Wheelchairs can vastly improve your quality of life. Buying or hiring a wheelchair if you are disabled or have a health condition that affects your walking means you can continue to do the things you enjoy.
A wheelchair can help you continue to lead an active social life with disabilities or a health condition.
If you are like most people, you will be depending on the most knowledgeable person you know when you go to get that first wheelchair. This might be your sister who is a nurse, or an occupational or physical therapist, or a friend or spouse, or a salesperson at a durable medical equipment store. New users of wheelchairs usually get their first wheelchair in one of these ways.
A loaner or hand-me-down chair from someone they know,
A prescription from their doctor which they take to a sales person at a medical supply store, or, if they are fortunate, they go to
A wheelchair clinic with experienced wheelchair people like OTs, PTs and Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers.
The outcome or the end-result in getting a first wheelchair can have a lot of variation:
Sometimes people have a good experience.
Sometimes they don’t.
Sometimes first-timers don’t even know what to expect from the experience. (It’s hard to have expectations when everything is so new!)
Sometimes professionals know a lot and are really experts.
Sometimes professionals know a lot, are really experts and they include YOU in the process.
When you are included in the process, then there is a larger chance that the outcome will be a good one. You are included in the process when you are seen as a “client” (someone who is purchasing a service) and the professionals ask you questions about:
your needs both today and in the short term future,
your living environments,
how you plan to use your wheelchair, and
how you plan to travel as a driver or a passenger in motor vehicles.