If you expose your wheelchair to regular strain, you may be adding mileage to your device that shortens its reliability and damages important components. It’s important to take a look at the prospective longevity of your chair and have a device that can keep up with your lifestyle.
Some common reasons people require new wheelchairs include new travel habits, daily use or a change in your condition or weight. All of these might necessitate your need for sturdier, more durable wheelchairs to provide the mobility and comfort you need. A properly suited chair prevents pain, fatigue and extra wear and tear on your shoulders.
Here are some questions to ask yourself while shopping for a new, more durable wheelchair.
Where and how it will be used?
If you’re using the chair on flat terrain or indoor environments, a non-electric chair could serve your purposes, but if you commonly encounter rough, outside terrain, then a sturdier wheelchair with durable wheels will be necessary. Complex terrains may demand upgrading your chair with all-terrain wheels.
Depending on the user’s size, a larger chair with a studier frame may be necessary, whereas a smaller user (like a child) may be able to get by with a lighter frame. Finding the right weight chair can be difficult, but it’s worth it to do your research, as a chair that’s too heavy can cause a lot of strain on your body. It’s a good rule-of-thumb to consult a professional to help you find the right fit.
Will it need to be transported?
If you travel often, be sure to find a collapsible chair you can easily move on and off of vehicles or planes. Sturdier chairs that are specifically made for travel will accrue less wear and tear from frequent traveling.
Folding wheelchairs are great for short-term use but may not provide the necessary support and comfort for daily use. Travel wheelchairs are great for when you’re on the go. If you’re traveling with a lighter chair, be sure to pack a reliable cushion to stay comfortable on your journeys.
What is your ideal comfort level?
The most important part of any chair is how much you can customize it to your desired comfort. Depending on the chair, there are several elements that may be adjustable or not. For instance, many chairs come with footrests, but some are fixed while others can be pushed out of the way. Again, most chairs have armrests, but they obviously vary in comfort. Be sure to calculate seat height as well.
Does it come with a warranty?
Many wheelchair manufacturers (such as yours truly) provide warranties on their devices to help private buyers like these. For more information on Troy Technologies device warranty, contact us.
How to get a new chair
First and foremost, ask your insurance provider whether wheelchairs are covered as part of your healthcare plan.
If your medical condition changes and your current chair is no longer suitable, you’ll want an assessment from your doctor. Depending on the changes, insurance companies may prefer to modify your current chair rather than replacing it. Insurance stipulations can be complicated; sometimes they’ll opt to replace old parts preemptively before they fail, other times they’ll replace chairs that have developed mechanical issues and are over a certain age hoping to prevent the need for future repairs. Some wheelchair users with the necessary means prefer to buy their own chairs directly and avoid the hurdles of purchasing through insurance companies.
If you’re eligible for Medicare coverage on a wheelchair or powerchair, be sure to consult your doctor for a note of necessity before applying, and do your research to determine the costs ahead of time. By doing your research and knowing what questions to ask, you can ensure a quick and complete process without any surprises or unexpected costs.