A wheelchair comes in handy for the disabled in helping them move from one point to another. Buying a wheelchair is one of the most significant decisions, which genuinely changes a disabled person’s life for the better. Other than moving someone from point A to point B, wheelchairs must have different benefits, including portability, having arm and footrests, back support, and other benefits. The type you will choose will depend on the cost, needs, preferences, and comfort. So, what are the things to look for when buying one? Here is the list.
1. Will it be Manual or Electric?
There are different types of wheelchairs to choose from, which are either manual or electric. What’s the difference? A manual wheelchair is a simple one, which requires self-pushing or assistance by someone, while an electric one comes with a motor to help in mobility. An electric wheelchair is for individuals with limited mobility who require extra assistance, while the manual one is for use mostly temporarily. The manual wheelchair has two options: self-propelled or attendant propelled. The self-propelled ones have larger wheels and rims for grasp and make them move, while the attendant ones have smaller rears with pushing handles. Choosing one depends on the needs explained above.
2. Storage and Transportation
How easily can a wheelchair be stored or transported? These sections get overlooked by people who then have troubles later in storing or moving their wheelchairs. Your wheelchair should be adjustable to fit the storage area or when in transit to other locations. This review from UpliftingMobility.com gives details of different foldable wheelchairs that can easily be stored or transported. When buying one, you should think of folded dimensions versus the mode of transport or storage areas to avoid having to undergo inconveniences.
3. Size and Dimensions
Wheelchairs come in different sizes, and it’s essential choosing the size that fits your needs and one that won’t cause inconveniences. With a smaller size, the wheelchair can become uncomfortable, while on large sizes, one can easily slip off it. What do you consider when choosing the size? First, you have to consider age, body size, and body weight. There are wheelchairs for children and others designed for adults, depending on their weight and body shape. Ensure you choose one with a comfortable length, width, and one that you can fit its weight limit. Be sure you have a test on it before making the final purchase.
4. Arm and Footrests
Your wheelchair must be comfortable enough to support your back, bottom, foot, and arms. While all wheelchairs support the back and the body, not all support the arm and feet. It would be best to have wheelchairs with arms and footrests for comfortability and support, especially for the challenged individuals. The features should also be firm enough to support the user from getting in and descending from the wheelchair. What’s more? Their length must be good enough to support one swing their arms and legs for maneuverability, comfort, and stability. Shorter lengths will easily limit your stretching and comfortability.
Please do not overlook the wheels, as they greatly help in mobility. The wheels must match the terrain you would want to move with the wheelchair and must be re-adjustable. For instance, if you want to use the wheelchair outdoors, you will want one with at least larger wheels that can move on grass, sand, bare surface, tarmac, or muddy areas with comfort, while the indoor ones can have smaller wheels. It will also be useful to get one with low-maintenance tires, including the foam tires that won’t go flat. Besides the tire size, you also need to check the treads and grips, especially for outdoor wheelchairs, so they fit all terrains and all weather conditions, including winter or in icy areas. This idea will prevent the equipment from getting stuck while in use.
6. Tilt and Back Support
It would help if you got a wheelchair with good back support depending on your size, mobility, needs, medical condition, and other vital factors. Your back and head should be comfortable, and you must not strain them when using the wheelchair, meaning it must have good back support. A suitable wheelchair has tilt support for different sitting and riding positions to ensure the rider is entirely comfortable in any riding situation. You can consult your doctor or other health experts on the best wheelchair to use according to your condition.
When getting your wheelchair, it’s better to check online reviews and recommendations from friends and families. It’s also important to inquire from your doctor what fits you according to your condition, especially if having back problems. There are different wheelchairs to choose from, which requires you to be keen on choosing the best. Using the tips provided above, we hope you will find a comfortable wheelchair that meets your needs.