When buying a new wheelchair from a mobility store, here are ten tips to consider:
Consult with a healthcare professional
Before purchasing a new wheelchair from a mobility store, it’s always a good idea to seek guidance from a healthcare professional specialising in mobility and assistive devices.
They have the expertise to assess your needs and recommend the most suitable wheelchair.
By consulting with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist, you can gain valuable insights into the specific features and functionalities that best support your mobility and enhance your overall comfort.
Their professional advice will empower you to make an informed decision and ensure that the wheelchair you choose aligns perfectly with your requirements, enabling you to regain independence and improve your daily life.
Determine your requirements
When buying a new wheelchair, it’s essential to take some time to reflect on your personal needs and preferences. Think about how you’ll use the wheelchair and the specific challenges you may face.
Consider factors like your mobility level, lifestyle, and physical limitations. For example, do you need a wheelchair primarily for indoor use, or will you also be navigating outdoor terrains? Are you looking for a manual wheelchair that offers more control, or would a power wheelchair suit your needs better?
By determining your requirements, you can narrow your options and focus on finding a wheelchair that genuinely caters to your circumstances, ensuring the highest level of comfort, mobility, and independence.
Research different wheelchair types
When purchasing a new wheelchair, you must do your homework and explore the various types available. Take the time to research and familiarise yourself with different wheelchair options, such as manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, or specialised models designed for specific needs.
Look into each type’s features, pros, and cons to understand which aligns best with your requirements and lifestyle. For instance, if you have limited upper body strength, a power wheelchair might provide greater ease of use and independence.
On the other hand, if you prefer more control and the ability to navigate tight spaces, a manual wheelchair could be the right choice. By delving into the details and understanding the options, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision and select a wheelchair that suits you perfectly.
Test the wheelchair
When you’re in the process of purchasing a new wheelchair, it’s crucial to take the opportunity to test it out firsthand.
Don’t be afraid to spend some time getting a feel for the wheelchair’s comfort, maneuverability, and ease of use. Sit in the chair and ensure it fits you properly, considering factors like seat width, cushioning, and backrest support.
Take it around the store, navigating corners and obstacles to see how it handles. Pay attention to the adjustability of features like armrests and leg rests to ensure they can be customised to your liking.
By testing the wheelchair, you can gain valuable insights into how well it meets your needs, ensuring that you choose one that provides the utmost comfort and functionality for your everyday use.
Consider transportation and storage
When purchasing a new wheelchair, it’s essential to consider how you’ll transport and store it. Think about your lifestyle and the places you’ll frequently visit with your wheelchair.
If you often travel or need to transport the wheelchair in a vehicle, look for models that offer convenient features like folding frames or removable components. This will make it easier to fit the wheelchair into a car trunk or storage space.
Additionally, consider the weight of the wheelchair, as a lightweight option might be more manageable for transportation purposes.
If you have limited space at home, look for wheelchairs that can be easily stored without taking up excessive room. By factoring in transportation and storage considerations, you can ensure that your new wheelchair seamlessly integrates into your daily life, making mobility convenient inside and outside your home.
Assess the terrain
When buying a new wheelchair from a mobility store, assessing the terrain you’ll encounter daily is essential. Consider the environments you’ll navigate indoors, outdoors, or both.
If you anticipate frequently maneuvering through tight spaces or crowded areas, prioritise a wheelchair with excellent maneuverability and a compact design.
On the other hand, if you are tackling uneven outdoor terrain or encountering obstacles, look for wheelchairs with larger wheels and robust suspension systems to provide stability and a smoother ride.
Understanding the landscape you’ll face allows you to choose a wheelchair optimised for your specific needs, ensuring you can navigate comfortably and confidently in any environment.
Check weight capacity
One crucial aspect to consider when purchasing a new wheelchair from a mobility store is checking the weight capacity. It’s critical to ensure that the wheelchair can comfortably support your body weight.
By examining the weight capacity, you can guarantee that the wheelchair provides the necessary support and stability to move around safely and comfortably.
This consideration is significant for individuals requiring a higher weight capacity due to their body size or other factors.
Taking the time to check the weight capacity of the wheelchair ensures that you choose a reliable and suitable option that will meet your specific needs and provide a secure and comfortable mobility experience.
Customise for comfort
When purchasing a new wheelchair, don’t forget to prioritise your comfort by exploring customisation options. Every individual has unique needs and preferences, so it’s essential to find a wheelchair that can be tailored to your specific requirements.
Consider adjustable armrests, leg rests, backrest angles, and seat cushions that can be modified to enhance your comfort and overall well-being.
By discussing customisation options with the mobility store staff or healthcare professionals, you can ensure that your wheelchair provides optimal support and promotes good posture while reducing the risk of discomfort or pressure sores.
Customising your wheelchair to maximise comfort will make your daily activities more enjoyable and contribute to your long-term mobility and quality of life.
Evaluate maintenance and support
It’s essential to consider the maintenance and support aspects. Inquire about the warranty coverage, after-sales service, and support provided by the store.
It’s critical to understand the maintenance requirements of the wheelchair, such as routine cleaning, tire inflation, and battery maintenance (if applicable). Additionally, ensure that spare parts and repairs are easily accessible when needed.
A reliable support system can provide peace of mind and timely assistance if any issues arise. Take the time to discuss these matters with the store representatives, so you can be well informed about the available maintenance options and the level of support you can expect throughout the lifespan of your wheelchair.
Seek insurance coverage
When purchasing a new wheelchair, it’s worth exploring whether your health insurance or any other coverage options can help with the cost.
Insurance coverage for wheelchairs can vary, so it’s essential to research the specific requirements and documentation needed to submit a claim. Check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage and any applicable limitations or restrictions.
You can offset some expenses by seeking insurance coverage, making the purchase more affordable. Gathering all the necessary information and documents beforehand ensures a smooth and hassle-free reimbursement process.
Exploring insurance options can significantly ease the financial burden and make acquiring a new wheelchair more accessible and feasible.
Remember, buying a wheelchair is a personal decision, and choosing one that best matches your needs and preferences is crucial.
Take your time, gather information, and consult professionals to make an informed choice that will improve your mobility and quality of life.