Things to think about when you choose a wheelchair

Where to begin

It is always a good idea to work with an experienced therapist and vendor when you are selecting a wheelchair, mobility device or Home care Equipment.

Choosing a vendor

  • Do you have a local vendor who knows about wheelchairs?
  • Has the vendor been in the business of selling Durable medical equipment for long?
  • Are they experienced enough to be able to service what they sell in a timely fashion?
  • What local vendors are recommended by other people you know who use wheelchairs?
  • Does the vendor service the chairs they sell? Do they Service equipment they don’t sell?
  • Will they come to your home to provide service? Or do you have to take the chair to the vendor?

Financial issues

  • How will you pay for the equipment?
  • Can the vendor help you find funding if needed?
  • What wheelchair features does your insurer consider to be “medically necessary”?
  • Features not considered to be “medically necessary” may not be covered.

Basic considerations

  • How long is the chair?
  • How wide is it?
  • How much does it weigh?
  • Does the chair fold? Does it need to?

Maintaining the chair

  • Who will clean and maintain the chair at home? At school (sometimes power chairs are left at school).
  • Is it “growable”? If not, how long will the person be able to use it?

Using the chair

  • Who will be pushing the chair? Would taller push handles be helpful?
  • Who will be lifting the chair?
  • Can the chair be used in all environments – home, school, job, community?
  • Will ramps be needed at these locations? If so, who will provide them?

Traveling with the chair

  • Will the person ride in the chair in: The family automobile? School bus or van? Other vehicles?
  • Will the person have enough headroom in each vehicle?
  • Are tie downs needed for those vehicles? If so, who will provide them?
  • Are ramps or lifts needed for those vehicles? If so, who will provide them?