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A Helpful Guide on How to Choose a Wheelchair for Seniors (Aging Parents)

A Helpful Guide on How to Choose a Wheelchair for Seniors (Aging Parents)

Choosing a wheelchair for your mom or dad is an important decision. You want your aging parent to be comfortable, feel autonomous, and be able to get around as best as they can.

But all wheelchairs for the elderly aren’t created equally. Some break down. Others are difficult to operate. Others don’t adjust. The marketplace sells a lot of wheelchairs to choose from.  

You could ask your parent’s physical therapist. But they may not want to be responsible if the wheelchair breaks or isn’t the best fit for your parent. This makes choosing more daunting.

We know it isn’t easy caring for an elderly parent. So we’ve got your back. In this post, you’ll discover what you need to look for when shopping for a wheelchair. Let’s take a look at what you need to know and the options.

Power Wheelchairs

The first thing you need to do is try out different types of wheelchairs. Bring your aging parent with you if at all possible so they can select one they prefer.

Your parent’s doctor or physical therapist may recommend a specific type of wheelchair. This can be a specific wheelchair that’s more suitable for your parent’s disease, chronic condition, or rehab program.

Among these options are power wheelchairs. Power wheelchairs are electric wheelchairs. Your parent won’t have to worry about working hard to get around. They also won’t need aid to get from place to place as long as they have good vision.

These electric models come with a switch your parent can operate to adjust the speed to go slower or faster. And they have better flexibility. Power wheelchairs are a good choice for a long-term wheelchair solution.

They are usually made stronger and more durable than manual chairs. And they have the ability to move around more smoothly on surfaces such as uneven sidewalks and walkways.

Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are nothing to sneeze at. These can be good, too.

They’re more affordable and work well if your parent has an assistant by their side to push them around. Another benefit of manual wheelchairs: they weigh much less than power wheelchairs.

If a senior uses a manual wheelchair, most prefer rear wheelchairs. These chairs are easier to use if your parent still has strength and a good grip. They are strong and made solid as manual wheelchairs go. 

Does your mother or father love being out in nature? Then consider a portable wheelchair. Easy to fold up, they can even be stored easily on an airplane or public transportation.

Choose a Senior Wheelchair That’s Comfortable

One of the most important aspects of choosing a wheelchair is buying a model that’s comfortable. Look for models that provide the most comfort for your aging parent.

This is essential when you’re purchasing a wheelchair your parent will use for a long period of time or possibly for the rest of their lives. Make sure they come with you if possible so they can test it out.

If you’re buying one online, make sure it has an easy return and exchange policy. Some brands allow you to try it before you buy it. You wouldn’t want to buy one with uncomfortable cushions and not be able to return it.

Check out this health guide on everything you need to know about wheelchair cushions. To add, make sure to choose a wheelchair with ample room for a footrest.

This will provide a place for your parent’s walking aid. It will make it convenient when they get up from their wheelchair.

Look for Adjustable Wheelchairs

When shopping for a wheelchair, know that some are easier to adjust than others. It’s important to be able to adjust the height, change out the cushions, and replace the tires when they become worn.

Before making your purchase, ensure the wheelchair is adjustable, so it’s longevity lasts for many years and activities. Your mom or dad may be playing wheelchair games for seniors with their friends, so fun a chair that lasts.

Choose a Wheelchair for a Senior With Proper Head and Neck Support

When shopping for a wheelchair, you need a model that has quality support for the head and neck and spine. This is especially important for seniors because it helps their posture. 

Without this support, your parent can develop bad back pain, neck aches, and poor posture, or even get hunchback. Sometimes the elderly aren’t aware of keeping a straight back. They get forgetful.

A wheelchair with good support will help your parent avoid slouching. It will keep their spine, neck, and head aligned and straighter than a wheelchair with inadequate support.

Enabled Pressure Management 

When shopping for a wheelchair for your mother or father, find one with enabled pressure management. This will help your parent shift their body weight more easily. If they’re on the chair for hours on end, this is critical. 

A wheelchair with enabled pressure management will help your parent minimize the risk of getting bruises which can be painful. This can occur when they have difficulty finding the right position on the chair.

Insurance and Home Visits

Look for a wheelchair that includes insurance with a home visit service when the wheelchair needs to be repaired. The company will send out a service person to either fix or replace the chair, and you won’t need to worry about getting another one.

Some parents feel uncomfortable telling their loved ones when the chair gets broken. It’s easier for them to pick up the phone and call the company. Or have their aid call.

Weather Protection

If your aging parent likes to spend time outdoors, find a wheelchair that weathers well against the elements. Some wheelchairs have coatings that offer reliable protection against the rain, humidity, and poor weather conditions. It will help them enjoy their activities.

Ergonomic Features and Compartments

Newer wheelchairs come with ergonomic. These features can provide more comfort to your parent. Since they’re new and modern, your aging parent may not know their value. But these extra features offer extra features for their health and comfort.

Look for a wheelchair with compartments. These are great for carrying around their phones, tissues, or eyeglasses, or have a pen and paper handy when they need to write something down.

Make Your Aging Parent Happier With the Right Wheelchair for Seniors 

Now you know what to look for when choosing a wheelchair for seniors. The right wheelchair can make a huge difference in your aging parent’s comfort, health, and lifestyle.

Looking for more great health and lifestyle guides and tips? Explore more content on our blog.

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