a zoomed in photo of a hand on the wheel of a manual wheelchair

Where to Buy a Wheelchair? What To Look For

It can be an emotional experience when buying a wheelchair, especially if you have never done it before.

Where to buy a wheelchair and what type to buy is a decision you need to take with care. For one, there is a confusing array of choices.

People with disabilities and care attendants will tell you that finding the right wheelchair is much harder than buying a car or a house and also much more important. Choosing the wrong chair can be a costly mistake that has a negative impact on the qualify of life for the wheelchair user.

What Do I Need to Look For?

There are so many variables that you need to take into account when getting a wheelchair. Every single person is different, so you need to consider:

  • The physical size and weight of the person
  • To what degree the wheelchair user can operate their own chair
  • The layout and available space in the person's home
  • The layout and safety (ramps, sidewalks) of the external environment

That's just the beginning. Once you have determined the above basics, you need to have a clear idea of the types of attachments you will need. Browsing online shops will give you a good idea of the types of features wheelchairs have these days.

What Else You Should Consider?

You should definitely consider cost, especially if you need more than the standard manual wheelchair. There are many routes to get funding for your mobility devices, including ancillary equipment such as lifts and ramps.

The first thing to do is get a report from your doctor stating that you are "qualified" for, i.e., legitimately need, the mobility device in question. Such a statement from your doctor will enable you to get medical insurance assistance. If you have a particular condition and are a member of a society because of it, e.g., the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, you can normally get advice about financial assistance from the society,

Where to Buy a Wheelchair

Associations established for people with a specific disease can also recommend vendors of mobility devices in your area. Ask your association if those vendors participate in Medicare or Medicaid if you are a beneficiary. Make sure you choose a vendor that is accredited by RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America.

The vendors themselves normally have staff who are experienced and helpful when it comes to choosing the wheelchair that is right for you or your family member. 

The bottom-line message is? Don't be a hero. Let people help you so you can continue to enjoy a good quality of life.

Next Step: Considering a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Have wheels, will travel, as they say. Once you have settled on where to buy a wheelchair, you might also need a wheelchair accessible vehicle for travel furthr, or ramps to make getting in and out of your home easier. Call us at BraunAbility.

We will be happy to help you will the information you need.

Related Articles: