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Tips for Choosing the Best Wheelchair

A wheelchair is not something one thinks about until it’s absolutely essential. There is no denying that wheelchairs are expensive. Hence, one has to be careful and analyze properly before buying one. It is important that you have some basic knowledge before making the purchase so that you do not end up with something that becomes a liability instead of an aide.


Unit Cost (New)

You need to first consider whether you can afford a new wheelchair. Technologically complex models are certainly better if they are bought new and with a warranty, particularly if they are going to be used constantly.

Simple but new manual wheelchairs start at approximately $400 and can go up to $2,000 or more. Automatic or powered wheelchairs can reach up to $15,000.

Types of Wheelchair

Manual: Wheelchairs that do not have a motor are manual wheelchairs. These are self-propelled and come with a pair of big wheels that let the user operate them. Attendant wheelchairs normally have small wheels and need an attendant to push them. They are also known as transit wheelchairs.

Power: Also known as motorized wheelchairs, they have a motor that propels them. Normally, electric motors that are battery-powered are controlled with a joystick at the armrest.

Rigid: Rigid wheelchairs have the simplest design, permitting limited collapsibility when it comes to transport or storage. They are normally cheap, even though the materials used and the design also play a role in the total cost. Both powered and manual chairs come in rigid models.

Folding: Normally, rigid wheelchairs can also fold, but proper folding wheelchairs have been designed to completely collapse into smaller objects, making them really convenient to store or transport. Both powered and manual chairs are available in folding models.

There are numerous wheelchair subgroups and specialized models like the ones built for speed or sport, all-terrain ones, and units fitted to help a user to stand.

Read also: How to Practice Yoga with Limited Mobility or a Physical Disability

Long-Term Cost

Apart from the price of the wheelchair, additional accessories or modifications may be required to suit the medical condition and needs of the user.

Your vehicle and house may also require modifications for wheelchair accessibility particularly when the user wishes to maintain some independence. They may range from ramps and added handholds to huge installations like wheelchair lifts that go from one floor to another. A van may be fitted with a carrier, a hydraulic lift or if the user wants to drive, customized driving controls. If modifying everything seems like a task, one can hire wheelchair transport services in San Mateo, CA 

Think of the User

The most important question is, will the wheelchair suit the person who has to spend years, months, or weeks in it?

Wheelchairs are not one size fits all. Most of these chairs have some level of adjustability, but it is good to check if the specific chair you are planning on buying can be adjusted in terms of lower and upper leg length, hip-width, torso height, chest depth, and width, and forearm length. Nothing can beat a wheelchair that is personally fitted.

Even details like whether the parts are painted or chromed, the chair’s color, whether it is old-fashioned or high-tech, can contribute towards how easily the new wheelchair-user can adjust to his/her new situation mentally. Non-emergency medical transportation is the best option for wheelchair users


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