Wheelchair Guide Tips

Read these 30 Wheelchair Guide Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wheelchairs tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What are the advantages of using a manual wheelchair?

Advantages Of The Manual Wheelchair

If you're considering a manual wheelchair, you'll want to know what the advantages of getting one are. Here's our list of what's good about the manual wheelchair:

  • A manual wheelchair is lightweight and with the use of alloy material, getting lighter with the advancement of technology.
  • Your purchase costs and maintenance costs will be lower with a manual wheelchair than with a power wheelchair.
  • A manual wheelchair is more compact and quieter because you're not dealing with a motor and its associated noise.
  • For slight movements, you'll do better with a manual wheelchair than with most power wheelchair models.

What should I look for when I’m shopping for a used wheelchair?

Getting A Used Wheelchair

Getting a used wheelchair doesn't necessarily mean you're not getting an old piece of equipment. In fact, it means you could receive some substantial cost savings on a quality product. However, with any used item, you'll have to do some double-checking so that you know what you end up buying. Here are some pointers to help you out when you're buying a used wheelchair.

  • Find a reliable source to make your purchase. Your local Muscular Dystrophy Association office will often keep members informed of available used wheelchair products via their newsletter or word of mouth.
  • Do your research. Do a comparison of a newer model to the older model wheelchair you are considering. Ask yourself if there is much difference between the newer model and the older model wheelchair and whether these differences are acceptable to you.
  • Check with your insurance company. It's very likely your insurance company will cover a used wheelchair.
  • Inspect the used wheelchair to make sure it's in good shape. If you're buying from a private party, you can get a medical vendor to inspect the equipment for a fee or free of charge. If you're buying from a vendor, check with previous customers to see if they have been satisfied with their purchase of a used wheelchair.

What are some advantages of using a power wheelchair?

Advantages of The Power Wheelchair

Some wheelchair users may prefer or need a power wheelchair. There are several advantages to owning a power wheelchair for those who need or want a little extra mobility assistance.

  • You can conserve your physical energy for other activities when you use a power wheelchair.
  • Going up hill is much easier and requires minimal exertion on your part with a power wheelchair.
  • Wheelchair users who decide to go with a power version will find carrying groceries and other items easier by having at least one free arm.
  • You don't require any mobility assistance with a power wheelchair that you might if you had a manual one. For instance, when you travel long distances or steep inclines, the power wheelchair handles the movement for you.

What types of wheelchair carriers are available to me?

Types of Wheelchair Carriers

If you're looking for wheelchair carriers to transport your wheelchair, you have several options to choose from:

Electric Wheelchair Carrier – The electric wheelchair carrier does the work for you by using an electric motor to lift, fold, and place the wheelchair into a compartment on top of your vehicle.

Bumper Mounted Wheelchair Carrier – More affordable than the electric wheelchair carrier, the bumper mounted wheelchair carrier attaches to the rear of your vehicle and can be used with a wheelchair cover to transport your wheelchair.

Hitch Mounted Wheelchair Carrier – The hitch mounted wheelchair carrier is a mid-range priced wheelchair carrier. These wheelchair carriers attach to a standard trailer hitch and allow you to place your wheelchair on a platform for secure storage.

Pick-up Wheelchair Carrier – A pick-up wheelchair carrier works with pick-up trucks and uses an electric lift to bring your wheelchair onto the bed of your pick-up truck.

What type of wheelchair is best suited for me?

Manual Wheelchairs, Power Wheelchairs, and Scooters

Making the decision on which wheelchair to get isn't always an easy one. Before you even decide on a specific model, you have to know what type of wheelchair to get. Take a look some of the basics on manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, and scooters.

  • Manual wheelchairs are suited for those who have lower spinal injuries or neuromuscular conditions affecting only the lower half of the body. If you have good upper body strength, consider the using manual wheelchairs.
  • Those with quadriplegic conditions will need power wheelchairs.
  • Scooters are a good option for those who only need occasional mobility assistance. Scooters tend to be a more socially accepted form of mobility assistance for some people as well.

