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There are numerous selections of wheelchairs on the market today, so how do you go about selecting the right one for your needs?
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when buying a wheelchair.
What is the user’s strengths and abilities? Do they have use of their arms? If so are they strong enough to push a regular wheelchair? These questions will help you determine if the wheelchair will be operated by you or if you will need assistance propelling it.
If you have the upper body strength to push yourself then a manual wheelchair might be better for your needs. However, if you don’t have the upper body strength, or your arms get tired easily when pushing yourself around, then an electric / powered wheelchair might be a better option.
What will you be using the wheelchair for? Will you be using it just indoors or will you also be using it for outdoor treks? If you are able to operate it yourself, a manual wheelchair might be the best option.
Do you plan on traveling long distances often? Then a folding wheelchair is a good option and they are available in manual and power options.
What is your medical condition? Some medical conditions like Epilepsy, Dementia make It impossible to operate a wheelchair. In these cases, a wheelchair operated by an attendant only is a safer choice.
Do you feel comfortable and safe in your wheelchair? How long will you be using your wheelchair on a daily basis? Consider these questions and think about getting accessories to make your wheelchair experience more comfortable.
Where will you be using your chair most often? Think about the layout of your home or office or where ever you will be using your wheelchair most often. Is it easy to get around? Is storage easily accessible? Are doors wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair?
These questions will help you get the most out of your wheelchair experience. You might need to re-design and make certain adjustments to your living and working environment to make your wheelchair experience a more pleasant one.
Be sure to consult with your doctor or physiotherapist to have your needs assessed. This will help in the best selection of a wheelchair to suit your needs.