No one wants to need a wheelchair. People who were previously very active may have a harder time adjusting to using a wheelchair or be more resistant to the idea. Every year, two million people start using wheelchairs to help them get around. Currently, approximately, 3.3 million people use wheelchairs in the United States. As we all age, nearly 6,100 people in the United States turn 65 every day, more and more of us turn to a geri wheelchair. These are also referred to as geriatric wheelchairs for the elderly.
If you have made the decision that a geri wheelchair will improve the quality of your life, there are ways you can make that transition easier for yourself. The first step in this process is finding the right geri wheelchair for you. What is the “right geri wheelchair?” That is really a very personal decision that depends on what will make you more comfortable. What is right for one person may not be good for another so you have to think about what features you will need and want and what kind of geri wheelchair will be the most comfortable for you. Everyone wants their geri wheelchair to be comfortable, reliable and easy to use but there are some other considerations you should make when looking at geri chairs.
- How comfortable is the geri chair? You are going to spend a lot of time in your geri wheelchair so you need to find one that you think is comfortable. Like mattresses, what is considered to be comfortable for one person may not be as great for someone else. Do not let someone talk you into buying a geri wheelchair because other people say they find it to be comfortable. When you are looking at different wheelchairs, take your time and sit in the models you are considering buying. Take your “test drives” of the different chairs seriously. Spend some time in the different chairs and try them out in different positions. If you are looking at power chairs, move around the store in them. See how they feel when you are turning a corner. Try to sit in different positions. Spend as much time in the different chairs as the store will allow you to.
- Talk to your friends and family. Given the large number of people who use a geri wheelchair these days, the chances are good that you know at least one person who uses one. Talk to everyone you know about where they bought theirs. The best way to get any goods or services is to find a personal recommendation. Finding a good store to buy your geri wheelchair can make a big difference if it needs repairs or if you need to return it. You want to find a store that offers excellent customer service.
- Make sure the geri wheelchair is easy to get in and out of. It will not matter how comfortable the geri wheelchair is if you cannot get in and out of it. Even if you have a full time caretaker who can help you with this, you should find a wheelchair that is easy for you to get in and out of. Look and see what you would do if you were to get stuck in the chair. Is there a release mechanism to help if something like that happens? Make sure the wheelchair you select has the right features and kinds of handholds that will make using it easier for your. You may want to go to places that are not set up for wheelchairs. Some chairs can be maneuvered easier than others.
- Look at different chairs online. It is so easy these days to get a lot of information about just about anything online. Wheelchair shopping is no different in this sense. You can get a lot of information about the different kinds of geri wheelchairs. These reviews may give you ideas about what you want but also what questions to ask geri wheelchair salespeople.
Finding the right geri wheelchair will make a big difference in your transition so do your research, ask your friends and family and spend some time shopping and you will get the right one.