Today, there are several different types of wheelchairs available.
There are hundreds of different features and designs available to help fit the needs of wheelchair users.
For the new wheelchair user, choosing the right wheelchair can often be difficult and confusing.
Usually, when individuals get their first wheelchair, they do not know how wheelchairs work and what features will fit their needs.
Often, a doctor will prescribe a wheelchair as part of their treatment and then take measurements of the individual to determine what type of wheelchair to order.
Many problems can arise from this process, but they typically are caused by the patient’s lack of knowledge of wheelchairs and the fact that the doctor is not a wheelchair user.
Since many doctors have never actually used a wheelchair for an extended period, they might not be the best resource for fitting an individual to a wheelchair through no fault of their own.
The patient, who is also inexperienced in wheelchairs, turns to the doctor as an expert on wheelchairs, but this is not always the case.
Instead, the doctor’s experience with wheelchairs is often limited to a few days of training during college, so they measure the patient and plug the numbers into a worksheet to determine the proper dimensions.
As a result, the wheelchair prescribed might not fit the best needs of the patient.
This is, of course, not to say that all doctors are poorly, have any ill intentions, or are not a good source of information.
However, it is important to understand that since the doctor or specialists has probably never used a wheelchair for an extended period, they are not always as knowledgeable about the subject as a person might think.
To help deal with these challenges, there are several things the wheelchair user can do.
First and foremost, it is a good idea to do some research about wheelchairs.
This can involve reading articles about wheelchairs, but it is highly recommended to talk with someone else who uses a wheelchair because they offer a wealth of information.
Another great source of information is a wheelchair salesman.
They quite often know a great deal about wheelchairs and can be a great resource.
However, since they are a salesman, it is imperative to remember they want to sell you a wheelchair and might not provide you with a completely objective view.
Instead, they will likely only mention products they offer, so it is very important to take what they say with a grain of salt.
One of the major parts of determining what type of wheelchair is best will revolve around where the wheelchair will be used and the rider’s physical abilities.
Since manual wheelchairs can be very strenuous, someone with very limited mobility might not be able to use them successfully, the physical abilities of the wheelchair user will be one of the most important considerations.
Many features and adjustments can be made to the wheelchair to make it more comfortable and usable.
For instance, some manual wheelchairs do not have armrests, making it more maneuverable, less strenuous on the arms, and easier to move under a table.
Others have lowered backs, which make turning around in the wheelchair easier, or are designed to move much faster than traditional wheelchairs.
This can be one area where an existing wheelchair user can offer excellent insight, but remember that some of these factors will come down to personal preference.
Understanding the options available and doing a good bit of research can make finding the right wheelchair much easier.
For the wheelchair user, being involved in the wheelchair selection is imperative and one of the most important things they can do because when a wheelchair is prescribed strictly by the books and without input from the patient, it will not always fully meet their needs.