If you’ve never looked into wheelchairs, you’ll be amazed at how many different models that are available. Once you actually need to buy one, make sure to do your research or consult with a mobility equipment specialist. There are a few considerations you should keep in mind when choosing a wheelchair.
Who will be operating it?
In some cases, the person in the wheelchair can propel themselves forward by rotating the wheels or using a joystick in the case of a power wheelchair. In other situations, especially if the person is quadriplegic, the wheelchair might need to be pushed by someone else from behind. Keep this in mind when shopping—if pushing is required, make sure the wheelchair is equipped with necessary handles.
Where will it be used?
Depending on the intended use, it might make sense to purchase more than one wheelchair. For example, you can have a rigid frame wheelchair to use around the house and a foldable version to take out on trips. Unless you have a vehicle that can accommodate a power wheelchair, it might be complicated to take it from place to place as you travel to doctor’s appointments or pick up food from the grocery store.
How long will it be used for?
When thinking about how long the wheelchair will be used for, consider both long-term/short-term use and the number of hours per day. The longer a person needs to be in a wheelchair, the more comfortable a wheelchair has to be. This is especially important if the person has a medical condition that requires a certain posture, or suffers from paralysis that causes loss of sensation in some parts of the body. Often you can customize your wheelchair with cushions and accessories to achieve the desired comfort level. Need help choosing a wheelchair for you or your loved one? Contact Freedom Mobility with any questions!