How Much Does a Wheelchair Cost?

How much does a wheelchair cost?

That is a question that prospective customers ask us on a daily basis. When most of us think of a wheelchair, we envision two large wheels and two small casters affixed to a comfortable seating surface. However, due to the large variety of wheelchairs available to accommodate individuals’ very different needs, we can begin by telling you that the cost of a wheelchair can run from $300 all the way up to the many thousands of dollars. What determines a wheelchair’s price? We need to find out what you’re looking for, but the two main factors are construction and features.

Construction:

Basic wheelchairs, which are mostly catered to recovery and occasional users, are often built out of steel. Steel wheelchairs are economical and durable — that’s why you’ll find that most rental wheelchairs are made from this material. Their main advantage is that they come at the smallest price-tag, but the largest deterrent for owning and operating a steel wheelchair is the weight (between 35-40 lbs). Their heavier frame isn’t particularly easy to fold and transport.  The most popular wheelchair material without a doubt, however, is aluminum. Aluminum wheelchairs and combination Aluminum-Carbon Fiber wheelchairs weigh around 20 lbs, are extremely sturdy and resist corrosion very well. All these features make them ideal for everyday and outdoor use.  In the upper range for wheelchairs, are Titanium wheelchairs and Carbon Fiber wheelchairs. Whereas these models are extremely durable and light, they are seldom employed for everyday use. These kinds of wheelchairs are the perfect choice for playing sports like wheelchair basketball or racing.

Features:

Once you begin to learn about wheelchairs, you also start to realize that the variety of features available in these devices is nothing short of overwhelming. A basic, steel frame wheelchair will have the option of elevating footrests and armrests that can be removed or lowered. As you move up into the aluminum and carbon fiber categories, wheelchairs can be customized to the users’ exact needs. An everyday user will need customized cushioning in the buttocks and back areas. A person with little to no mobility will need additional support for their body– including the head and neck. They will also be able to tilt or recline their chair to better position their bodies.

With so many options to consider, the cost of a wheelchair will vary quite a bit depending on your needs. When considering the use of a wheelchair, it is always most advisable to visit a registered physiotherapist or occupational therapist to make sure that your mobility requirements are being addressed.  They will also recommend any government funding that could help finance your device. The team at Vital Mobility is highly knowledgeable about the entire range of wheelchairs and can help you, along with that information, to find the perfect device to give you the mobility you need.

 

 

 

5 Tips for Seniors to Stay Active in the Winter

During the winter season– and especially for elderly individuals and people who live with limited mobility– it is easy to lose the motivation that is so often needed to keep us moving. With snow and ice-covered roads, it is challenging to operate a manual wheelchair or take your rollator walker around the block. However, maintaining even a bit of physical activity is a crucial tool for living life to the fullest– and healthiest extent.

Some ideas for remaining active during the cold months are:

  1. Exercise Peddler

    Invest in an exercise peddler: Portable mini-cycles are foldable and can be stored under your bed or sofa. They are an excellent way for you to exercise your legs or arms in the comfort of your own home. Just place the peddler in front of the couch as you watch your favourite show or read a book, and pedal away! Your leg and abdominal muscles, as well as your cardio and blood circulation will thank you. For arm use, place peddler over a table.

  2. Use resistance bands: Resistance bands are an economical and safe way of adding some weight to upper body exercises at home. Whereas heavy hand weights can pose an injury risk for seniors, resistance bands are soft and flexible. The level of effort one must input is determined by each individual.
  3. Lift your groceries: This is a quick and easy alternative to hand weights and resistance bands. Instead of storing your groceries right away, try taking a little more time to lift and lower the items as you organize them in your pantry and fridge. The weight of those items- like canned beans or a 1L carton of milk, can give your arm muscles the challenge they need to stay strong.
  4. Get out to the mall: Transportation services like Toronto’s Wheel-Trans, can get you over to the mall when it isn’t safe for you to go outside on your own. Mall hallways — especially during early morning hours– are a great place for exercising with your manual wheelchair, rollator or walker.
  5. Use the stairs: Steps can be  great exercise tools that adapt to different mobility and fitness levels. If you can climb steps– even if slowly– you can try going up and down one or more flights of stairs every day. If your range of mobility is more limited, you can find support in the stair handrails and practice going up and down a single step repeatedly. This will strengthen your leg muscles and bring up your heart rate.

Not only is winter-time exercise crucial for your physical well-being, but adding movement to your daily routine can help you combat depression (including the winter blues). In addition, you can add a social aspect to your daily exercise by making arrangements to exercise with a friend and/or neighbour. You won’t only be preventing feeling down but you will also avoid feeling isolated when it is hard to get outside.