As your parent ages, his or her mobility could decrease and lead to the need for a wheelchair. For many senior adults, there is some reluctance about using a wheelchair. If your parent needs a wheelchair, here is what you need to know.
What Are the Benefits?
Even though you are sold on the idea that your parent needs a wheelchair, your parent could still have some reservations about using one. If so, you can review the benefits of using one with your parent. To start, you can point out the fact that the wheelchair helps to increase his or her mobility.
With improved mobility comes the ability to retain his or her independence. For instance, a power wheelchair allows your parent the chance to still get around without having to rely on someone to help assist with pushing the chair.
You can also help your parent understand that the wheelchair can be a lifesaving device. Many people use their chairs to get up and down to perform different tasks, such as use the phone. If your parent needs to call for help, using the wheelchair to get up and grab the phone could make a difference in whether or not help is alerted of his or her condition.
What Should You Look for in a Wheelchair?
Before shopping for a wheelchair, you and your parent need to consult with a certified therapist. The therapist can help to determine what your parent's needs for the chair are. He or she can even help determine what assistive needs your parent will have in the future. The therapist can also list any features that you and your parent should look for in a wheelchair.
Once you have an idea of what type of wheelchair you should be looking for, you and your parent can turn your focus towards features, such as the comfort. Even if your parent is only going to spend a small amount of time in the chair, he or she needs to find one that has the cushioning in it that can make sitting in it bearable.
Ideally, you should shop for your parent's wheelchair at a local medical equipment store. However, there are wheelchairs available to purchase through mail order services. Although the mail order business has chairs that meet your parent's needs, you should consider buying locally. If you buy locally, your parent can test out the chair and get in-person advice from professionals.