What should I know about booking a wheelchair rental if I’m traveling?

Wheelchair Rentals For Travel And Vacation

Wheelchair rentals are convenient for instances of travel or cases where you need a wheelchair on a temporary basis. Although renting a wheelchair is a temporary situation, you will need to make some considerations. Take a look at our tidbits for when you need wheelchair rentals.

  • When you're traveling to a major amusement park, keep in mind that wheelchair rentals are available for your use. Some parks also offer electric convenience vehicles if powered mobility is a consideration.
  • Rental company policies vary, but you can expect to pay a lower fee rate per day when you rent long term.
  • Some companies which supply wheelchair rentals will drop off and pick up the equipment to your specific destination, whether it be your home, the hotel, or a cruise port.
  • You can take a scooter or wheelchair rental with you on a cruise ship if you want this option.
  • If you're planning travel down the line, you can book in advance. Some wheelchair rental companies allow you to book a year ahead of time.
  • Verify how you'll get charged and what the terms are. Some wheelchair rental companies charge rates based on a 24 hour period and will not charge your credit card until the day before you pick up the wheelchair, while other companies might charge your credit card up to a month in advance.

What are the disadvantages to buying from smaller wheelchair manufacturers?

Disadvantages To Buying From Smaller Wheelchair Manufacturers

Wheelchair manufacturers do offer a product for a niche market that the big names might not. However, you will encounter some disadvantages to shopping with the smaller wheelchair manufacturers. Here are some of the downsides:

  • Utilitarian design – Many of the smaller wheelchair manufacturers have products which have a very utilitarian design. Though they may work well for practical purposes, the appearance is not always a strong point.
  • Repair and service - Repair and service may be more difficult with smaller wheelchair manufacturers. This is something to find out ahead of time so you'll know whether or not you can contend with repair and service difficulties down the road or how to plan for them.

What are some positive reasons to buy from a smaller wheelchair manufacturer?

Five Good Things About Smaller Wheelchair Manufacturers

Smaller wheelchair manufacturers aren't like the well-known wheelchair manufacturers in that they don't have the marketing dollars to advertise their products. However, buying from an unknown company doesn't mean you won't find a quality wheelchair. Here are five good things about the smaller wheelchair manufacturers if you're considering purchasing a product from them.

  1. Smaller wheelchair manufacturers focus on making specialized and innovative merchandise. So if you're looking for a wheelchair that is cutting edge or performs a specific function, buying from one of the smaller wheelchair manufacturers may be your best bet.
  2. With the well-known wheelchair manufacturers, you're getting a product as is. That's not so with many of the smaller manufacturers. A lot of times, they will customize a wheelchair to your specific needs.
  3. Delivery times can be shorter when you deal with a smaller wheelchair manufacturer. They don't tend to have big production schedules for manufacturing.
  4. Sometimes, pricing is more competitive with a smaller manufacturer than with a larger one.
  5. The smaller companies often have a leadership that is passionate about their work and a willingness to give you individualized attention.

What advantages do I have if I buy a wheelchair from a bigger manufacturer?

The Upside to Buying From Larger Wheelchair Manufacturers

Choosing a wheelchair, like any other specialized piece of equipment, will require some in depth researching on your part. Before you purchase a wheelchair from any dealer, make sure you investigate the wheelchair manufacturers before you buy. Take a look at our guide to discerning between the larger wheelchair manufacturers.

  • The larger wheelchair and accessory manufacturers include Invacare, Everest & Jennings, Quickie, and Permobil.
  • When you're dealing with a large company with considerable financial resources, it often means they have more money to spend on prototypes, research, and development than their smaller counterparts.
  • Larger companies have the budget to spend more on design. If the aesthetics of the chair are important to you, then this would be a consideration.
  • The larger companies have built up a reputation. Most products will be well made and you'll know you're dealing with a company that will likely be in business for years to come.
  • You'll find product lines will be fairly comprehensive with a multitude of models and accessories to choose from.
  • You dealer will have more experience repairing a wheelchair from a major manufacturer.

