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Best Wheelchairs For Seniors In 2022

A sizable share of the population in the United States is made up of seniors. Unfortunately, many of them live alone. Elderly individuals living alone comprise 27% of adults age 60 and above in the US. Seniors will inevitably encounter difficulties at a certain period when performing certain activities and tasks because they are aging.

Finding the perfect wheelchair for a loved one or yourself can be difficult for others who are slowly having trouble with mobility. After all, there are numerous choices to select from and numerous characteristics to consider.

In this article, we'll talk about some considerations when choosing a wheelchair for elderly family members. We've also listed the best wheelchairs for seniors that you may want to take a look into.

The Importance Of Wheelchairs In Elderly Living

Wheelchairs, medical alert devices, duty chairs, and transport wheelchairs are some of the senior home tools and equipment to consider for your home if you provide in-home care for your elderly loved ones. 

Transport wheelchairs and duty chairs are essential, but they are always best handled by a home health care specialist. Unlike transport wheelchairs and duty chairs, wheelchairs can be used independently, making them more useful. 

Finding the best wheelchairs for seniors doesn't have to be like pulling teeth; read on to know which is best for your elderly loved one to have in their home or a nursing home.

Benefits Of A Wheelchair For Elderly Folks

For the user and their caregiver, wheelchairs promote mobility and independence, enabling them to participate in daily activities while having limited mobility.

A wheelchair makes it easier for you to complete everyday duties and has many positive social and mental health effects. A few other benefits to consider when buying the best wheelchair for elderly persons include:

1. Heightened Independence

Both manual and electric wheelchairs enable the user to move around and carry out daily activities on their own. An electric wheelchair offers greater independence because of how simple it is and how well it can travel without becoming tired. However, even a manual wheelchair gives the user and their caregiver more flexibility.

2. Encourages A More Social Behavior

Maintaining a healthy social life is crucial since we know that socialization is essential for both emotional and physical health. A wheelchair and other mobility aids can enable the user to carry on with their favorite activities.

Something as simple as going for a stroll around the neighborhood park, shopping at the nearby stores, or visiting a gallery. With a wheelchair, the user can lead a more active lifestyle, which might improve their attitude on life.

3. Improved Mobility

Wheelchairs are perfect for use around the house because they are made to maneuver and fit into tight areas. Additionally, more durable wheelchairs are made to be used outside and on challenging surfaces like slopes and tarmac.

For instance, transit wheelchairs are portable and great for vacations and travel. Similarly, the majority of public transportation options allow for the use of both manual and electric wheelchairs.

Who Are Candidates For Using A Wheelchair?

People who use wheelchairs either already have one or could use one because their mobility is impaired or inefficient. Every wheelchair user has different demands. But they all require the proper wheelchair.

There are an estimated 3.3 million wheelchair users in the US, with 1.825 million being 65 years of age or older. The number of wheelchair users is predicted to increase by 2 million yearly.

Wheelchairs are ideal for the following:

  • Seniors and elderly persons
  • People with injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Knee injuries
    • Foot injuries
  • People with disabilities
    • Progressive neurological conditions
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Polio
    • Stroke
    • Acquired brain injury

5 Best Wheelchairs for Seniors 

Product NameKarman Healthcare Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight WheelchairMajestic Buvan Foldable Electric WheelchairInvacare Tacer SX5 Wheelchair For AdultsKarman Healthcare 115 Ergonimic Lightweight Manual WheelchairPorto Mobility Ranger Weatheprood Wheelchair
Price$870$1999$304.99$623.89$2799
Size 14 x 31 x 31 in40 x 24 x 39 in9 x 16.5 x 4.25 in28 x 16 x 36 in34 x 23 x 36 in
Weight8.9 kg28.5 kg113.3 kg11.3 kg 22.67 kg
DesignPadded armpadsShock absorbent 14-gauge cross bracesS-shape seatingPortable
ErgonomicYes YesYesYesNo
Height AdjustableYesNoNoYesYes

Whether a manual wheelchair or an electric wheelchair, having heavy duty wheelchairs can make a difference when helping your loved ones stay mobile. Read on to know which one is the suitable wheelchair for your elderly loved ones.

