Top Considerations before Choosing a Wheelchair
When it comes time to purchasing a new wheelchair, the sheer selection and number of options can be daunting. Whether you choose a power chair, manual chair, or mobility scooter, you’ll be faced with many decisions when it comes to make, model, comfort level, mobility, and available options. There is no one-size-fits-all perfect wheelchair. Your selection should be tailored to your individual needs.
There are certain considerations you should make when you begin your search. For example, if you plan to use the chair with a vehicle lift, you’ll want to make sure the units are compatible with one another. There are many other concerns that you should think about before making a purchase, however. Read on to learn about five things you should consider when purchasing a wheelchair.
For many people, budget is a primary concern because it dictates what type of chair you’ll be able to buy. While many people would appreciate the benefits of a motorized chair, such devices are expensive and require additional upkeep and maintenance. Some mobility scooters can be purchased at a lower price point, but top-of-the-line models can cost thousands of dollars. If you have an unlimited budget, you may not be as concerned with the price. But, if your wheelchair budget is limited, the best choice may be a manual chair even if it doesn’t offer all the benefits of a power chair or scooter.
While all wheelchairs and mobility scooters have a few common features, there are many available options that can be tailored specifically to you and your intended purpose. For example, if you just need a chair to help you move around indoors or to access your vehicle, a folding manual chair may be perfect. However, if you frequently find yourself navigating difficult terrain outdoors, you may want a motorized chair with bigger tires and more power to conquer obstacles.
Wheelchairs and mobility scooters, like the people who use them, come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. A chair may be perfectly comfortable for one person but quite uncomfortable for another. For this reason, you should make sure to find a chair that matches your body type and disability. Some need a chair that offers extra support for the neck and head, while others may simply need a chair to increase mobility because of lower limb impairment. Make sure to match the chairs you are considering to your individual condition. If possible, test the chair out and get fitted by a professional as well. While a chair may look comfortable, it’s always a good idea to try it out in person to make sure it is comfortable for you.
Weight can be an important consideration, particularly in relation to the purpose for which your chair or scooter is intended. A manual chair used for simple mobility can easily be folded and placed in the trunk of your car. However, a more robust power chair may require auxiliary equipment for transport such as a wheelchair platform lift. Power chairs are heavy and require lifts, while manual chairs are easier to move around without additional equipment.
If you’re replacing an existing wheelchair, you may already have accessibility equipment in your home that makes life with a chair more convenient. For example, if you’ve previously owned a scooter you may already have purchased scooter lifts in Louisiana and installed them on your vehicles to help with transporting your mobility device. Rather than retrofitting existing accessibility features, you should make sure that the chair you purchase is compatible with the lifts and devices that you already have.
Choosing the right wheelchair for you can be difficult because of the range of available options and configurations. However, by considering these key points, you can be well on your way to a mobile future with a chair that perfectly complements your needs.
Although, Stairlifts of Louisiana doesn’t offer a selection of wheelchairs, we do offer auto lifts installation. Should you have questions about selecting a chair for your auto lift, please give us a call at (504) 715-6658.