How to Buy a Wheelchair: 5 Tips From a Licensed Physical Therapist
There are many different varieties of wheelchair accessories available for buying these days in the market. For many, there comes a stage where getting a wheelchair for you or a loved one is required due to mobility issues.
How to buy wheelchair: the things to consider
Wheelchairs come in Regular, Lightweight, and Very/Ultra Lightweight models. As you would expect, standard sizes are somewhat sturdier than the lighter weight versions, but the other types are much easier to handle regarding transport and maneuverability. Very lightweight versions may seem like a logical choice for many however, the extremely light weight makes them at times too mobile for the user to handle safely.
While many people will fit nicely in a standard size model, extra wide and bariatric sizes are available for larger individuals. While these usually cost 20-30% more than standard models, usually there’s no choice here. Be aware than with these wider sizes the user will not be able to fit through standard doorways in most houses thus getting in/out of the bathroom area will be an issue.
Is this wheelchair to be used for sports or athletics? If this is the case, specialized sports chairs with fitting and chair tilt settings need to be done before purchase. Is there any issue with pressure sores or back support tile required due to spinal issues? If so, a tilt back chair is something to consider.
4) Accessories Needed
Do you or your family member have trouble putting the brakes on successfully? Purchase brake extensions to make this easier. Do your legs swell up if left hanging down too long? Get foot rests that raise up in front to help with this. Is your back end getting a little sore? Getting a gel or Roho cushion will be a lifesaver. Little things like this go a long way in comfort and function.
Choose your wheel type for the type of use it will perform. Going on flat, hard surfaces? Stick with the standard hard wheels with a standard rubber surface. Need it for more off-road, uneven surfaces? Choose a tire with a little more cushion and air similar to a bike tire.These are the things to take into consideration for you to buy a quality wheelchair which will give the best service so far.