Depending on your level of mobility, you should consider whether you need a transfer board, in which case the chair will need removable arm rests. If you use a hoist, make sure that it can get close enough to the wheelchair to use it.
Your posture when sitting is important as you need to be sure you are supported, safe and stable. The wheelchair you choose must be able to accommodate any necessary cushions or supports, both for your general comfort and to minimise pressure points.
It makes sense that as all we come in different shapes and sizes, it’s important to check that the dimensions of the wheelchair are the right size to fully support you and maintain balance and stability. You should have enough room to move your arms and rotate if possible.
Different chairs also have different means of propulsion so it’s worth knowing which would be more suitable for your needs. If you have the use of one hand then a double hand rim may be a good choice as both wheel rims are on the same side, but they control the wheels on both sides.
Lever drive systems are propelled by a lever at the front which has links to the rear wheels. Moving the lever propels the wheelchair in the required direction. Lever drive systems can have single or dual levers and they do require stamina and strength to use.
Feet can be used to propel a wheelchair while using the wheel rims for steering. This can be a good choice if your pushing strength is higher in the lower limbs. There are also pedal attachments available which can use hands or feet to propel the wheelchair while it’s steered through handlebars. It’s important to be sure that once the pedals have been attached, you have the mobility to transfer in and out of the wheelchair.
It’s also worth considering how you or your helpers are able to manage the chair in terms of lifting and maintenance and where where you are going to safely store it.
To help clarify your own requirements and make an informed decision, it may be worth considering a professional assessment before you decide on a wheelchair.
With over 20 years experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.