Wheelchairs help the disabled get around easily and independently. If you want your elderly or disabled family member to move around freely as they want to be, you might opt to purchase one for them. Purchasing the right wheelchair is a big decision and must be done with care. You can consult a physical therapist to help you pick the right one depending on design and durability, and your budget. Today you can find various types of wheelchairs, from mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs to push wheelchairs and transport chairs. The fanciest mobility product can cost a fortune. A high-end wheelchair can cost as much as an automobile so you might as well consider the advantages and disadvantages of the one you wanted to buy. Here are the types of wheelchairs for you to consider which is best fitted for your loved ones:
- Mobility Scooter. This type of wheelchair does not need much physical strength to maneuver so this is highly advisable for the elderly. It can easily negotiate through curves and road crossings. On the other hand, it can hardly fit inside the car and it can't really be maneuvered in crowds. You need to bring an extra battery just in case the motor dies.
- Electric Wheelchair. This type is propelled by a joystick in one hand and is usually employed in situations where there is limited mobility. This wheelchair may not easily fit into most cars but it can fit in some modified vehicles, such as handicap vans, by using ramps. It may present less maneuverability than push wheelchairs but is generally more maneuverable than mobility scooters, and can negotiate trough curves and road crossings easily.
- Push Wheelchairs. This type of wheelchair can be readily found and is considerably cheaper than the previous two; you can also easily fit this type of chair inside a standard mid-sized car because its parts can be folded. Although this is an independent wheelchair, using it is not highly advisable for those who do not have much upper body strength. Moreover, the environment and terrain will have to be taken into consideration when using it. Going uphill in this wheelchair could be very tiring; going down, however, might be dangerous. In spite of these precautions, this wheelchair is ideal for your loved ones if they possess good upper body strength, because they can move more naturally than in electric wheelchairs.
- Transport Chairs. This is usually used for those who have limited or no upper body movement. They are not easily maneuverable, and always need the at least one person's assistance, especially when negotiating through crowds. However, this could be easily maneuvered through curves and will fit inside the car because you can fold it.
Before buying a wheelchair, first decide which category of chair is best suited to your loved one’s needs. You may opt to borrow a wheelchair in places like hospitals or the Red Cross to try out the different types. Also, you can check out your local shopping malls or browse through the internet for wheelchair rentals. Buying a wheelchair could take a lot from your budget so be sure to choose wisely and take the time to select what’s best for your loved one.