Frequently Asked Questions
When you first find yourself dependent upon a wheelchair you will inevitably have a whole load of questions going around your mind. In this section, some of the most common questions are answered.
How difficult is it going to be to get around?
There is no denying that wheelchairs can be cumbersome and difficult to transport. This is why it is important that you invest in a vehicle capable of easily transporting your chair. Most wheelchairs can fold, but they can still be heavy, particularly if you are relying on your partner to lift the chair into the boot. A car with a low boot would be ideal or even better a car that allows you to push the erect chair into the body of the vehicle.
What about around town and shopping?
Going around town can be a bit more difficult because of the different eras in which various towns were built. Clearly more modern and revitalized town centers will be more accessible to wheelchairs. The legislation regarding wheelchair accessibility was only imposed as recently as the early 1990s. As a result, many town centers may still not be very accessible for wheelchairs.
As for shopping many supermarkets, these days are over one level and feature smooth floors. In addition to that, they usually provide trolleys that can be attached to the wheelchair. Alternative you can hire out a motorized scooter for free, for the duration of your shopping trip. They will have priority parking for disabled permit holders as well.
For elderly people wheelchairs often allow them to get around more than they have been able to in recent years.
Are they comfortable?
Realistically a wheelchair is only as comfortable as you permit. This is why it is crucial that you spend some time carefully choosing a chair to suit your size and body shape. Also, cushions can be purchased that promote good posture in your chair and keep you comfortable. If you chose the right chair you will be lucky in that you will have a comfortable chair no matter where you go!
Are they hard to store and maintain?
Most wheelchairs these days fold away to allow easy storage. Motorized wheelchairs, on the other hand, are rarely foldable and as a result, may be difficult to store. Ideally, they should be covered and stored in a garage.
As for maintenance wheelchairs are relatively low maintenance. You just need to make sure that the vital components are functioning as they should. Primarily you need to ensure that the tires are properly inflated, the casters are running properly and above all you are comfortable. You will be spending a lot of time in your chair so do make sure you are comfortable.
What should I look for in a wheelchair?
- First and foremost – comfort.
- Fit – Are you under the maximum weight and do you fit inside properly?
- Budget – is it within your budget?
- Transport – can your partner or whoever will be helping you move it around easily?
- Quality – Does it feel durable and strong?