When buying a wheelchair for yourself or your loved ones, multiple questions might start clouding your mind. These include:
- Which brand is the best?
- What is the difference between the different types of wheelchairs?
- Where to buy a wheelchair?
- Do the different sizes matter?
These questions are frequently asked by individuals that have not been assessed by a physician and thus have no idea about the wheelchair type that will best suit their needs.
To help simplify your wheelchair shopping experience, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding wheelchairs.
Why Do I Need to Get Assessed?
First, a healthcare professional must assess an individual with mobility needs. Physicians ask patients to fill out an evaluation form detailing their aid, needs, and challenges throughout the day to better determine the type of wheelchair that would be the best fit for them.
For instance, a person’s motor skills are divided into five categories. A wheelchair will be assigned based on the category the patient is in.
- Level 1 – these individuals can jump or run on flat ground and don’t need a wheelchair for everyday use.
- Level 2 – these individuals can walk on flat ground but not on uneven terrain. For such cases, a simple wheelchair for short-term use is assigned; however, crutches and other mechanical assistance devices can also be used.
- Level 3 – these individuals require support for long periods of standing; thus, temporary wheelchair usage is recommended.
- Level 4 – these individuals cannot walk at all and require wheelchairs with swing-away or detachable armrests or footrests to easily get in and out of the wheelchair.
- Level 5 – these individuals cannot support their upper body in a wheelchair and thus require positioning, reclining, and tilting wheelchairs with higher backrests that reach the head.
Where to Buy a Wheelchair
There are multiple wheelchair online vendors and retailers available offering a wide range of products at competitive prices, but how do you know which one is reliable?
A wheelchair is a hefty investment and something that lasts for years. Therefore, you need to be careful and compare multiple vendors before buying from one. You can follow the following tips to find a reliable wheelchair store online:
- First, look at their website design. A website plays a huge part in forming a customer’s first impression. If it is outdated and filled with faulty links, know that everything is not what it seems. An updated website will have all information and products visible and easy navigational tabs to find the right products.
- Next, look at their variety. What kind of products do they offer? How many types of wheelchairs do they have? Do they partner with multiple brands? Etc.
- Does the vendor offer a support staff? If so, call their representatives and hear what they have to say. Do they seem educated about the topic?
- Check out the company’s social media channels, such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, to check out their reviews and what their customers say about them. This will help build credibility and trust.
Does the Cost of Wheelchairs Differ from Vendor to Vendor?
Yes and no; the retail prices of all wheelchairs are generally the same, but some online vendors offer amazing promotions and deals that significantly reduce the overall package and make it worth the buy. However, don’t compromise on quality for a few bucks.
Knowing where to buy a wheelchair can be a confusing endeavor if you don’t have the right professional help. The first thing you need to do is get assessed by a physician and then search for a reliable online store.