Any first purchase can be a little intimidating, but this goes double for medical products. It’s completely normal for you to be confused when it comes to buying a wheelchair. Especially because they’re quite expensive, which adds a little pressure, all of that we understand, that’s why we’ve compiled this list of things to consider when making your decision.
Your Condition Matters
It’s a common misconception that all wheelchairs are the same. Still, once you talk to a professional, you’ll realize that each design comes with specific features to match an individual’s condition. One patient could have little to no control over their body, another could have little control over the lower half, and another could be suffering from pain, but without a loss of control. Depending on your needs, you’ll need to choose a product that offers compatible postural support and mobility features. If you’re choosing a sports wheelchair, you won’t need to look for high comfortability as much as you’ll need to look for practicality. On the other hand, if you plan on spending the whole day in your wheelchair, comfort and medical suitability must be your top priority.
Manual Wheelchairs Have Advantages
There’s no doubt about the fact that when buying a chair for a loved one or yourself, the best is what you have in mind. For most of us, an electric wheelchair sounds like the best option out there. After all, it’s not as effortful to get around in. Nevertheless, manual wheelchairs have quite a few heavy-weight advantages. For starters, they’re lighter, which means that they’re easy to transport. They’re also smaller, so you won’t have to worry about it fitting in small elevators, hallways, and such. While electric wheelchairs are convenient, if you’re capable of propelling your own chair, you might need to give the manual alternative a second glance.
Postural Support is Critical
We’ve previously brushed upon the importance of postural support, but here is where we go in-depth. A postural support system is a system of belts, cushions, and pads designed to keep the body upright, balanced, comfortable, and stable. Needless to say, not all systems function the same, and according to the reviews from Handichelp, there are many system types with different features. Buying a system compatible with your needs is essential when it comes to distributing pressure. Prolonged and uneven pressure on one point can cause pressure sores, which are quite common in the hips and the lower back. Not just that, but support can also keep one’s involuntary spasms under control. Finally, a postural support system can significantly hinder any postural deterioration that comes as a consequence of physical disability.
Indoor Usage Differs from Outdoor Usage
Where you’ll be spending the majority of your time with your wheelchair can be a determining factor when making your decision. If you’re going to be using it outdoors, you need to be looking for durable, low-maintenance wheels designed for rough terrains to save yourself the hassle and costs of replacing them frequently. You’ll also want something with a sturdy frame to survive all that comes with the great outdoors. On the other hand, if you won’t be leaving the house, you’d be much better off with a smaller frame and specialized wheels for easier movement on the smoother indoor terrains. Don’t forget that an indoor model is lighter and
Storability and Weight Capacity Count
If the wheelchair user happens to be someone who likes to travel or already travels a lot, it’s essential to consider whether or not the wheelchair is foldable and easily storable. This shouldn’t only be the case with frequent travelers, but also with users who often use public or private transport. As for the weight capacity, you need a sturdy chair and armrests to take your weight and a little more. Think of the times you’ll be loading your whole weight unto the rests to get up or switch chairs. Keep in mind that heavy-duty products are heavier in weight. Can your caretaker or living assistant handle such a weight?
As you see, picking the right wheelchair is a simple process. It takes a lot of research, but in the end, you’ll be comfortable and happy with your purchase, and even better, you’ll be giving yourself the proper care you need and deserve. That being said, it’s always a good idea for you to prepare a list of questions before talking to your wheelchair supplier or vendor. Remember that they’re there to help you make the best decision. They can’t do that if you’re not specific about your case. The more specific you are, the more compatible their suggestions will be.