Wheelchair Shopping: A Serious Undertaking

A wheelchair is a big financial investment and therefore deserves a bit of forethought and research. Trying to upkeep a badly designed wheelchair with inferior parts or putting accessories on a badly-equipped one will be just as costly in repairs as the original purchase price, therefore if you want to save some time and money in the future, now is a good time to gather some useful info on your upcoming wheelchair purchase.

As knowledgeable as the doctors and physio therapists are about your physical situation, you are the ultimate expert on yourself. You should have the final say on the wheelchair purchase decision.

You will get useful input from other wheelchair owners at places like your rehab unit, health support group or senior center. They will let you know what worked for them, however only use this info as input not as your final buying choice.

Wheelchair makers are also a great source of info for the models you are considering. Wheelchair forums are also an excellent place for info.

wheelchair shopping serious undertaking

Information You Need

Measure doorway widths along with the turn angles that your wheelchair will have to travel most often; confirm knee space under desks and tables; what are the height of shelves and cabinets you use most often? What kind of floor finishes do you currently have – wood, concrete, tile, carpet etc.? If you have a backyard, what kind of finish does it have?

Now it is time to assess transportation. Can your vehicle accommodate a non-folding wheelchair? Will you be sing a motorized wheelchair that is non collapsible? How are you going to transport it? Will you be using public transit?

Take Your Time

It is challenging to incorporate a wheelchair successfully into your daily lifestyle. Choosing the wrong wheelchair might make certain parts of your home inaccessible and can even be a safety hazard.

Does your wheelchair get you close to the shower or toilet? If not you will have to get yourself the rest of the way, which could create a risky situation. Don’t rush when you are making a wheelchair purchasing decision. Test drive a few models, but don’t get forced into a choice you don’t want. You will have your wheelchair for quite a while, so make sure it is one that serves your needs.

 

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