Choosing a wheelchair

If you need a wheelchair, the main decisions you’ll have to make about your chair are likely to be:

  • whether it will be self-propelled, pushed by someone else, or electric-powered
  • for permanent or occasional use 
  • for indoor or outdoor use 
  • whether you need it to go in and out of a car

There are pros and cons for each type of chair, so the choice depends on your needs.

There are a large variety of wheelchairs available, so expert independent advice is essential. Some of the things to consider when choosing the right equipment are:

  • Your physical ability. For example, if you’re unable to stand up, how will you transfer to and from the wheelchair? Stability and balance may also affect what you can use.
  • How the equipment will be used. For example, do you need to get up stairs or through narrow doorways?
  • Practical considerations, such as access to a power point if the equipment needs to be charged up, or having a secure place to store the equipment when it's not in use.  

Choice of wheelchair design

The design of the chair affects how it can be used. Look out for:

  • large rear wheels, which make wheelchairs easier to manoeuvre
  • wheels positioned further forward on an adjustable axle, which require less effort to move the chair
  • lightweight chairs that fold or can be dismantled easily if the wheelchair has to be lifted and transported regularly
  • seat size, angle and style, as well as the position of the foot, back and arm rests – these should all be taken into account when considering the comfort of the chair

You should also bear in mind that standard wheelchairs generally can't be modified. "Active-user" wheelchairs are usually more expensive, but they have the advantage of being adjustable and adaptable.

If you need a wheelchair that’s pushed by someone else, it's still important to consider how easy it will be for them to use it. For example, can they lift it and put it in the boot of the car?

Before deciding on a specific style of wheelchair, it's a good idea to try it out around the house or on the local roads.

Wealden Mobility maintains a small stock of wheelchairs and can arrange for individual chairs to be available for demonstration; to try before you buy. In addition, a wide range of accessories are available to make your wheelchair as comfortable as possible.

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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