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What to Consider When Buying a Wheelchair

With such a vast range of options, entering the world of wheelchairs can be a daunting and challenging process. There are so many different sizes, designs and styles that can make it a difficult task. But, if you take the time to understand what you require before you start shopping, the entire process will be a lot simpler. So how do you choose which wheelchair is the right one for you? We designed the following list of tips and considerations to streamline the process when you’re trying to decide on the perfect wheelchair.


What Size is the User of the Wheelchair?

As wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes it is important to choose the one that fits just right to ensure maximum comfort and safety.

Tip #1

For larger and heavier clients, it is recommended to use bariatric wheelchairs. These wheelchairs are designed and built to carry a heavier load ensuring proper support and comfort such as in the 22”, 24”, or 32” Bariatric Wheelchair – SWL 200kg.

Tip #2

For children and teenagers, it is recommended that wheelchairs with smaller seat widths and depths such as the Junior Wheelchair be used. This will ensure that the child/teenager is sitting firmly and securely in the chair. As some children do need specialised wheelchairs, it is best to contact your health care provider for additional advice.


Electric Vs Manual Wheelchairs

We suggest trialling a number of various mobility electric wheelchairs or manual wheelchairs to assess the comfort levels

Electric wheelchairs come in many styles and designs. Your day to day life and independence is a huge factor when opting for the correct power wheelchair. For instance, are you hoping to travel outdoors more and use public transport. Powered wheelchairs can help to place the control back into your hands – especially if you rely on assistance for your chair. Powered wheelchairs offer a range of controls for all abilities, as well as the power to explore on your own. The Power Ranger D10 is a great starting point when finding your electric wheelchair.

Things to consider when searching for the right electric wheelchair include weight, portability, battery amp size, and battery range. Will you be using the wheelchair in one area, or will you need to travel?

Manual wheelchairs can be split into two design types, self-propelled wheelchairs and transit wheelchairs. Self-propelled wheelchairs have larger wheels which allow the user to push themselves independently whereas transit wheelchairs require someone to manually push them. As manual wheelchairs require you to propel yourself when travelling, significant upper body strength is required to avoid muscle strain. However, if you don’t have the ability to move your arms as such, powered wheelchairs can offer you great independence. The General Grey or The Elf are recommended as starting points when looking for your Manual wheelchair.


Consider the Environment the Wheelchair will be Used in

Wheelchair capabilities change dependent on their design, material make-up, size and wheels. It is important to consider these aspects when choosing the wheelchair that’s going to be right for you.


Consider Patient Transfer and Getting the User in and Out of the Wheelchair

It is important to remember that all wheelchair users will be moving into and out of their chair throughout the day, some thought should be given to how this will be done.

Every wheelchair is different, and each wheelchair offers a different range of uses based on their design features, frame-type, wheels and construction. It is important you consider these different features before you choose your wheelchair to ensure you’re obtaining the maximum number of benefits the chair has to offer. We always recommend getting advice from your health care professional prior to choosing a wheelchair. Here at Wheelchair Sales Australia we understand the importance of finding the right wheelchair and are happy to help you search for the perfect one.