Smiling female consultant offering manual wheelchairs to male customer in orthopaedic store

If you or a loved one needs a wheelchair, you might assume that there would be very little decision-making involved. However, you might be surprised when you discover that there are two different types of wheelchairs and, within these two types, a number of different options. Here are some of the things you’ll need to consider when you’re selecting a wheelchair.

Do You Need a Self-Propel Chair or a Transit Chair?

If you’ll be alone for some of the day or if you want to be more independent, you’ll want a self-propelled wheelchair. These chairs have larger back wheels that you can push yourself, allowing you to get around by yourself. A transit or transport wheelchair, on the other hand, does not have these large wheels on the back. This means someone else must push the chair, and the person sitting in it cannot move themselves forward.

Will You Often Travel with Your Wheelchair?

If you’re often going to be taking your wheelchair with you to other places, you may want to look for one made out of lighter materials. Standard wheelchairs are often made from heavy steel, which can make it difficult for them to be pushed or loaded into a vehicle. You may want to opt for a lighter chair if you’ll be transporting it often. You can find these lighter chairs at a number of stores that sell Stockport disability equipment and vehicles.

The Size of the Seat

Those who use wheelchairs may spend hours sitting in them. That means the chair needs to be very comfortable. Wheelchair seats come in a number of different sizes, ranging from the fairly shallow and narrow to the fairly wide and deep. Make certain you or your loved one is going to be able to fit comfortably in the wheelchair before purchasing it. If needed, wheelchairs can be custom sized.