Everyone knows how important it is to get the right wheelchair. After all, it will be getting a good amount of use, so you need to make sure that you are making the right decision. It has to suit you, your home, your environment and so much more. There really is a huge amount of things to keep in mind when looking at wheelchairs. It can actually get a bit overwhelming at times!
Considering how many different wheelchairs are out there, from powered to manual wheelchairs and every variation of them, it can be a nightmare to try and get your head around everything.
We completely understand that, and also know that no-one wants to go through added stress when all they want is to buy a wheelchair. That’s why we wanted to help you understand what you need to know in order to make this decision.
Consider how personal needs affect your choice of wheelchair
The very first thing to consider when looking to buy a new wheelchair is how your own, individual needs will affect your choice of a wheelchair. For example, if you know that you have to use a standing frame to help transfer you from your wheelchair to your bed, you need to make sure that it will be able to occupy that behaviour.
On top of this, you need to think about how your situation may change in the future. Whilst no one likes to think about how their disability may change, you need to be thorough when it comes to choosing a wheelchair.
You also need to keep in mind that your weight and height also change and influence what wheelchair. Typically, we would recommend that the seat needs to be between 1cm and 4cm wider than your hips. This will ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
You can get these measurements in our store or through the NHS Wheelchair Service.
The next aspect you need to think about when purchasing a wheelchair is the capabilities that you need a wheelchair to offer. For example, if you travel in a car a lot, you’ll need to make sure that your wheelchair folds away neatly and compactly. If you need it to move swiftly, then it should be lightweight. If you live in the countryside and have to go down dirt tracks a lot, then you should get a wheelchair with off-road suitable wheels.
Your Surroundings And Your Wheelchair
You would be surprised how easy it is to forget about how your surroundings affect which type of wheelchair you need. It’s something many people forget to consider when they are looking at a new wheelchair.
For example, do you spend more time indoors than outdoors? If that’s the case, then you’ll probably want a compact wheelchair that doesn’t take up a lot of space. On the other hand, if you spend a large amount of time out and about, a more comfortable, possibly electric wheelchair could be more suitable.
Even though the majority of wheelchairs are configurable, it can make your life easier when choosing one if you consider these elements first. That way, there is less time needed to reconfigure the wheelchair, so you get to use it much faster.
You should also make sure that you look into funding options and keep your budget in mind. If you need advice on funding, then we can help or you can speak to the NHS.
Electric or Manual Wheelchair
There are a great many different reasons why you might need a wheelchair. Because of this, there are also many variations of wheelchairs, each built to help a different medical condition. However, all of these different chairs can be split into one of two categories; Electric or Manual.
Electric wheelchairs, also known as Powered Wheelchairs, are typically used for people who are unable to move a wheelchair themselves. They offer a much easier mode of transport, but at the same time, they are often bulkier, meaning that they may not be suitable for every situation.
If you are looking for a powered wheelchair, there are a few extra things that you need to consider;
- Do you want a front, mid or rear wheel drive?
- Do you want it to connect with other devices?
- Do you need a slim wheelchair that requires charging more often but fits in more crowded spaces, or a wider wheelchair that requires less frequent charging but is better suited for wide open areas?
All of these aspects need to be considered when it comes to purchasing a powered wheelchair.
We understand that there are a lot of different things to keep in mind and to consider when choosing a wheelchair. It can be difficult to get your head around, and we want to help you get yourself a new wheelchair is right for you, without added stress. Therefore, if you need any help or advice, feel free to get in touch via our contact form, or by calling us on 0808 274 8694.
Whilst you’re here, we have a huge selection of wheelchairs for you to choose from. So why not take a look at our wheelchairs here.