Purchasing a wheelchair can be one of the best investments for the health and wellbeing of the elderly, injured, or disabled.
However, it’s vital that you make a well-researched decision before buying a wheelchair, especially if this is your first time. Wheelchairs have a long lifespan and can be used for years before needing to be replaced, so getting your purchase right the first time is essential for having a good experience.
Several things to consider include the type of wheelchair you need, what accessories can help improve quality of life, and the regulations for public transport if you need to take your wheelchair on the train.
Here are 4 tips for buying a wheelchair and getting the most out of your purchase.
#1. Choose the right type of wheelchair
Wheelchairs can be broadly categorised into either manual or electric options. While there are subcategories within these, deciding between these two will be the most important choice.
Manual wheelchairs are better for patients who have the arm strength to move around themselves and don’t require to travel long distances. They can also be used in nursing homes and hospitals to help move patients from room to room.
Electric wheelchairs should be purchased if a more permanent solution is desired. These are more comfortable, don’t require any physical strength, and can help you travel longer distances than a manual wheelchair can.
#2. Consider wheelchair accessories
Once you have the right type of wheelchair, choosing some accessories to go along with it can help improve the convenience of your new wheelchair. Some examples of wheelchair accessories include portable ramps which allow you to go up inclines, specialised cushions to increase long-term comfort, and other support devices to keep your body safe from injury.
#3. Know your public transport rules
If you plan to travel longer distances, you may be required to board trains, buses, and even planes. Depending on the option you choose to travel, there may be different requirements for your wheelchair. For example, the general requirement for electric wheelchairs is that they have to fit in a 1300mm by 800mm area and have a maximum height of 1500mm.
Take into consideration the main methods of transport you plan to use and make sure that your wheelchair fits their mobility aid size limits.
#4. Consider other options
While wheelchairs are an overall excellent purchase decision, other mobility aids are also available and might better suit your needs.
For example, if you have the strength in your lower body, using a walking frame will provide you with the support necessary to keep you safe from falls but also allow you to exercise your body to stay healthy. Alternatively, Ozi Care Equipment also offers mobility scooters which are better suited for outdoor travel and are very convenient if you have the mobility to operate them.