Shopping for wheelchairs: How to choose the right one
Wheelchairs not only allow mobility-challenged people to move around, they also give them independence and help make life easier. However, medical insurance coverage in the United States covers only one wheelchair per person, so searching for the perfect wheelchair is of utmost importance.
Before purchasing a wheelchair, patients need to ask themselves the following questions:
• “Are my home, community, and work environments wheelchair-friendly?”
• “After an entire day’s work, would I still have the energy to propel my wheelchair to go home?”
• “Can I perform weight shifts on the chair adequately and independently to avoid skin breakdown?”
• “Can I load my wheelchair in the car?”
The wheelchair’s weight, seating capacity, seat size, and seat height should be also taken into account. A lightweight chair may be easier to stow in a car, but it is not as durable as a heavier chair especially if it is used in harsher terrain. As wheelchair measurements and specifications tend to be different for most people, it is highly beneficial for the wheelchair buyers to test each one to see the best size that works for them. It is, however, worth considering buying a wheelchair that can sufficiently handle the wheelchair user’s weight plus a few more pounds just in case.