A wheelchair can be of great assistance to seniors or people living with a disability, as it allows for greater mobility that might otherwise be difficult to achieve.
This can lead to a greater sense of independence. Around the home, you can move around with confidence; out in the community, you have access to places and people that otherwise would have been difficult – even impossible – to get to.
These days, almost all public transport is wheelchair accessible (for both manual and power wheelchairs) which opens many opportunities for socialising and maintaining your emotional and physical wellbeing.
What to consider when looking at wheelchairs for sale
There are different factors to consider when you are choosing a wheelchair. It is best to talk to a healthcare professional to get some advice, as they can help you consider your personal circumstances and which wheelchairs will best meet your needs. Some things to consider include:
User mobility and independence – does your circumstances require you to have a power wheelchair or are you able to manage with a manual one?
User size, weight and height – ensure you can comfortably fit into the seat and the wheelchair is approved for your weight. Also consider if the wheelchair is adjustable to accommodate your height.
Amount of use – if the wheelchair is for occasional use, you probably will not need a chair that has every feature you can imagine. On the flip side, if you will be spending a large amount of time in the wheelchair, you want to ensure that you are comfortable and that it has all the features you will regularly use.
Weight of the wheelchair – If you are personally going to be manoeuvring the wheelchair, consider your ability to move the weight of the chair. If you will have a carer assisting you, make sure they will they be able to push both your weight and the weight of the
Width of the wheelchair – a wider wheelchair can provide more comfort, but ensure that it can fit through the door frames of your home. If you are purchasing a wheelchair that you will transport in your car, make sure it will fit in the boot of your vehicle.
Ease of transportation – you may need a lightweight and foldable wheelchair if you frequently travel by car. Many electric wheelchairs and heavy-duty manual wheelchairs will not fit into the boot of a car and will require a van to transport them.
Indoors or outdoors – discuss your environment with your health professional so that they can guide you in deciding which option best suits your circumstances.
There are a number of different types of wheelchairs available, for example: electric wheelchairs, lightweight wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs, off road wheelchairs, collapsible wheelchairs. Here are some of the basic groups wheelchairs for sale fall into:
There are two options for manual wheelchairs, self-propelled and attendant-propelled. Most manual wheelchairs will have rear handles for the carer to use if required. A manual, self-propelled wheelchair offers the convenience of being able to move around independently in the home, but is also lightweight enough to take when heading out and about.
Power wheelchairs, (also known as motorised’ wheelchairs) are the option that provides the most independence for the user. This model of wheelchair has a motor with a rechargeable battery. If you are using a powered wheelchair, you control its direction and speed through controls on the armrest.
If you only need a wheelchair infrequently or for short periods of time, then a lightweight wheelchair is the perfect option. Sometimes called ‘travel’ or ‘transit’ wheelchairs, these models have small wheels and ultralight frames. These features allow for the wheelchair to be easily folded down and lifted into the boot of a standard car.