Wheelchair purchase guide
Buying a Wheelchair
Making a decision of purchasing a wheelchair can be difficult and stressful, let Complete Rehab Solutions help you. With us in your corner you will:
- find the right wheelchair that best suits your needs
- help you receive a discount purchasing the right wheelchair for you
- find the right wheelchair vendor that will work for you
- may get relevant documentation to secure funding for a wheelchair purchase
- and finally, you will not have to be worried about vendors selling you something that you don’t require
What types of wheelchairs are there?
The wheelchair purpose is to enable its’ users to move around freely and to complete activities of daily living independently. Wheelchairs give people mobility and allow them to access resources in the community, such as going to work, grocery shopping or even going to the library.
There are many different types of wheelchairs available in the market and many of them are built for specific types of people or their physical abilities. Some different types of wheelchairs include:
- Manual Wheelchairs
- Electric Wheelchairs
- Pediatric Wheelchairs
- Sports Wheelchairs
What should I look for in a wheelchair?
There are many things to consider before purchasing a wheelchair and having an Occupational Therapist can help you decide which wheelchair is best suited for you or your loved ones’ needs.
Items that one should think about before purchasing a wheelchair include:
- Finding out if the funding will come from insurance or a private source
- Finding the right experienced Occupational Therapist that will perform a wheelchair and seating assessment
- Obtaining a list of medical diagnosis from General Practitioner (GP)
- The height of the back canes is an important consideration especially if the wheelchair is to be operated by an attendant, caregiver or a family member
- Figuring out the transportation aspects of the wheelchair i.e. transferring wheelchair in or out of the vehicle, or modifying your existing vehicle to accommodate a manual or a power wheelchair i.e. to have tie downs to secure the wheelchair in transit
- Determining the mobility of a wheelchair, i.e. taking it out on a vacation
- Finally, determining which wheelchair accessories are important to compliment the wheelchair, examples include:
- padded lap tray
- storage bags
Please ensure when looking at a manual wheelchair, one of the goals to consider is foot propulsion. Some items to think about when considering a manual wheelchair include:
- the seat to floor height
- brake extensions
- a supportive backrest
- height of the armrests to enable close proximity to the dinner table
- cushion for support and comfort
- if applicable, height adjustability of the foot rests
- the ability of the wheelchair to adjust to changing physical conditions of the user
When looking at purchasing an electric wheelchair, consider the following items:
- the maximum amount of weight sustainable by the wheelchair frame
- charging and parking options
- battery life
- warranty on electric and non-electric parts of the wheelchair
What to look for in a wheelchair vendor?
Choosing a wheelchair vendor is almost as important as choosing a wheelchair itself.
Once must find a vendor that will work towards meeting your goals, such as:
- Willing to set-up the wheelchair by installing appropriate parts
- Bringing a trial wheelchair to your home free of charge
- Suggesting appropriate type of wheels based on the terrain that the wheelchair will be used on
- indoors vs. outdoors
- concrete vs. stamped concrete vs. brick pavements
Why choose Complete Rehab Solutions?
Occupational Therapists at Complete Rehab Solutions Inc. are licensed professionals to conduct wheelchair, seating and mobility assessments. They can assist you in choosing appropriate knowledgeable wheelchair vendors by guiding you through the process of purchasing a wheelchair. This can reduce the feelings of being overwhelmed and confused which can be caused by the purchase process to you or your loved ones.
Our Occupational Therapists are trained to recommend wheelchair systems that provide the most comfort, support and mobility. Their professional involvement with this process can prevent future deformities that may be caused by having your loved ones in unsuitable wheelchairs.
We can also complete relevant documentation to secure funding for a purchase of a wheelchair and can also assist you in modifying your home to accommodate a wheelchair user. This may come in the form of consulting with contractors to build ramps or even assisting in installation of indoor lifts.
While deciding if you or your loved one would benefit from an electric wheelchair or a scooter, it is worthwhile to have a power mobility assessment completed by our Occupational Therapists. This can ensure that you or your loved ones are safe to drive the wheelchair and that they have confidence in their abilities which can be achieved through practice sessions with us. We can also inform you about the retail costs of the wheelchair equipment to ensure that you are not paying more than the actual cost of the equipment.