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Balancing the Needs to Selecting the Right Wheelchair

Andrew Russell Nov 22, 2019
People with physical disabilities that restrict their movements, enjoy the pleasure of buying a new car when they set out to buy a wheeled mobility device to improve their options of moving around by themselves.
However, selecting a mobility device is not always easy because of the availability of many types of assistive devices for senior citizens. To be satisfied with the selection, you need to do some homework because there no single device that you can consider best.
Mobility devices come in various forms, sizes, and shapes that fulfill your wishes of going anywhere when you want will be the best-assisted device for you. In addition to your needs for free movement, the environment where you want to use the device is also essential factor in selecting the device to help you achieve your goals.
Mobility devices have ambulation assistive devices that aid walking, manual, and power-assisted devices and scooters. Cane, crutches, and walkers are ambulation devices most commonly used, and wheelchairs are self-propelling devices with the manual type requiring some assistance to operate the device.
The motorized wheelchairs allow users to be entirely on their own without any external aid. Scooters come in 3-wheel and 4-wheel varieties work differently from wheelchairs and come with a tiller that acts as steering to drive the vehicle.
Wheelchairs are most versatile assistive device with features and options that allow people with physical infirmities to enjoy freedom of moving around on their own. Wheelchairs not only assist in movements but are the most comfortable place for users to relax and rewind as they can tilt or change the position to what makes them comfortable.

Ascertaining Mobility Needs

Defining the mobility needs correctly is key to selecting an assisted mobility device that works effectively. Once you are clear about what you want to do with the device, it becomes easy to focus on the type of device that would serve your purpose.

Environment Matters

Areas you want to access with assistive device are important. You must have in mind the troubled areas. Based on your health and physical infirmity and how much accessible the area is, you can evaluate if a stick, cane or walker would be good or you need a wheelchair. If you have to move in small spaces in your home, you need a device that fits in the space.
Consider each environment like your home, community, and transportation for which you intend to use the device.


The design and size of the wheelchair determine how easily you can get in and move out of the chair. The height of the seat from the floor and how it compares with the height of your bed is an important consideration to ensure a smooth transfer. To make the transfer easy, you must consider how easily the footrests and armrests move out of the way.
Size of the chair, especially the overall width, is critical to ensure that it will smoothly navigate through the doorways and other spaces in your home. As long as the wheelchair meets your bigger goals of movements, you must be happy.


If you are a social person, then you must be keen to travel places within the community. How you travel to these places and whether you want to carry your wheelchair with you is the factor to decide whether you need a foldable wheelchair or walker.
In case you prefer a manual wheelchair that needs strong arms and legs to maneuver the device, you must consider whether you have the strength to travel the distance. Moreover, if you are moving outdoors, a motorized or powered wheelchair will be a comfortable and efficient option.
Whether you want to use the wheelchair on motorable roads or want to move across driveways as well as the kind of terrain you traverse, influence the choice of the device. The road conditions and environment determine the type of wheels, tires, and base that would be best for the wheelchair.


The device choice will also depend on where you live and the transportation options that you avail. States have arranged for more accessibility of outdoor spaces by people who use wheelchairs who can now travel on buses and in subways.
If your travel destination has bus connectivity, you can reach there while seated in the wheelchair. Indeed, the most freedom and flexibility come from using private vehicles, and you can carry your wheelchair along with you if it is a folding type.
However, you must ensure that the wheelchair fits into your car, and many people need to change their cars to make it compatible with the wheelchair. The choice of wheelchairs is restricted among three types – manual wheelchairs powered wheelchairs and all-terrain wheelchairs.
In addition to the convenience of using the device, the budget is also a consideration in selecting wheelchairs that are available in the various price range.