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Bariatric Wheelchairs: A Step Towards Independence

  • According to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 30 percent of American adults 20 years of age and older (over 60 million people) are obese.  This has placed a growing demand on medical equipment manufacturers to develop bariatric wheelchairs and other bariatric equipment specifically designed to meet the needs of obese patients.  At Medical Supplies and Equipment Company, we carry a wide variety of manual bariatric wheelchairs and bariatric power wheelchairs to meet this demand.


Bariatric wheelchairs are designed to help the bariatric patient resume an independent lifestyle while on the road to rehabilitation.  The special needs of a bariatric patient necessitate special design considerations in bariatric wheelchairs.  Bariatric wheelchairs need to accommodate more than just the weight requirements of the bariatric patient, but width, length and depth requirements as well.  The bariatric wheelchairs in our inventory have taken these design variables into consideration and we now have a line of bariatric wheelchairs to meet the needs of every bariatric patient.  Every bariatric wheelchair we carry features a heavy duty frame made with superior welding technology, reinforced padded upholstery for extra comfort, and heavy duty wheels with airless pneumatic tires, among other special features.


With the many options available with bariatric wheelchairs, it is very important to choose the right one.  Below is a list that you or your healthcare provider should consider before choosing a specific bariatric wheelchair model. 


Body Weight
The model or design chosen needs to be able to support your maximum weight potential.  Therefore, when choosing one model over another, opt for the larger size.


Seat Width
The width of your wheelchair should provide 1 to 2 inches of free space on both sides of your body.  This will accommodate winter clothing, shifting during patient moves, pressure relief procedures, and other like activities.


Seat Height
To figure out the seat height you’ll need, place your feet flat on the floor, ensure your shins are perpendicular to the floor, and measure from the back of the heel to the underside of the knee.


Seat Depth
You should have approximately 1 to 2 inches of space between the back of your knees and the front of the wheelchair seat.  As well, the surface area of the seat must support your entire gluteal area.  For extra support, you may consider purchasing a bariatric wheelchair cushion.


Backrest Height
The proper backrest height is necessary for providing pressure relief and shoulder mobility while lowering potential back pain.  The backrest should reach your mid shoulder blade while supporting the apex of your back.


Armrest Height
To determine the necessary armrest height, measure the distance from your seat to your forearm while it’s at a right angle.  Proper armrest height will help decrease neck and thoracic pain.


Solid, airless tires will provide increased durability, mobility, and a smoother ride.


If you have respiratory problems, or another medical condition preventing you from sitting upright, you should consider buying a reclining bariatric wheelchair.


If you have cardiac problems or are unable to propel a wheelchair under your own strength, it would be best to consider your options in bariatric power wheelchairs.


It is our goal to be your exclusive provider for all of your bariatric equipment needs.  No matter if you have a need for bariatric beds, bariatric walkers, bariatric commodes, bariatric scales, or bariatric rollators, we have attempted to meet all the equipment needs of the bariatric patient.


MSEC remains dedicated to stocking the very best and the very latest in medical supplies and equipment.  We never cease to be on the lookout for the latest innovation that will benefit both our many clients and the patients they dedicate their lives to caring for.  If you have any difficulty finding your choices in our vast inventory, call our customer service at 1-877-706-4480 to speed up your order or to make a special request.  We are always happy to help you

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