Which Sunrise Medical chairs and scooters can travel long distances?

Long-Distance Guardian Wheelchair and Scooter

You have to navigate the Washington Mall or the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport or the Appian Way...you're in for a long day's journey into night. You need a Sunrise Medical wheel chair, or a chair from one of the other wheel chair brands such as an Invacare wheel chair, that's built for stamina. Sunrise Medical is one of the oldest firms, and it's hard to argue with history.

The light Guardian Microlite Ruby can go the distance. Whether you're on that scenic tour into Rome, and all roads and wheelchairs lead there, or that Greyhound bus tour or airport dash, you can charge your chair through the joystick or the battery to keep on truckin'.

Don't forget the Microlite Garnet, a lightweight scooter that can also cruise along the base of the Great Wall of China. With a Sunrise Medical wheel chair, you can broaden your horizons and keep going till you're ready to stop for sushi in Tokyo. Finding wheelchair brands that you like and trust is a good feeling.

Can I travel in a foreign country with my wheelchair?

Wheelchair Travel: Salut, Aloha, Guten Morgen!

The last thing you need to worry about on your vacation abroad is wheelchair accessibility or wheelchair rentals if you're a part-time wheel chair user. You should be more concerned with:

• State Department advisories
• Brushing up on your Russian
• Packing suntan lotion
• Choosing a bikini
• Learning how to pick up cute locals in several languages

Luckily, you don't have to be concerned with wheel chairs on your trip. Or with the language barrier--tour guides on accessible tours are fluent in several tongues. But what are your travel options? Wheelchairs are welcome and wheelchair rentals are there for the asking in:

• Europe
• Caribbean
• South America
• Middle East (isn't this supposed to be a relaxing trip?)
• Australia
• South African safaris (who's faster in your power chair, you or the gazelle?)
• Asia (don't forget to remove your shoes in Japan and don't touch someone's head in Thailand)

Many of these trips are available through groups that cater to people in wheelchairs if you're not ready to travel on your own and need extra assistance.

Whether you're traveling solo or with a group, remember as your guide or the locals give you a hand that the most important things to remember, in any language and any country, are "Please" and "Thank You."

Is there a Miss Wheelchair brand from the Ms. Wheelchair pageant?

Miss Wheelchair for Miss Wheelchair?

Beauty pageants—excuse us, scholarship competitions—get more elaborate every year. There are Miss and Ms. Wheelchair competitions and now it seems they have their own line of wheelchairs as well. Introducing the Miss Wheelchair brand, weighing 35 pounds, 20 inches tall, can carry up to 250 pounds! She wants to be a neurosurgeon and likes to crochet.

We're joking, there is no official Ms. Wheelchair America wheelchair brand. Contestants use wheel chair brands from a variety of wheelchair manufacturers, the top in the business, including:

• Quickie Sunrise Medical Wheel Chair
• Electric Jazzy Wheelchair
• Invacare Wheel Chair

And, although the Miss Universe and Miss America pageants swear, as does Donald Trump, that pageants are just scholarship competitions, the Ms. Wheelchair competition truly isn't a beauty pageant. That said, the winners are truly beautiful people. Maybe an official Miss Wheelchair brand isn't a far-fetched idea. How about a Junior Miss Wheelchair line for the winners of tomorrow?

I have parkinson's, do I need a wheelchair or just a rollator?

Wheelchair, Rollator, Standing Lift

You and Michael J. Fox have something in common finally: You have Parkinson's Disease, and you're already wobbling when you walk. You try to maintain your independence, but you never know what Parkinson's will do to you next, your doctor doesn't even know. Your family and friends suggest a wheelchair.

You've gone online to the Parkinson's Resource Organization (http://www.parkinsonsresource.org/) and checked out all the pointers on the various Web sites. You know to wear good shoes with proper support and do walking exercises. You use a cane or walker. But are your friends and family correct—do you need a wheel chair?

You may need a wheelchair if:

• You're more easily thrown off balance than you used to be.
• You can't walk unassisted for fear of falling.
• You have difficulty with motor control.

Parkinson's is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system that still has no cure but plenty of promising therapies. Until there is a cure, you want to live as independently as possible. You're not ready for wheelchairs, even power wheelchairs or scooters with large grips that you can still control.

A rollator can support you, providing a barrier to slow you down and halt a fall before it happens. You can maintain your independence pushing a rollator. Also, a rollator brakes, since Parkinson's makes you want to walk faster and faster to catch up with everyone.

With the right aids to help your independence, you're still you. Maybe you don't need wheel chairs just yet. Keep on walking. As another great philosopher, Abraham Lincoln, said, "I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards." Or wheelchaired backwards for that matter.

How do I make air travel better with my wheelchair?

Travels With My Wheelchair

You're not looking forward to the hour-and-a-half wait time at the airport, especially since you'll be in line at the ticker counter and Homeland Security checkpoints. Barely enough time to head to the restroom or browse the duty-free shop.

If you're in a wheel chair, you probably can speed things up if you call ahead—but get there one and a half to two hours ahead of boarding time anyway. Be sure to let the travel agent or airline reservations agent know:

• Whether you need your wheelchair all the time or just to get on the plane
• Whether you'll be bringing an IV bag and pole (that can set off the metal detector).
• That you want a flight with 30 seats or more--try to avoid prop planes.
• That you need boarding assistance and aisle chair as well as a seat designated for people in wheel chairs.
• That you'll be passing through security with gel batteries or wet batteries (check with airport screeners to make sure you're not violating HAZMAT regulations or bringing flammable/toxic items on board).

If you pack everything securely and label your equipment with instructions and name and address tags, and if you charge ahead of the other passengers to store your wheelchair (just kidding), you'll ensure a smoother flight. Get your wheelchair stored early as there is usually room for at least one. Sit back and enjoy your flight.

How do I make my hands and feet more comfortable in wheelchairs?

Footrests and Armrests

Your arms and legs are sore—admittedly you've been at the computer all day. You've also been in your wheelchair and, although the back and seat are comfortable, you're considering tossing the wheelchair into the computer. Darn this pain, and darn this prospectus you're writing for investors. While you can't do anything right now about P/E ratios, you can change your footrests and armrests. Some tips:

• Make sure your wheelchair is the adjustable kind. If not, consider add-on foot plates.

• You can buy armrest cushions or covers for wheelchairs that support your arms and hands ergonomically.

• When working at the computer, adjust your armrests to desk and keyboard height.

• Buy ergonomic wrist rests for your desk to add support and decrease pressure.

• If you can, upgrade your stationary legrest, footrest or foot plate to a swinging one. Make sure you select the correct one for your wheel chair brand and model.

• Chaps for wheel chairs can add further cushioning for your feet, especially in bad weather—which can affect you even when you're not outside.

Now you can be comfortable while you're figuring out how to tell investors why your company didn't meet the quarterly earnings estimate.

Do kids' rooms need wheelchair modifications?

No Kidding Around With Kids' Rooms

Knock! Knock!

"You can't come in!"

Knock! Knock!

"You can't come in!"

You say this to your parents all the time. Eventually they'll barge in. Hey, they're doing their job, which is to keep you safe, and some kids that close the doors try to hide something from their parents. But you're not doing drugs and you don't play violent video games. All you want is some privacy. Your mom and dad may be bursting in because they're worried that you're OK (they read the guide to wheelchairs too many times). After all, your room wasn't designed for a wheelchair. The dressers are too high. The windows are too high. And, be honest, you're trying to stand up to open the windows, right? If you have a standing lift chair, you can do this more easily—maybe you can get a trade-in.

F you do plan on using a standing lift chair just remember to do some exercise to strengthen your muscles or that fall will be a doozy. You don't want your parents worrying all the time. You fall, you get back up, no problem (especially when you're rolling over that thick pile carpet in the rust color your mom bought and you hate).

