There are over 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States. If you use a chair or know someone who does, you know how important it is to have the best medical equipment.
No two chairs are alike so it’s essential to choose the best wheelchair for your needs.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before you begin your search.
Consider How Much Support You Need
Will you be propelling yourself in the wheelchair or will a carer be pushing you? Are you physically able to maneuver a manual chair or do you need an electric option?
If you have a caregiver to assist you, you might consider a smaller transport wheelchair. These chairs feature smaller wheels and are often narrower in build. They’re very light, compact, and simple to navigate.
Sometimes full-time wheelchair users will use transport chairs in travel situations.
You’ll want something heavier duty if you’ll be using a chair as your only mode of transportation. A standard wheelchair is great for long-term users with decent upper body strength.
If you’re lacking in arm mobility, you’ll want an electric or power wheelchair instead. These chairs are operated with hand or mouth controls instead of self-propelling from the arms.
When determining your support requirements, you should also consider your truck control. If you have a fair bit of balance, you might be able to get away with a lower-back chair. If not, you’ll need to consider high-back options and other supports like seatbelts and headrests.
Consider the Features You Need
Before you consider buying a custom wheelchair, you’ll need to choose the appropriate features. The best wheelchair is one that checks all the boxes for your specific needs.
Reclining chairs allow users who get fatigued from sitting upright a way to tilt their chair to various angles.
Standing wheelchairs provide bone density boosting benefits for folks who cannot weight bear.
Armrests can be a blessing or a nuisance depending upon your needs. You can find chairs with detachable, height-adjustable, or swing-away arms for flexibility.
Footrests come in many different sizes and styles. Swing away options may not be the best for full-time wheelchair users as they can be big and clunky.
We recommend trying out as many chairs as necessary to find the right combinations of features.
Perhaps one of the most crucial things to consider when buying a chair is its size. You need something that not only fits your body size but your lifestyle as well.
If you buy a chair that’s too big, you’ll find it hard to maneuver in your home and in public. You may not be able to wheel up some types of ramps and you’ll find your quality of life to be diminished.
If your chair is too small, you’re at risk of discomfort or even pressure sores.
Wheelchair dealers will be able to fit you to a chair that’s just right for your size and lifestyle.
Get Your Hands on the Best Wheelchair
Be sure to use approved wheelchair dealers when beginning your search for the best wheelchair. If you have complex needs, we don’t recommend buying second-hand.
Keep reading our health blogs for more tips on living a healthy lifestyle.