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How do I Choose the Best Used Wheelchair?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are many items to consider when looking for the best used wheelchair: condition, type, weight, and costs. All these items affect the long-term value of the item. A wheelchair has two or three wheels and a seat. People use them with restricted or limited mobility to replace walking or running.

When purchasing a used wheelchair, the condition of the chair is critical. Inspect the structural, mechanical, and cosmetic appearance of the chair. The structural aspect of the chair is the most important of all items to consider. A wheelchair must be reliable and provide support at all times.

Check to see if the frame bent or damaged. Look for dents, weakened joints, or rust. Test the axles and the motor for electronic units. Look at the controls, wiring and safety features. Pay special attention to the wheels and tires. Finally, inspect the finish of the metal and the seat material. Both these items can be replaced fairly easily, but wear patterns can indicate hidden mechanical issues.

There are three types of wheelchairs: manual, electric and racing. The items that must be considered when purchasing a used wheelchair vary, depending on the type of wheelchair. Electrical and racing wheelchairs have greater risk of impact related damage, but manual wheelchairs can easily shift out of alignment.

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Wheelchair designs have greatly improved in the last ten years, but weight is still a critical issue. Many people who use wheelchairs have other people who assist them and many situations can occur where the wheelchair needs to be lifted or moved. The heavier the chair, the harder this is. The lighter chairs provide the same strength and support, and new materials have reduced the need for heavy metal chairs.

Cost is a critical factor when purchasing a used wheelchair. A standard adult wheelchair can range in price between $300 and $1,000 US Dollars (USD). Children's wheelchairs range between $200 and $1,300 USD. The price difference is based on the complexity of the chair, motor source, materials, and size.

When looking to purchase the best used wheelchair, ask about the warranty. All used chairs should come with a mechanical and structural warranty. Check the warranty terms with care to determine if there are rules regarding repairs or prohibited uses.

Ask if the policy includes a replacement unit. A wheelchair is a critical transportation tool and it is important to have a replacement process in place during repairs. Many wheelchair repair firms also rent wheelchairs, as they understand their clients' needs.

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