More and more Americans find themselves needing wheelchairs every day. Today, the United States is home to nearly 3.3 million wheelchair users. Every year, at least two million more people start using wheelchairs. Nearly 18% of the American population suffered from at least one disabling condition in 2010. People need power wheelchairs for a host of reasons. These range from mobility and age related issues to people getting bariatric care.
There are a lot of different kinds of wheelchairs on the market today. Picking the right one can be a challenge. There are a number of criteria that you need to consider when getting wheelchair for yourself or a loved one.
Tips for Picking the Right Wheelchair
- Talk to your insurance carrier. Because most people need it for medical reasons or are disabled due to a health issue, often insurance companies will pay for at least part of the wheelchair. Before you go shopping for chairs or begin your online research, talk to your insurance company to find out what they will and will not cover. If the person who will use the wheelchair is receiving bariatric care, that should be mentioned when talking with the insurance company. Power wheelchairs can cost between $5,000 and more than $20,000. Your insurance policy may not cover the entire cost of your power or pedal wheelchair but it should cover part of the price.
- Pick a comfortable wheelchair. The importance of comfort when purchasing a wheelchair cannot be overstated. You need to find one that will be comfortable enough to spend a lot of time in. The user of the wheelchair can expect to spend a lot of time in it. It is crucial that the person is able to stay comfortable after three hours or more of sitting in the wheelchair.
- Make sure the wheelchair has the support you need. andnbsp;There are bariatric wheelchairs for people who need a wheelchair to get around. It is important to get a wheelchair that can support the height and weight of the person who will be using it. Many companies make custom bariatric sizes for wheelchairs and others can be custom built for very tall people or for children who need wheelchairs. Make sure you buy one that fits the person who will be using it.
- Look at the features of the wheelchair. Many come with a variety of features and other can be added. Some are controlled with a joystick type controller whole other wheelchairs are designed for people who have trouble manipulating that kind of item. You need to make sure the wheelchair you select can be operated and maneuvered by the person who will be using it. There are even wheelchairs that offer a standing option. Just make sure you can get the features you absolutely must have on the wheelchair. Look into the different features that can be added to wheelchairs when you are deciding what you need and what others you might like to have. People receiving bariatric care may need different features than others.
- Get the right kind of battery. Power wheelchairs have batteries that are charged up for when the wheelchair is in use. Make sure you know how and when the battery you have for your power chairs needs to be charged and how long a fully charged battery will last on your chair.
- Take a test drive. If you can swing it, taking the wheelchairs you are considering buying is a great way to make sure that the wheelchair is the perfect one for the person who is using it. This is the best part of going to stores to look at wheelchairs. You can actually touch and try out wheelchairs rather than just looking at a list of features on a website.
As the population ages, more and more people need wheelchairs to get around. Every day about six thousand Americans turn 65. At the same time, more and more people in the United States are being classified as being overweight or obese. Wheelchairs are available for people with a host of medical issues including people receiving bariatric care. If you do some research, you should be able to find the right wheelchair for your needs.