Choosing the right wheelchair is not always so simple. We all have particular needs, so choosing a wheelchair depends on some very personal factors. These include adequacy for the user, the use itself, as well as for the surroundings. Generally speaking, wheelchairs are configurable in terms of the position and the size of the seat and back, and they have adjustable and detachable footrests and armrests. Nevertheless, you have to be careful about your choices.
We know that buying a wheelchair can be overwhelming, especially when you consider how wide the selection is. So, in order to help you choose wisely and find the one that suits you best, we have prepared a few tips that you might find helpful.
For How Long Will You Need It?
It is important to remember that not all people who use wheelchairs do so for the majority of their days. A lot of times, a wheelchair is just a supplementary way of transport or is used instead of another device from time to time. As explained over at UpliftingMobility.com, for those that use a wheelchair as a primary mode of transportation due to major mobility problems, considerations will be a lot different than for those who only use it from time to time – comfort and support being factors of enhanced importance. People who spend most of their time in a wheelchair need a chair that has features that go beyond standard inclusions.
For short-term uses, a simpler manual wheelchair might be the right solution. There is no need for you to spend too much of your finances on it. On the other hand, if you are looking for a permanent wheelchair, you should consider a design with more support options, as well as skin protection and customized fit.
Electric or Manual?
This might be the biggest distinction you will have to make when choosing your wheelchair, whether you want to go with the more traditional manual wheelchair or choose a more powerful electric option.
If you have very limited mobility, or you need extra assistance due to a specific health condition, an electric wheelchair is the right choice for you. A lot of times, even people who do not have high mobility problems choose this option since it is the more convenient one for everyday use. On the other hand, if you only need a wheelchair occasionally or temporarily. a manual wheelchair can get the job done.
Level of Support
Depending on the support your body requires, you will need different features in a chair. For instance, if you have difficulty supporting your lower as well as upper body, or if your motor control is compromised, then you might want to consider a high-back wheelchair or a chair that has increased safety and support options. These include safety belts, lateral stabilizers, and headrests.
If in your case, you do not need a high level of support, but you are still going to be using your wheelchair most of the time, a lightweight ergonomic wheelchair is a great middle-ground between the ultra-supportive high-back chair and a standard manual wheelchair.
Size and Dimensions
In order to have the highest comfort in your wheelchair, it is important to find the correct size. If you choose a chair that is too small, you could have issues fitting in the chair, or slipping out of it if it is too big for you. So before you rush into buying a chair whose features you really like, make sure to measure its height and width.
Keep in mind that your age, height, and weight need to be considered. If you are buying a chair for a child, check out the ones specifically designed for children. Do not forget that each wheelchair has a maximum weight limit. So make sure to check all of this so that you can make your money worth it.
The wheels you choose are very important because they have to match your mobility needs. For instance, if you like spending a lot of time in nature, you will need a more durable tire. You will also need tires that are low maintenance, for example, foam-filled tires which are less likely to go flat. If you use your chair outside during the winter, or on slick surfaces, you should also take tread and grip into consideration. All of these things are important to think about in order for you to be safe and enjoy your time without worrying.
Foot and Armrests
Foot and armrests are designed to give you comfort and support. When choosing a chair, make sure it has sturdy and secure rests when you make transitions in and out of it. This feature is important because you need to make sure your safety is not compromised during these types of actions. The length, as well as the ability to move and swing your leg and armrests, will provide you with greater flexibility, maneuverability, and comfort.
Ultimately, as we have discussed at the beginning of this article, it all comes down to assessing all of the important variables in a way that reflects your individual needs and preferences. By taking time to do your research on everything that we have talked about, you will surely be able to find the wheelchair that suits you best!