The armrests support the arms and shoulders in comfortable positions and are often used to push off of for transferring from sitting to standing or held on to for balance. Desk-length armrests are shorter than standard length rests and are often chosen so that a person can pull up to a desk or table for easier access. The shorter length of these armrests is undesirable if the wheelchair user needs to use them to assist pushing into a standing position. In this case a full-length armrest would be preferred. Greater support may be needed if an arm is significantly impaired, as in the case of a person with an arm paralyzed from stroke or a person with a high-level spinal cord injury. The armrests in this situation may be padded and may be a trough-like configuration to assure proper support and protection of the limb. Armrests should always be removable to assist in sideways transfers. Wrap around armrests attach to the back of the frame instead of the side and can be used to help keep the width of the chair to a minimum. This can be helpful for easier mobility through doorways or other tight spaces.
Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 4Wheelchairs - Frames, Seats, Backrest, Arm Rests, Footrests, Wheels, Safety, Power Mobility - Cost, Clothing guards