Choosing The Correct Wheelchair For Your Mobility Needs

Choosing the correct wheelchair for your mobility needs is a major decision. You will likely be using the wheelchair on a daily basis, so you want to make sure that it has all the features that you’re going to need.

Wheelchairs are available in a variety of sizes with numerous different features. Therefore, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. An appropriate healthcare professional will be the best guide to make sure you are getting the correct wheelchair for your needs.

To help you out, here are some major features that you need to consider when choosing your wheelchair.

Do You Want A Self-Propelled Wheelchair Or Will A Manual One Be More Suitable?

If you have mobility issues or a lack of upper body strength, a self-propelled or hemiplegic wheelchair may be your best option. This will allow you to get about freely with just the pull or push of a lever. 

On the other hand, if you have good upper body strength or only need to use the wheelchair occasionally, a manual one may be just what you need. These wheelchairs have large back wheels and hand rims to make it easy for you to move around.

Manual wheelchairs are also ideal if you are going to need assistance moving around and will have a regular attendant with you.

What Size Wheelchair Do You Need?

The next most important consideration is the size of the wheelchair. For this, you might need to test a few different sizes to ensure that the chair provides the ultimate comfort for you.

Check both the width and height of the chair and compare this to your own measurements. If you get a chair that’s too small, you’ll be uncomfortable and may have difficulty getting in and out of the chair. On the other hand, if you get one that’s too large, you could be in danger of slipping out of it. 

All wheelchairs also have a maximum weight limit, so make sure to take this into consideration.

The Weight And Portability Of The Wheelchair

It’s really important to consider the weight of the wheelchair and how easy it is to transport and store. If you’re going to be transporting your wheelchair in your car, you want to ensure that it’s foldable and will fit in your vehicle. Similarly, you need to make sure that it’s not too heavy to manage if you’re going to be on your own.

On the other hand, if you have a van or will be using other types of transport, a larger and heavier wheelchair may not be too much of a problem.

The Activities You Want To Continue To Enjoy When Confined To A Wheelchair

If you like to go swimming or regularly enjoy going to the beach, there are wheelchairs available that are designed for this. You might also want to select a wheelchair that has durable wheels and tyres if you plan to go on different surfaces. 

Similarly, if you want to continue to enjoy going to the movies or the theatre, you might want a wheelchair that can recline so that you can watch the show comfortably.

In Summary

Choosing the correct wheelchair for your mobility needs means that you need to consider the different features of all the available chairs on the market.

Ultimately, you want to select a wheelchair that is comfortable, the right size, easy for you to handle, and will take you to the places that you want to go. Speaking with a healthcare professional to ensure that you choose the right wheelchair for your personal circumstances is always recommended.

Image from Elevate