
Think of designing it through a cartoon or a movie character, with vivid colors, and, of course, make it comfortable.
You can turn the customization process into an interesting activity with your loved ones.
It can be much fun. Spending time with family or friends is always a quality spent time.
For example, if your wheelchair doesn’t need mechanical fixings, decorate it.
You and your loved ones might get some awesome ideas.
This is a chance to show how creative you are.
Decorate the wheelchair or paint it with your favorite colors.
Adding your special note to this will make you feel more content about yourself and your wheelchair.
More fun things to do with someone who uses a wheelchair
If you or someone from your nearest circle uses a wheelchair, be aware of the fact that you still can have a lot of fun. (source)
Life maybe got in another direction, but there is a variety of options that are ahead of you.
What is the most important thing to remember – you can do everything just like the ordinary people do.
We are here to remind you of the fun activities that will make you feel more alive and happy.
Did you know that there is a type of adaptive sports for people who use wheelchairs?
For example, you can play tennis with your friends and family, or you can do archery, go fishing, go to a gym, play table tennis and softball.
As you are using a wheelchair, you can go on a family picnic, or to a beach, by the lake, to the woods – whenever you and your close ones decide.
If you like bowling, there are places are adapted for wheelchair users.
What is more, you can also get special provisions.
Do you and your friends like golf and billiard? You can play it too.
There are no boundaries when it comes to activities with your beloved ones.
All you need here is the power of will.
Life can be colorful and vivid, you should watch it from the brighter side.
Wheelchair Replacement Parts : Recap
Being a disabled person doesn’t mean that you have to hold to patterns or general routines.
What is more – you can live the life according to your own rules and your style.
Wheelchairs are designed to serve you for a couple of years.
However, some of the wheelchair parts break more than the others, because you use them more.
Even though you don’t have to do any replacements, you can work on the new and unique design of your wheelchair.
You probably saw many custom wheelchairs and thought how it would be nice to have one like that.
Be creative and let your imagination do the job.
Your friends and family will help you achieve what is your idea.
Always bear in mind that you are not wheelchair-bound.
It doesn’t limit you, nor mentally nor physically.
You can go out and do sports, or travel or hang out with your friends at a café.
New wheelchair replacement parts will make you feel safer in your wheelchair in the first place, but custom ones can make you stand out and show your creativity and happiness to the world.
Dayna has an incredible passion for helping others and a background as an in-home caregiver for the elderly. She left the field temporarily three years ago to stay at home with her twins, but found that she really missed working with senior citizens. She launched LoAids as a way to help not just her own loved ones and former clients, but ALL seniors live life to the fullest in their golden years. Follow her on LINKEDIN and TWITTER