July 3, 2015 | 5:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
It’s quite an adjustment when you have to adapt to life in a wheelchair, especially at an advanced age. You’ve lived your whole life without the need for a wheelchair, and now you suddenly can’t live without one (at least not comfortably).
But your adjustment can be made just a tad easier if you simply select the right wheelchair. So what makes a wheelchair the “right” one? Well, it all depends on you. You’re the person that will be spending all of the time in the chair, so you’re the one who gets to select its features. Do you want something basic and low-tech? Or something with a little power and some bells and whistles? The choice is totally yours. However, if you’re looking for the best combination of comfort and reliability, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Comfort is essential
This should not be understated: you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this chair. Don’t you want to be comfortable? That’s why you need to select a chair that will still be comfortable to sit in after three hours. You should spend sufficient time sitting in and adjusting positions on potential wheelchairs; after all, you won’t be sitting perfectly still in at all the time, right? Move your posterior around and try different positions – this isn’t going to be your sitting chair, it will be your everything chair. So it is best to be comfortable.
Do you have a good handle on your seating arrangements?
Another important feature for wheelchairs is their accessibility. Is it easy to get in and out of your wheelchair? If you get stuck, will you have the ability to dislodge the wheelchair using your arms? Are there sufficient handholds and other features to make your wheelchair use easier? Ensure that your wheelchair is going to allow you the freedom to adapt to new situations. Many places aren’t very wheelchair-friendly, and you’ve got to adjust accordingly. Will your new wheelchair help you do that?
Perform a little online research
You have the worldwide web at your disposal, so put it to use. When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few wheelchairs, take the time to Google some online reviews of them. With any luck, you’ll find reviews from other wheelchair users, who can give you a firsthand account of their experiences. And since they have experience living in this wheelchair, they might be able to alert you to some unforeseen complications or difficulties.