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Product FAQ's

Have a question about a product? We've put together this helpful knowledge base of commonly asked questions and answers to help you find out the information you need quickly and easily.

    Manual Wheelchairs

    • Manual Wheelchairs
    • Wheelchair Seating
    • Aids for Daily Living
    • Walking Aids
    • Powerchairs
    • Ultra-Lightweight Wheelchairs
    • Paediatric Products
    • Bracing and Supports
    • Mobility Scooters
    • Emergency Evacuation
    • Bodypoint Positioning
    • Bamboo Brace
    • Portable Grab Bars
    • SitNStand
    • Quantum TRU Balance 4
    • RaceRunner Bikes
    • Ribcap
    • WHILL
    • TENS Machine
    • Leckey
    • Karma
    • Special Tomato
    • Varilite

    Manual Wheelchairs

    How do you know what size wheelchair is right?

    It is important that the wheelchair fits well enough, that it is comfortable and that it is not likely to press on any part of the body, with the potential of creating pressure areas.

    To ensure the right fit, the following measurements are needed of the wheelchair user:

    1. The measurement from the bottom to the shoulder (taken when sitting)
    2. The measurement from the back of the bottom to the back of the knee.
    3. The measurement from behind the knee to the heel (taken when sitting).
    4. The widest measurement of the backside when seated.
    5. As different wheelchairs have different user weight limits, it’s important to know the weight of the wheelchair user.

    If it’s hard to get all these measurements, there are a couple of simple things that can be done to make sure the wheelchair fits okay:

    • Is there enough room to slide a hand down between the armrest and the thigh? If this is not possible, a larger size needs to be tried.
    • Can two fingers side by side be put behind the knee before hitting the seat upholstery? If not, then a wheelchair with a longer seat depth is needed.

    How do you fold/unfold a manual wheelchair?

    The easiest way is to lift up under the centre of the wheelchair seat
    upholstery. To unfold, tilt slightly to one side, and press down on one or both seat rails keeping fingers and hands clear of any moving parts. Some wheelchairs may fold up differently, so it is best to refer to the user manual
    to learn how this can be done.

    Why are legrests that swingaway needed on manual wheelchairs?

    If the legrests swing away, the wheelchair can get closer to an object that is being transferred onto. They also make it easier for a hoist or piece of equipment used to help transfer a wheelchair user, get closer to the wheelchair, making the transfer easier and safer.

    Can the legrest length be adjusted on manual wheelchairs?

    The position of the footplate can easily be adjusted to fit the individual's leg length. To alter the length, simply loosen the bolt under the end of the legrest, adjusting the footplate in and out to achieve the desired position, and then re-tightening the bolt securely.

    The footplate should be adjusted to support the weight of the foot and lower leg in such a position that permits the weight to be bared by the thighs. If the legrest is too long, the user will have a line of pressure under the thigh, at the front of the seat upholstery. If the legrest is too short, the knees will be too high and too much pressure will be on the buttocks.

    Ideally the user's knees and hips should be at the same angle.

    Why are anti-tippers important for manual wheelchairs?

    Anti-tippers are designed to stop the wheelchair from tipping backwards when the wheelchair is going up an incline. While some antitippers are removable, Allied Medical does not recommend the removal of these - they are a safety feature on the wheelchair and should be used at all times.

    What is the ideal height for a manual wheelchair backrest?

    Ideally you want to have the back upholstery end just under the shoulder blade. Sometimes carers like to have the push canes higher to make it easier for them to push, but be careful in raising them up too high as this can often stop the users being able to self-propel easily. An adjustable height backrest is an idea especially if a wheelchair cushion hasn’t been decided on yet.

    What are the benefits of height adjustable armrests on manual wheelchairs?

    As we are all different sizes, and choose to sit on different height cushions, height adjustment is important. By being able to adjust the height of the armrests getting under a table is more accessible, or if a tray is being used, the tray can be at a serviceable height. Proper armrest height is very important as it can prevent shoulder problems. Ideally an armrest that is correctly adjusted will support forearms with the elbows at 90 degrees and the shoulders will be level.

    Do Allied Medical ever sell second hand wheelchairs?

    As Allied Medical is an importer, we only stock new wheelchairs. However, from time to time we do have wheelchairs that are ex-demo and may have some minor paintwork damage. We are happy to sell these at a reduced cost but with the same warranties. This is a good way of getting a great wheelchair at a price that is a little easier on the pocket.

    If you want a second hand wheelchair, try looking on Trade Me or visit our Stockist Locator page as they may have some available.

    What maintenance does a wheelchair need?

    Most wheelchairs come with a basic instruction manual which outlines any specific regular maintenance that is required to that model.

    In general, it is a good idea to check the following on a monthly basis:

    • If the wheelchair has pneumatic tyres on it, check that the air pressure in the tyres is correct – the correct pressure is indicated on the side of the tyre
    • Check that the axle housing is free from dirt, hair and mud. Clean any dirt or hair that has gathered around the axles – the wheels should spin freely
    • Check that the castors run smoothly – make sure there is no hair, fluff or grit in the castors
    • Check that the brakes hold the tyre firmly in place and are easy to put on and off

    Check that the nuts and bolts are all tight and secure