Having limited mobility can make it challenging or even impossible to get around on your own. Fortunately, an excellent wheelchair can help you retain your independence and get where you need to be safely.
That said, wheelchairs can be bulky. What do you do if you live in a home that was not built with wide halls and doorways? Fortunately, there are cheap and reasonable options that may work for you.
There are several narrow wheelchair options available on the market. Because it frees up hallway space, a house wheelchair might make it easier for a person with limited mobility to still move freely around their home.
The main difference between standard wheelchairs and house wheelchairs (or transport wheelchairs) is the size of the wheels and the weight of the chair itself. Those with smaller wheels are easier to maneuver and moving less weight takes away some of the struggle associated with moving a wheelchair around tight corners or narrow spaces.
Typical manual wheelchairs are wider than transport or house wheelchairs most of the time, with their wheel-to-wheel width being greater than 25” in many cases. Transport wheelchairs generally come in narrower sizes than the standard, with some of the seating being as narrow as 16” for more petite users, and overall width staying around 22”. Because standard doorways vary between 24” and 32”, this modification can at the very least help you maintain access to all parts of your home.
To ensure your safety, it’s a good idea to have a loved one or caregiver help you rearrange the furniture so that you have wide enough paths to get from one room to another. While some transport wheelchairs do not require a lot of space to move, it’s still a good idea to give yourself as much room as possible and eliminate household hazards. Rugs are a massive hindrance for wheelchair use, so removing the floor rugs in your home is ideal.
If your home has space, try allowing yourself a five-foot turning radius at the entrance of each room. This will make entering a space easier than having to try several times, which will save you time and effort you’d otherwise be spending in a struggle.