As your senior loved ones get older, their mobility may become limited. There may be a time that they will need a wheelchair. The thing is that choosing a wheelchair for a senior loved one is a big decision. It’s important to select the right wheelchair for the user’s wants and needs, as they will be spending a significant portion of their time sitting in it.
With a good wheelchair, they can maintain the best quality of life and continue doing the things they love to do. With so many wheelchairs for the elderly with limited mobility on the market today, choosing one may seem overwhelming. When choosing the best wheelchairs for elderly individuals, it’s important to consider the needs of the user.
Fortunately, with a little research, a new chair can greatly enhance the independence of the user and improve their quality of life.
This post provides an overview of the best wheelchair options for seniors struggling with limited mobility, while also highlighting the things you should take into consideration before purchasing a wheelchair.
1. Types of Wheelchairs Available for Seniors
Seniors may have limited mobility that affects the type of chair they might need. Some may use the wheelchair by themselves, while others may need an extra hand. Furthermore, some seniors may be using a wheelchair as a permanent, everyday mobility solution, while others might just need one for temporary use or for a little extra assistance during longer excursions outside the house.
Since every person has slightly different mobility needs, there are many different types of wheelchairs for elderly users, but mostly, wheelchair types are divided between standard manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs.
Review the options below to determine which type of wheelchair will be the best fit for your specific mobility requirements.
Standard Manual Wheelchairs
A standard manual wheelchair is often the first option that people will look at when choosing a wheelchair for themselves or a senior family member. These wheelchairs can be ideal for both independent users and users who are being cared for by a nurse or loved one.
Manual wheelchairs either need to be pushed from behind or self-propelled by pushing the handles on the wheels.
Heavy Duty Manual Wheelchairs
Heavy duty wheelchairs are ideal for seniors who need additional support from their mobility device. These wheelchairs are designed to accommodate taller or wider adults and usually have a max weight capacity of around 500 lbs.
Because they can accommodate heavier people, these wheelchairs tend to be heavier as well, making them slightly more difficult to transport or store than a regular wheelchair.
Lightweight Manual Chairs
Lightweight wheelchairs for seniors are designed to fold-up and move easily. They are typically less wide than standard wheelchairs, which makes them more maneuverable in narrow hallways and other tight indoor spaces. Lightweight wheelchairs also have a lighter frame and can fit in the trunk of most car models, making them far easier to transport than electric or heavy duty wheelchairs.
Ultralight Manual Chairs
Ultralight wheelchairs can weigh as little as ten pounds and are ideal for seniors who will need to travel and transport their chair quite often. These chairs are not as rugged as the wheelchairs mentioned above and usually cannot accommodate heavier users.
Electric or motor-powered wheelchairs (also known as power chairs) are ideal for elderly people who have limited upper body mobility.
Electric wheelchairs provide additional independence on longer excursions, as they do not need to be self-propelled or pushed by a companion.
Heavy Duty Electric Wheelchairs
Heavy-duty power wheelchairs are reliable and durable. Heavy-duty wheelchairs for elderly offer a higher weight capacity and ensure superior performance.
Lightweight Electric Chairs
Lightweight electric wheelchairs can be portable and compact, designed to meet the needs of active people.
2. Things to Consider When Purchasing a Wheelchair for a Senior
There are many things to consider when purchasing a wheelchair for a senior, including the wants and needs of the specific user, extra features (such as different widths and multiple options for leg rests and arms), weight, width, transportability, comfort, how easy it is to be used, and (of course) the price tag.
Let’s break down some of the common wheelchair features you need to consider before making a purchase.
Mobility of the User
Seniors with severely restricted mobility may prefer an electric wheelchair, as they require less upper mobility to operate than a standard manual wheelchair. Powered wheelchairs can also be a good option for users who do not have a constant caregiver to help them maneuver around.
Alternatively, for seniors who can stand for longer periods and are still quite mobile, a sturdy rollator or walker may be all they need.
When purchasing a wheelchair for a senior with Limited Mobility, it’s important to consider the weight of the user and the weight of the chair itself. Heavier seniors may require heavy duty chairs that are tip resistant and built to support larger people.
It’s also a good idea to think about who will be lifting the wheelchair into a car or van for transport. If an elderly person is caring for their spouse, you may want to consider purchasing a lightweight chair that can be easily folded and put it in a vehicle.
Wheelchairs come in a variety of widths depending on the model. A wider wheelchair can often provide more comfort for seniors, which is a plus, but you’ll want to measure the door frames in your home and the width of your vehicle’s trunk before making the purchase.
Also, if you’ll mostly be using the chair indoors, it may be a good idea to invest in a narrow transport chair or compact electric wheelchair.
Many electric wheelchairs (and even some heavy duty manual chairs) need to be transported by van or SUV. If this is not possible, you may want to consider purchasing a smaller wheelchair or a powerchair that can be disassembled for greater portability.
Comfort is an important need for many wheelchair users. The best wheelchair for elderly users is one that offers ample cushioning and maximum support. A chair that is built using high-quality materials will typically be more comfortable than one that has sub-standard construction.
It’s also important to consider having an ample foot room, leg rests and armrests functions (such as arms that flip back so the user can easily roll up to a desk or dinner table).
When faced with how to choose a wheelchair for elderly loved ones, it’s important that they can operate the electric wheelchair. To ensure mobility can be achieved easily, an elderly wheelchair needs to be simple to operate with effortless and intuitive controls for smooth and worry-free operation.
A wheelchair can cost anywhere from one hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more depending on the make and model. Not everyone has the budget or need for an expensive wheelchair.
Be sure to research all your options beforehand. It’s always a good idea to balance quality and cost when making your choice!
3. Our Picks of Wheelchair for Seniors with Limited Mobility
Best Manual Wheelchair: Medline – MDS806550E Lightweight & User-Friendly Wheelchair
This lightweight and user-friendly wheelchair has a flip-back and desk-length arms that make it easy to navigate under tables. Besides elevating leg rests enhance comfort and remove easily.
It is also very easy to manipulate and move around with it. This wheelchair has smooth-rolling Mag wheels with low-maintenance flat-free tires. And foot-powered movement with 2” seat-height adjustments (hemi-height).
Made with breathable nylon upholstery, which is soft and comfortable.
And what is best, premium welds ensure reliability and durability!
Get this best-seller Medline Wheelchair on Amazon and have it delivered to your home in just a few days!
Best Electric Wheelchair: 2021 New Limited Edition Remote Control Foldable Electric/Motorized Wheelchair
This Electric Wheelchair is Airline Approved So You will Have All Necessary and Most Safety Features as a Default. This Wheelchair is Airplane Travel Friendly and Cruise Trip Ready.
New ComfyGo is Preferred by Everyone. It is Very Convenient as a Mobility Wheelchair, With Powerful Motors and High-Volume Battery New Comfy Go Gives You Freedom. With the New Anti-Leaning Rear Design, It is Perfectly Stable and Safe.
Besides, the New Comfy Go is Fold’n Go, It only Folds up in 3 Seconds and Fits in Most Trunks Easily. Very Convenient for Storage and Travel. In Addition, Seat and Back Rest Cushion Can be Easily Removed for Cleaning.
In addition to that, the new Technology Aircraft Alloy Grade Carbon Steel Construction Makes This Wheelchair Ultra Lightweight as Low as 59 lbs (with battery 65 lbs) and More Durable. Also Does Not Need Any Maintenance.
Get this do-it-all Wheelchair on Amazon and get it in a few days without even leaving home!
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