And now after all that tearing around, redecorating and hollering you need a nap--you would never have admitted this when you were four. You crash in the beanbag chair. Not crash literally. But it's good for your back muscles to be out of wheelchairs, standing or sitting. Now your dad barges in, interrupting your sleep. Doesn't he know you're growing and need rest? But you smile at him anyway. It's not easy being a parent.

I love my Quickie, but what other Sunrise Medical chairs can I use?

Sunrise Medical Choices

Other Sunrise Medical wheel chair brands? It's the Quickie or nothing else! There's no reasoning with fanatics, and wheel chair brands are fair game for an argument. But if you say that there isn't more than one Sunrise medical wheel chair brand, you lose. Sunrise Medical produces:

• Guardian power wheelchairs and scooters
• The ever-popular Quickie wheelchair
• Breezy wheelchairs
• Hoyer transport chairs and manual everyday wheelchairs
• Quickie's cousin, the Zippie
• For kids, the Mighty Lite Wheelchair by Kid Kart

How can you ever choose? If you're a kid, your choices are more obvious. Zip along on the Zippie, which tilts and rotates, or the Mighty Lite, which if you're a kid you've probably outgrown. For adults, we like the Guardian scooters and power wheelchairs, especially the Guardian Aspire, as streamlined as a Jazzy wheelchair, or the easy-to-transport Guardian Trek 3 or Trek 4 scooter. Quickie's manual wheelchairs maneuver easily and fit, say, in the back of a compact sports car such as a Volvo. Who knew finding wheelchair brands to suit you could be so simple?

Be sure to check with your wheelchair seller or the Sunrise Medical wheel chair Web site itself (www.sunrisemedical.com). Models such as the Chameleon have been discontinued. Still, you're a die-hard Quickie devotee, and that's not an enthusiasm that will fade in a quickie trip around the block.

Are there special wheelchairs I can use at the pool?

Poolside Wheelchairs

The blue chlorine beckons. The lounge chair beckons. The summer bestseller/copy of ULYSSES calls your name. But first, you have to get to the pool.

While regular rigid or fold-up manual wheelchairs (and electric if they stay back from the pool's edge) will get you to the pool, you may not feel like showing up in your regular wheel chair.

You may have problems walking and only need a wheelchair for the pool. The Healthline Pool Wheelchair, waterproof and user-friendly, is an excellent alternative. It won't tip or skid, even when the kids are splashing or running poolside despite the blatant "No Running" signs. Plus, parking brakes ensure you won't make a fancier dive than you intended. So what are you waiting for? There's a lap lane with your name on it.

Which wheeilchair brands offer good reclining wheelchairs?

Reclining Wheelchairs

Your back is sore from being in the chair all day. You wish you could just recline, but you're far away from your Barcalounger. For would-be couch potatoes who deserve a break, wheelchair manufacturers offer tilt and recline wheelchairs.

Even Miss Wheelchair needs a respite from her queenly duties. She could choose our favorite models:

• Sunrise Medical wheel chair Quickie recliner
• Sunrise Medical wheel chair Guardian recliner
• Invacare wheel chair 9000 XTR recliner

Miss Wheelchair would, of course, want to make sure that whatever recliner she chooses, no matter which of the major wheel chair brands sponsors the pageant, that her recliner wheelchair has heavy-duty inner liners that keep the seat and back from stretching too much. The Invacare Tracer SX5R Recliner Wheelchair is a perfect choice.

Ahhh. Relax, put your feet up, lean back and enjoy the day at the rubber-chicken banquet or in your office cubicle where you're pretending to be Miss Wheelchair for the day.

Can I rent a wheelchair for a vacation in the country?

ATW=All-Terrain Wheelchair

Your cousin has that cottage in the country with the nearest neighbor thirty miles away—luckily, that neighbor is a speed demon if you need anything. You're ready to kick back and relax. Your wheelchair, however, may be another story.

