Choosing the right wheelchair is not always easy for people with loved ones suffering from paralysis. The greatest challenge that many people face is narrowing down on the unique needs of the patients before making the purchase. People who use wheelchair cannot be said to be confined to the units but rather, they are actually liberated in terms of movement. However, different wheelchairs have unique features that differentiate them from similar products. Buying the right wheelchair for your loved one would therefore require you to first understand the kind of challenges that your loved one has before rushing into making a purchase decisions. Some research too can go a long way in helping you make a decision. It would be of great inconvenience when you shop for a wheelchair only to realize that it hardly serves its intended purpose. The primary purpose of the wheelchair is to allow the patient to be self reliant. The most effective type of wheelchairs that encourage self reliance are high performance wheelchairs. However, it is worth noting that high performance wheelchairs come at a cost which means that not everyone can afford them. If you want your loved one to enjoy mobility, then it is not all about the brand or whether they are using high performance wheelchairs. The unique needs that will help promote an active lifestyle by the patient is what matters the most and not the high performance. So how do you ensure that you have the right wheelchair for your loved one?
Does the Wheelchair Suit the Patient Unique Needs
A wheelchair is rendered ineffective once it cannot meet the unique needs of the patient. This happens even in the case of high performance wheelchairs that are considered to be the best. For example, the size and weight of the patient matters a lot when buying the wheelchair. If you buy the wrong sized wheelchair, you will end up inconveniencing yourself and the patient and be required to go back on the market to shop for the right size. Since the size of the patient is a physical attribute, then it is not expected that you buy a wheelchair that cannot sustain both the size and weight of the patient. The other need that you need to pay specific focus on is the features or capabilities that you want the patient to have. Ask yourself whether the patient will be required to fold the wheelchair frequently and the kind of mobility you feel would be most comfortable for them. Better still, think about the comfort level that the patient requires. Ideally, high performance wheelchairs will have some of these features such as a wheelchair comfort cushions, wheelchair side guards and spinergy wheelchair wheels. If your loved one is comfortable, then the wheelchair is regarded as having a return on investment considering how costly some high performance wheelchairs are.
Should you Choose an Electric, Manual or Lightweight Wheelchair
Many people do not know how to differentiate between an electric, manual and lightweight wheelchair. This is probably the reason why many people have challenges choosing the right wheelchair for their loved ones. To start with, electric wheelchairs are predominantly used by people who are incapable of propelling themselves. Lack of propulsion could be as a result of the patient having no strength on the upper body hence cannot self propel. Whereas electric wheelchairs are high performance wheelchairs, they are costly meaning that many people cannot afford them. Manual wheelchairs too have self-propulsion capabilities but in this case, the propulsion is manual. The back wheels are larger so that patients can easily grip on them and propel themselves. These are the most common type of wheelchairs available in the market. The lightweight wheelchairs require that the patient is assisted by someone else. Once you are able to differentiate the different types of wheelchair as well as identify the patient unique needs with regards to mobility, then buying the right wheelchair should not be a problem. Patients of various illnesses that affect mobility can only enjoy their life if they have access to the right wheelchair. This means that it is only fair to offer them that mobility by choosing the right wheelchair for their needs.