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There are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about getting a new wheelchair. Consult with a physical therapist, a rehabilitation specialist to assist you with these steps or call your local CIL for a referral to someone who can help.
The first of these is, as it is with everything, money. Find out what your insurance and/or Medicare will and will not cover. You may have you heart set on a certain type of chair that you know will work out wonderfully for you just to find out, when you try to order this particular piece of equipment, that it is not going to be covered. Chances are, however, if you have private insurance, that whatever type of mobility device that you and your physical therapist agree upon will be covered. To avoid any disappointment, be sure to find out what is covered before taking the next step.
Assess your lifestyle and consider what your new mobility device will be put through on a daily basis. Are you the outdoor type who loves to hike, camp and is up for any adventure that comes your way? If so, then you will need a sturdier wheelchair with tires that are more suited to rugged terrain. Or are you the stay at home with a good book type who rarely puts your wheelchair through anything more strenuous that a trip around the mall or your office? If this sounds more like you, a chair that is more lightweight with more maneuverability better suited for the great indoors would be ideal for you.
The last thing you need to decide on is what type of mobility device you want. This entails one big decision, followed by myriad smaller ones. The biggest and easiest decision to make is power chair versus manual chair. The person you are working with will be able to help you determine if power or manual is right for you.
The decisions that follow can sometimes be overwhelming. You must decide which brand of chair you want. Quickie,Permobil and iBot are just a few of the brands available. Then you must determine whether the features you want or need, such as tilt and elevating leg rests are available of the brand you want. The last decision you need to make about your new chair is the color (if that is an option with the chair you chose). The color of the chair may seem like a trivial decision to some people, but it is very important to others. Your wheelchair is very much a part of you and choosing the color and the features lets it reflect your personality as much as possible.
Choosing a new wheelchair or scooter should be an enjoyable process, not a chore. So relax and try to have fun with it. The end result will make the entire process worthwhile.