7 Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Wheelchair

Senior female patient sitting on wheelchair with her family and nurse in hospital park

Are you in the market for a new standard wheelchair but feeling overwhelmed by all the options?

Modern technology has made owning a reliable wheelchair easier than ever, and people enjoy greater mobility and freedom thanks to wheelchairs. 

However, there are still some things to keep in mind to ensure that the wheelchair you purchase will be the best bet for you and your individual needs. 

Knowing what to ask yourself and the salesperson will help you narrow down your choices.  Let's take a look at 7 things to ask and keep in mind before moving forward: 

1. Looking for a Standard Wheelchair? First Decide On Manual or Electric (Power)

One of the first questions you should ask when shopping for a standard wheelchair is whether or not the wheelchair in question is a traditional manual wheelchair or a power wheelchair. You should know which type is best for your needs before you even go shopping for a chair.

If you have very limited mobility, are in need of extra assistance, or you have a health condition that hinders your abilities, an electric wheelchair makes the most sense. 

If you need a wheelchair for a temporary injury or for occasional use only, a manual wheelchair might be the way to go. Of course, some people simply have a preference which leads them to choose one style over the other. 

2. What Are the Size and Dimensions?

Size is an important factor when choosing the right wheelchair. It's crucial that you pick a chair that will fit you.

It can be very uncomfortable to sit in a chair that is too small, and if the chair is too large, you might find yourself slipping out of it. 

Choosing the right size will depend on your height, weight, age, etc. Keep in mind that you have many options when it comes to choosing a chair. There are custom made chairs for children and adults of all sizes and shapes. 

It's also worth noting that different chairs have their weight limits. Make sure you understand the limitations of any chair you're considering. 

3. Does the Chair Have Adequate Arm and Foot Rests?

Ask about the chair's arm and footrests and try them out for yourself before making a commitment.

The foot and armrests should be sturdy and secure when you put your weight on them to get in and out of your chair. 

There are many foot and armrest designs to consider. Some are longer than others and some swing out of the way to make it easier for you to move in and out of the chair. 

4. Can I Store and Transport the Chair with Ease?

One thing that many customers neglect to consider when purchasing a standard wheelchair is the ease of storage and transportation. It comes naturally to think about your mobility at home, but being able to move your wheelchair from place to place matters as well. 

You want to look for a chair that will fit in your vehicle without difficulty and be lightweight enough to fold and unfold without trouble. 

Make sure your chair isn't too bulky or heavy to take in and out of your vehicle or set aside when not in use. 

5. Are the Wheels Durable?

Your wheelchair's wheels are such an important part. They need to be durable and match your individual needs most.

If you use your chair outdoors often, you'll want to look for wheels with a more durable tire that can operate on various surfaces. 

Look for tires that are low maintenance and won't require expensive repairs. For example, tires that are foam filled are less likely to go flat. 

Consider the importance of grip and tread when looking at which wheels and chair are best.

If you live or work in areas with slick surfaces (long winters with lots of ice, or slippery floors at your place of work), you'll need wheels that can provide traction. 

6. How Is the Chair's Back Support?

As an individual, the amount of support you'll need in your wheelchair will vary. Back support will be more or less necessary depending on your size, your medical conditions, and your mobility. 

If you require a lot of support, "tilt in space" wheelchairs will allow you to adjust the chair to fit a variety of positions. 

Discuss your back support needs to with a professional wheelchair provider. 

7. Consider Your Own Personal Preferences

Ultimately, the wheelchair that you choose should be one that you like the best. Aside from making sure it fits your lifestyle and your needs, choose a wheelchair that makes the best impression on you and that you're most comfortable with. 

If you're going to be spending a lot of time in your wheelchair, you want to make sure it's the right one for you in every regard. 

Other Questions to Ask When Buying a Wheelchair

  • How wide is a wheelchair?
  • How wide is a standard wheelchair?
  • How to measure for a wheelchair?
  • How wide is a standard wheelchair seat?
  • How to fit a wheelchair to a person?
  • How do I get a wheelchair?
  • How to choose a wheelchair cushion?
  • What is the best wheelchair?
  • How to choose a wheelchair?
  • Which wheelchair is right for me?
  • Will you be using the chair inside or outside?
  • What kind of terrain will you be traveling on?
  • How will you transport the wheelchair?
  • Are you in the wheelchair all day, part of the day?
  • Will there be someone to help you with the wheelchair?

We're Here to Help

Hopefully, these suggestions questions have helped you prepare to shop for a standard wheelchair that will fit all of your needs. 

Once you've found the right wheelchair, it's time to look for a wheelchair lift or wheelchair conversion to transform your vehicle. The right wheelchair is half the battle. To transport yourself and your new chair with ease, we're here to help. 

Whether you need a wheelchair lift or a wheelchair accessible vehicle, we have the inventory you need. Browse our website to learn more about our products and services or contact us directly to learn more. 

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