On sloping country roads, winding woodland paths and the beach, all-terrain wheelchairs, like sport wheel chairs, can take anything the new scenery throws at them so you can enjoy the sights. Call ahead to your destination and see if you can rent a wheelchair in the town. If not, rent one and have it shipped. Some great all-terrain wheelchairs include:

• The Rolleez All-Terrain Chair from Healthline (includes a safety belt and umbrella)
• The Landeez All Terrain Chair
• Pride Hurricane PMV Mobility Scooter
• Pride Luxury Line Victory XL Scooter
• Pride Luxury Line Maxima Scooter

Just remember, as you would with your own wheelchair, keep your rentals clean and maintained, free from dust, dirt, sand, leaves and gravel. After all, you might just want to visit that neighbor and have a leisurely chat on the porch sipping lemonade. Then down to the beach for a beach party!

Do I need to wear a seatbelt in my wheelchair?

Fasten Your Seatbelts

In "All About Eve," Bette Davis as Margo Channing says, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!"

Nearly fifty years later, in another movie about exceeding your limits, "The Matrix," Joe Pantoliano as Cypher says to "buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye."

Cypher and Margo weren't in wheelchairs, but they remind us that inside the chair or out, life can be a bumpy night. Most manual wheelchairs and standing lifts don't require seatbelts, though you might want to purchase a lap belt. You'll most likely need seatbelts for:

• Scooters
• Power wheelchairs
• All-terrain wheel chairs
• Bumpy terrain
• Wheel chairs used as van seats

As you would in a plane or car, make sure your seatbelt or lap belt is fastened, especially if you're zipping along in a power wheelchair or scooter. You don't need to read a guide to wheelchairs to understand common sense! Listen to the movie greats and always obey the seatbelt law.

What are the disadvantages of buying from a smaller wheelchair manufacturer?

The Downside to Buying From Larger Wheelchair Manufacturers

Though larger wheelchair manufacturers do come with a built-in reputation for making quality products, buying from them does come at a price – literally. If you want to know what the disadvantages are to buying from larger wheelchair manufacturers, read on:

  • The big name wheelchair manufacturers tend to sell their wheelchairs at a higher price in order to give dealers a bigger profit.
  • You may miss out on a wheelchair better suited to your needs. According to Choosing a Wheelchair by Gary Karp, Some folks in the rehabilitation industry believe the larger manufacturers don't place enough emphasis on the individual. Conversely, you might find a smaller wheelchair manufacturer less concerned about selling volume than getting you the right wheelchair.
  • You may have a longer wait period to obtain your product with one of the larger wheelchair manufacturers than you would with a smaller wheelchair manufacturer.

Do I need to modify my bathroom for wheelchair use?

Wheelchairs and Bathrooms

The most important room in the house is also the one you may have the hardest time occupying—the bathroom. Depressed showers, narrow toilets, sinks that are too high.

If you can't move or don't want to move from your dream home—you weren't planning, after all, to be in a wheelchair—you can adapt. Some whiz-kid (pardon the bathroom humor) ideas for making your bathroom more wheel chair accessible:

• If your shower is wheelchair accessible, try a shower chair if you need assistance from an in-home health care worker or family member.

• If your shower has a drop, install a rubber threshold ramp—just be sure to dry it off so you don't slip.

• Wheel chairs are a temporary thing for you, and you're not about to widen your doorways. If you can walk, use a cane to get into the enclosed toilet.

• Install a pedestal sink if your wheelchair can't be adjusted and you can't see the mirror when you're doing your morning shave or facial scrub. Or choose a wheelchair with recline, tilt, and raise options. An inflated air cushion may also help.

• Sore from sitting too long? A toilet air cushion may help.

• Turn off your electric wheelchair when washing up--after all, water and electricity don't mix.

Now you can take forever in the bathroom because you're fixing your makeup, not because you're struggling to get to the commode.

Can I get a manual Jazzy wheelchair since I don't need a power one?

