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Welcome to UK Wheelchairs - the home of value and quality

Wheelchair Shopping - Considerations

Generally the first wheelchair any wheelchair bound individual acquires is from one of the following:

  • Persons known to them and who own used wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair rental companies that contract with the users insurance providers
  • Medical supply stores that fulfill wheelchair prescriptions from the users doctor
  • Wheelchair clinics with advice from expert occupational therapists, physical therapists or mobility consultants.

As individuals requiring mobility devices have differing medical conditions, it is a wise move for wheelchair users to consult their physicians and occupational or physical therapists before choosing their wheelchair.

Selecting a wheelchair that fits the users requirements need not be difficult. The following is a list of factors and considerations when buying a wheelchair.

All wheelchair purchases should primarily take into consideration the user's physical state. Basically consider the following:

  • Gender
  • Body type
  • Specific physiological conditions (level of endurance, physical limitations etc.).

Other factors to consider when purchasing wheelchairs and accessories are:

  • Place of use - indoor or outdoor
  • Users daily activities - shopping, visiting friends or relatives, etc.
  • Users mode of transportation - car, van, public transport
  • Length of time the user will spend in the wheelchair
  • Need of a wheelchair lift or ramp at home
  • Availability of a person to assist the user with his/her wheelchair
  • Where the wheelchair will be used - gravel, pavement, carpet, sand, etc.

Individual features need to be considered:

  • Wheelchair Speed - if desired, an electric wheelchair rather than a manual wheelchair
  • Wheelchair Colour - the users personal choice
  • Joystick mounting - right or left-hand, fixed or swing-away
  • Wheelchair Batteries - gel or wet
  • Wheelchair Tyres - to match the conditions where the wheelchair will be used
  • Wheelchair Armrests - height adjustable, removable, etc.
  • Wheelchair Leg rests - swing away, elevating etc.
  • Wheelchair Seat - elevating, tilt, or recline
  • Wheelchair Seat cushion - gel, air or foam
  • Wheelchair Accessories - drink caddies, bags, trays, etc.

A major factor that also has to be reviewed is wheelchair servicing and spare parts. If you have a problem with your wheelchair, you can get it fixed quickly and easily by purchasing from a recommended wheelchair dealer or wheelchair manufacturer.

Generally a brand name wheelchair will have client support and the wheelchair itself will always have a manufacturers guarantee.

When buying a wheelchair it is important to take all aspects into consideration as they are not cheap and the user has to spend a lot of time in it.

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