Choosing a wheelchair is an important decision for a person who has limited mobility because of a spinal cord injury. There are many different types, and it is wholly possible that a person will need more than one. Because the wheelchair is a costly piece of equipment, it is imperative that people who need one choose carefully.
Many people who have a spinal cord injury choose a powered wheelchair because they are likely going to need it long-term. Even if there is a chance that you will regain the ability to walk, you may still need the chair so that you can rest on long journeys. Be sure to consider the primary use of the wheelchair, but don’t forget other uses.
One of the best places to turn when you need a wheelchair is your occupational therapist. These professionals can often help you match your needs with a specific type of wheelchair. For example, a person with quadriplegia may need an option that has an oral control, so they can have maximum mobility.
You also need to think about the upkeep cost of the wheelchair. Manual chairs are often far less costly. Powered chairs use batteries and must be charged. If you fly frequently, the type of battery in the chair might be a consideration since only certain ones are allowed on flights.
For some individuals, cost is a primary factor in what options they can choose. Insurance coverage and seeking compensation from the party who is liable for the incident that caused your injury might provide you with optimal funding. Sometimes, grants and other financial assistance can help.