How to Choose a Wheelchair as a Paraplegic

September 11, 2015 | 10:02 am | By Pants Up Easy

If you were recently injured and find yourself in need of a wheelchair, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin. There are countless options out there when it comes to wheelchairs that are suitable for paraplegics, so narrowing down your options is an essential first step. Below you will find a few key tips to keep in mind when making your decision.

First of all, the more light weight your chair, the better. Investing in a thick and sturdy wheelchair may seem like the wise choice, but a lightweight chair made out of titanium can actually be much sturdier and stronger than one of the heavy aluminum variety. A lighter chair is much more pleasant to wheel around day in and day out, so although it might be much more costly, it will absolutely be worth it. When it comes to your wheelchair accessories, try to purchase the most lightweight option in those as well. You may not think it will make much of a different, but the weight of every piece you add to your chair will absolutely add up quite quickly. 

You will also want to make sure that you are being measured correctly before ordering your wheelchair. Incorrect measurements can lead to a host of issues, and an ill-fitting wheelchair won’t be pleasant for you to deal with on a day-to-day basis. If you are unsure of the best way to get the most accurate measurements, enlist the help of someone who you know has experience in measuring for a wheelchair. Speak with your doctor or physical therapist for recommendations if you are unsure of where to start.

Another thing to take into consideration is whether or not you are interested in a power wheelchair. If you have the ability to wheel yourself, then you may not need a power chair. However, if the thought of the constant activity seems exhausting, you may want to consider a power chair. Discuss your options with your doctor or therapist to see what they recommend based on your injury level and your personal preferences.

You will also need to consider your home and work environment when making your selection. A bulkier chair may be an issue if your home isn’t wheelchair accessible, making it difficult for you to go about your daily life. You should also think about the environment that you are in each day. If you work or go to school, what is the terrain like when getting to and from the places you need to be? If you are quite active, will the chair you choose be able to take on the challenges that you face? Your lifestyle and living environment will play a major role in what type of chair you need.

The main thing to remember when buying a wheelchair is that this chair will essentially be your constant companion, day in and day out. Investing a bit more to get a wheelchair that is comfortable and suits your needs is worth the expense. Your lifestyle, physical ability, and personal needs should be taken into consideration before making your decision, and you should attempt to think of every situation you may be faced with before purchasing your wheelchair. If you feel as if you don’t know what’s best, reach out to another wheelchair user for a bit of guidance from someone who knows the ropes.


 

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