Wheelchairs are an important tool for helping people with mobility issues get around independently. They allow us to maintain our independence while also ensuring that we can continue living life on our own terms. However, choosing the right wheelchair isn’t as easy as picking up the most expensive one you can find!
There are many factors that go into making sure you choose a chair that will work well for you including your budget, needs, and lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to choose the best wheelchair for elderly people so that when you make your purchase it will be well worth the money spent!
5 Steps to Choose the Best Wheelchair for Elderly People!
Buying the best wheelchair for elderly people can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it getting tougher day by day! However, to solve that very issue, here’s our 5 step guide to select the best one for your elders.
This guide consists of 5 crucial key points that one needs to consider before opting to but the best wheelchair for elderly people. So, let’s learn below what these factors exactly are!
1. Manual or Electric
There are many factors to consider while buying the best wheelchair for elderly people, but one of the most important is whether to choose a manual or electric model. There are pros and cons to both types of chair, so it’s important to weigh up which will best suit the person who will be using it.
Manual wheelchairs are usually cheaper than electric models, and they can be easier to manoeuvre in tight spaces. They’re also lighter weight, making them easy to transport if you need to take the chair with you in a car or on public transport.
On the downside, manual chairs require some upper body strength and stamina to use – something that may be an issue for some elderly people.
Electric wheelchairs offer more independence as users don’t have to rely on anyone else pushing them around – although someone will still need help lifting the chair into a car or onto public transport. Electric chairs also tend to be heavier than manual ones (although there are now lightweight models available), so they’re not always as easily portable.
Another thing worth considering is that electric chairs generally have shorter battery life than manual wheelchairs – meaning regular charging might be necessary depending on how often the chair is used.
So, it completely depends on your personal preference on whether to go for a manual or an electric one!
2. Weight and Height
When deciding on a wheelchair for an elderly person, always keep in mind both the weight and size of the user. A heavier chair may be more difficult to manoeuvre, while a smaller chair might not provide enough support.
The best option is often somewhere in between, so it’s important to test out different options before making a final decision. It’s also worth considering how easy the wheelchair is to operate. If you’re buying for someone who will be using it independently, make sure they feel comfortable with all the features and controls before taking it home.
For chairs that will be primarily used by caregivers or others assisting the user, ease of use should still be considered – no one wants to struggle with a complicated wheelchair when trying to help someone get around!
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a wheelchair is portability. If you have limited space in your home or apartment, you’ll want to make sure that the wheelchair you select can be easily stored away when not in use.
There are several things you should keep in mind when assessing how easy a particular model will be to store!
Obviously, size is an important factor when it comes to storage; if a chair is too large, it simply won’t fit into your desired location (ease of manoeuvrability becomes another issue here as well).
Make sure to measure both the fully-assembled chair as well as its folded dimensions before making your purchase decision.
Not all chairs are created equal in terms of weight; some models may weigh significantly more than others due largely due their materials (aluminum vs steel frames for example).
Heavier chairs obviously require more effort/energy expended during transport/storage – an especially relevant concern if multiple people will need access/assistance with moving the chair around often!
Comfort is the 4th most important factors on our list to consider while buying the best wheelchair for elderly people. When an individual is confined to a chair, it is essential that the design of the chair promotes comfort and allows them to maintain good posture.
There are many different styles of wheelchairs on the market, so it is important to take some time to find one that will be comfortable for the user. Here are some things you should keep in mind when selecting a wheelchair for an elderly person!
- The headrest should provide support for the head and neck, and allow the user to sit up straight without slouching.
- The footrests should be adjustable so that they can accommodate different leg lengths, and include heel loops or stirrups if possible (these help prevent feet from slipping off).
- Armrests should be padded and wide enough so that users can rest their arms comfortably without feeling constrained by them.
- Finally, seat height/depth adjustments along with tilt-in-space features ensure optimum positioning for maximum comfort (and also pressure relief if needed).
5. Braking and Drivability
When it comes to choosing a wheelchair for elderly people, braking and drivability are two of the most important factors to consider. While both can be somewhat subjective, there are some objective measures that you can use to compare different models. For instance, when it comes to brakes, pay attention to how they feel while in operation.
Are they easy to engage and release? Do they provide good stopping power without being too grabby or overly sensitive? If possible, take the chair out for a test drive on various terrain (smooth pavement, gravel paths, etc.) so you can get a feel for how well the brakes work under different conditions.
As far as drivability goes, again there is no substitute for actually taking the chair out for a spin. But in addition to getting a sense of how manoeuvrable and effortless it is overall! Also pay attention to things like turning radius and hill-climbing ability – both of which can be major concerns for older users who may have limited mobility or strength.
The Bottom Line
I hope you learned a lot from this guide to choosing the best wheelchair for elderly people. It really is important to make sure that you choose a wheelchair that is comfortable, safe and easy to use.
Of course, there are many other things that you need to consider when choosing a wheelchair. You should also think about what kind of surface you will be using your wheelchair on most often, as well as the size of your loved one’s body type.
Also, you can even consider reading our article on the best wheelchair to buy for elderly people in 2022. Hope that will help you even more in making the perfect choice!