Manual Jazzy Wheelchair

You love the idea of the Jazzy wheelchair, but you're more accustomed to life in the slow lane. You wonder, does Pride Mobility offer a manual Jazzy wheelchair?

Sorry to disappoint. Quantum Rehab, one of Pride Mobility's family of wheel chair brands, furnishes manual wheelchairs. But the Jazzy wheelchair remains, well, jazzy, and you can still push a manual wheelchair under your own power.

While Quantum Rehab's Stylus model is a lightweight dynamo, you still want the Jazzy wheelchair. The Stylus has more options than your car's power steering, but still you miss the Jazzy design. You're in no hurry to need an electric wheelchair though, so you roll on.

If you need a scooter, however, to zip around and the manual wheelchair is tiring you out, you can hop a Go-Go Travel Scooter. Feels just like when you were a kid...it's love all over again. Sorry, Jazzy wheelchair...finding wheelchair brands to replace you wasn't as hard as I imagined it might be.

Should I choose a large or small wheelchair company?

Large or Small Manufacturers

Everyone grouses about the big companies, but when we choose a wheelchair, we go for the big wheelchair manufacurers and wheel chair brands. Then we find that mom-and-pop company and we think, "Small business. I should support them." Even if you're Miss Wheelchair sponsored by the major wheel chair brands.

It's tempting to choose an Invacare wheel chair, Jazzy wheelchair, Sunrise Medical wheel chair, but many people have appreciated personalized service. Still, that doesn't mean the big wheelchair manufacturers are uncaring Big Business behemoths. In fact, there are several advantages to choosing recognized wheel chair brands:

• Parts more readily available away from home
• Multiple lines of products, with more options and accessories than you can think of
• Stable companies with ongoing research and healthy product sales to fund research
• Dealers have more experience repairing them, at home or on the road
• Will often refer customers to competitors if the manufacturer doesn't have the right chair
• Medicare is more likely to recognize them and cover major sellers/manufacturers

Still, small business, too, has that can-do spirit you cherish. Small business can give you a leg up or helping hand with these pluses:

• More time to spend on customer service and on individual needs
• May specialize in, say, scooters or transport chairs, or standing lifts for Parkinson's
• Local manufacturer may be more accessible, plus knows the market and the population
• Great if you want a custom chair
• Less money to spend on research but may be more experimental
• More options and more players mean more competition in the marketplace, which is better for you

Don't think you're contributing to the problem of Big Business (and what's so bad about big business anyway?) if you choose an Invacare wheel chair. After all, big and small companies have one thing in common: They want to help you preserve your independence and freedom of choice.


Advantages Of The Manual Wheelchair

A major advantage of a manual wheelchair is that you're not limited to the capacity of a battery as you would be with a power wheelchair. Manual wheelchairs can save hundreds of dollar per year in battery replacement costs.


Wheelchair Rentals For Travel And Vacation

Before renting a wheelchair, The Wheelchair Site recommends that you consider what you will use the rented equipment for. Many wheelchair rental outlets will offer a variety of manual wheelchairs, powerchairs, all-terrain models, and motorized scooters to suit different needs.


The Upside to Buying From Larger Wheelchair Manufacturers

Before you buy, do your research. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of specific wheelchair manufacturers, and about various types of wheelchairs, and which will best suit your needs. Wheelchair manufacturers provide models ranging from electric to manual wheelchairs, and from pediatric to all-terrain models.


Types of Wheelchair Carriers

Are you wondering about the current cost of a wheelchair carrier? TheWheelchairSite.com pegs the cost of wheelchair carriers between $350 and $1600 through online vendors. A bumper mounted wheelchair carrier tends to be more affordable; while motorized wheelchair carriers typically hit the top of that price range.


Getting A Used Wheelchair

The Wheelchair Site recommends getting a used wheelchair for its affordability. Used wheelchair buyers should check for any existing warranties or to negotiate one with a vendor if possible. Unfortunately, if you're buying a used wheelchair from a private party, you don't have any warranty protection.

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran