This will depend on what the user needs the wheelchair for. For short term users, for example, after sustaining an injury, buying a wheelchair online could be an option. For long-term users, we recommend the user consult a doctor or therapist who has the experience to recommend the correct wheelchair to the user.
4 things to know before buying a wheelchair online
1. If the user needs a manual wheelchair to recover from an injury, then buying a cheap wheelchair on the internet could be an option. Otherwise, the user can choose to rent a wheelchair instead of buy. Wheelchair rental is a sustainable way to aid the user’s recovery as well as save money.
2. If the user needs a wheelchair for longer than 6 months and for long stretches of time, then we recommend buying a wheelchair that has been specially prescribed to the user. Whether it is for themself or an elderly relative, sitting in the wrong wheelchair for a long time can be uncomfortable, and risks the user suffering from secondary injuries.
When a wheelchair is too large, the user will slide forward uncomfortably which in turn will cause pressure sores and back pain. Read more about the consequences of buying the wrong sized wheelchair here.
3. An ill-fitting wheelchair is the number one cause of bad posture and pressure sores. When buying a wheelchair online the chances of getting a wheelchair that fits the user’s exact measurements are slim. When a doctor or therapist prescribes a wheelchair, they take on board special requirements as well as make adjustments even after the wheelchair arrives.
4. Getting a wheelchair prescribed by a professional is also the only way to claim it on the insurance. Getting the insurance money for the wheelchair will ensure that thee user gets the right wheelchair and saves money.
Questions to ask when buying a Power Wheelchair online
1. Is there an after service?
Buying anything online from an anonymous seller is risky, especially something pricey like a power wheelchair. Since all electronics need after service at some point, making sure that the online seller is going to provide maintenance service before a purchase is made is a must! Otherwise, the product might look affordable today, but in the future, the user will have to pay.
Most power wheelchair users fully depend on their wheelchairs. If something breaks then they will be left without this daily essential. Source: Karma Medical YouTube – EVO Altus
2. Are there bespoke product adjustments?
There are a lot more settings and functions on a power wheelchair compared to a manual wheelchair. A lot of power wheelchairs are bespoke to the user which is why they are more expensive. When a wheelchair is prescribed to a user, the doctor or therapist will take on board the user’s lifestyle and disability. Functions that can allow the user to stand, tilt, recline should all be prescribed to the user. Depending on the user’s mobility range, there are different types of controls… There are many things that can make life for the user easier!
3. Have safety tests been carried out? Has a warranty been offered?
All wheelchairs sold in the UK, for example, must be compliant with CE and be approved by crash tests. These tests are guarantees for the user that the product they are using is safe. While retail shops are more compliant with these rules, online shops can sometimes be less reliable. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask for the safety guarantee before placing that online order.
Are power wheelchairs bought online safe to use?
The safest way to buy a power wheelchair is with the advice and guidance of a doctor or therapist. Working with a professional will allow the user to try out different types and brands of wheelchairs so they can find the one they are most comfortable with. They will also be recommended features that will enhance the user’s lifestyle.
Purchasing a wheelchair online comes with many risks. Getting the advice of a professional will assist the user in getting the wheelchair they need the first time around. A knowledgeable professional will save the user money and minimize the risk of secondary injuries.
Talk to your local dealer to get more knowledge about how to choose the right wheelchair.