How can I choose the best wheelchair for me?

October 9, 2015 | 10:02 am | By Pants Up Easy

If I asked you to pick out a new car right now, would you merely pick the first one you saw? Of course not. You’d take some time to weigh options, compare features, check prices, etc.

Now compare the amount of time you spend in a car with the amount of time you spend in a wheelchair. I bet you spend a lot more time in that wheelchair – so why wouldn’t it come with the same stringent selection process? Why would you just pick the first wheelchair you saw?

That would be a tremendous mistake, and it’s one we don’t want you to make. So read on to find out how to choose the best wheelchair for you:

Remember that wheelchairs aren’t cheap

With any luck, your insurance will cover some of the cost of your wheelchair, but that’s not a guarantee – everyone’s coverage is different. So price is always a major consideration when purchasing a wheelchair. New wheelchairs can easily cost thousands of dollars, and there are hundreds of different models on the market. We’ll help you settle on features below, but just remember that bells and whistles mean higher prices.

Consider what your needs are

Will you be spending most of your time at home? Are you going to leave the house often? How important is speed to you? These are all important considerations when choosing a wheelchair. Some chairs are very simple and are meant for short-use (and therefore cheaper), while others are comfortable and darn near luxurious (i.e. not cheap).

Electric or hand-powered?

This type of decision is usually motivated by money, because power chairs are much more expensive than standard hand-powered wheelchairs. If you can afford it, power chairs are very nice and convenient, and your insurance should be able to kick in some money as well. However, if being active is important to you, or you’d like to try some wheelchair activities or sports, then you should opt for traditional hand-powered.

Of course, if using your own arms to move the wheelchair will present a physical challenge, then electric is the way to go.

You can always add accessories

You don’t have to pick a wheelchair that comes standard with special features, because you can always add those features later. For instance, concerned with comfort? You can always add a nice cushion seat to the chair later. Or, if you’re worried about tipping, you can add “wheelie bars” for more stability. Just don’t be concerned if your wheelchair doesn’t automatically come with everything you want.

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