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Problems with wheelchairs experienced by frail elders

Technology and Disability

Author: Mann, W., Hurren, D., Charvat, B., Tomita, M.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1996


Home based frail elders experience significant difficulty with mobility. Many turn to mobility aids such as canes and walkers to provide support. Others use wheelchairs for all or part of their mobility needs. This study followed up on a finding from an earlier report (Haworth, Powell, Mulley, 1983) that frail elders experience a high rate of problems with their wheelchairs. In the present study we found that 31.4% of frail elders used a wheelchair and 40% of these users report at least one problem. Problems were grouped into categories: 'Maintenance and repair' such as broken wheels and flat tyres (33% of problems); 'fit between user and the chair' such as uncomfortable to sit in, unable to propel self (41%); and 'physical charateristics' such as too heavy, too wide (26%). There were a significantly higher percentage of elders with wheelchair problems among those who selected their own wheelchair than among those whose chair selction involved a health professional. Two primary reasons for not resolving wheelchair problems in a timely manner relate to the consumers limited financial resources and their need for more information on maintaining and repairing wheelchairs.

Further Details

Publish Dates: 1996
Full Title: Technology and Disability
Pages: 101-111
Volume: 5
Issue: 1996
Accession Number: September, 2011
Image: 2912499969d by frail elders.pdf
Notes: Not available electronically
Keywords: assistive device, mobility, older
Reads: 231