 1. Karman Healthcare Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

Karman Healthcare Ergonomic Ultra Lightweight Wheelchair

This is a heavy-duty yet ultra-lightweight mobility device. It features Aegis Upholstery that provides seating comfort for the user.

Pros

  • Padded seat
  • Back upholstery
  • Ergonomic hand rim
  • Height adjustable footrest

Cons

  • Folding can be tricky
  • Rubber tires are relatively rigid

2. Majestic Buvan Foldable Electric Wheelchair

Majestic Buvan Foldable Electric Wheelchair

This power wheelchair is airline-approved and is an ideal travel companion. It folds within just three seconds and fits on even small storage spaces.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Low maintenance
  • Multi-use
  • Safe for airplane and cruise travel
  • 1-year warranty and six months of battery warranty

Cons

  • Risky to fold without the remote
  • Requires help to load it

3. Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair For Adults

Invacare Tracer SX5 Wheelchair For Adults

This bariatric wheelchair has a weight capacity of up to 450 lbs. weight capacity. This chair has 14-gauge steel cross braces that make it ideal for people who need the support of a heavy-duty frame.

Pros

  • Durable inner liner
  • Rigging design
  • Sturdy aluminum footplates
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Heavy and tricky to load in the car
  • The brakes aren't tight enough

4. Karman Healthcare 115 Ergonomic Lightweight Manual Wheelchair

Karman Healthcare 115 Ergonomic Lightweight Manual Wheelchair

This ergonomic manual wheelchair is designed for maximum comfort. The armrests and hand rims are also ergonomic. 

Pros

  • Ergonomic armpad
  • Height adjustable
  • S-shape seating system
  • Sturdy armrest

Cons

  • Easily tips over
  • Wheel positions could be improved

5. Porto Mobility Ranger Weatheprood Wheelchair - Best For Indoor Use

Porto Mobility Ranger Weatheprood Wheelchair

This is an excellent chair for elderly outdoor enthusiasts because of its waterproof design. It has a powerful motor for navigating rough terrains.

Pros

  • Expensive
  • Great for indoor use
  • Portable
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable seating

Cons

  • Seat space could be improved.
  • Difficult to load in vehicles

What To Look For In Wheelchairs For Seniors

A wheelchair is a mobility device that can help seniors move around even when unassisted. Wheelchair reviews have different ways of choosing which wheelchairs will earn a spot in their top picks. This review considered the following factors in selecting the best wheelchairs for seniors.

Pricing

The price of any equipment is always a key factor when choosing the best product. In making this list, we look into the pricing concerning the mobility chair features. Although some wheelchairs are more expensive, they are considered value-for-money purchases if their numerous features justify their pricing.

We also make sure that extra wheelchair options are affordable. For example, most wheelchairs come with fixed armrests and leg rests. If a wheelchair offers a flip-back armrest as an option, we make sure that the added cost is justifiable.

Most wheelchairs come with fixed desk-length arms. Another might offer retractable or extendable desk-length arms without an additional cost.

Comfort

Comfort is one of the primary considerations when choosing wheelchairs for seniors. We looked at wheelchairs that have comfortable seats and padded armrests since they are more comfortable compared to bare ones.

A comfortable wheelchair offers comfort with the use of different types of materials. The kind of material for the seat will depend on user preference. Some prefer nylon upholstery due to its breathability, while others prefer memory foam because it easily contours to the user's body shape.

Durability

Since wheelchairs serve the daily mobility needs of seniors, a chair should last long. Most wheelchairs are used for an entire day, so they should be made of high-quality materials.

A durable wheelchair offers a means of transportation to a person with limited mobility. A person with limited mobility will use a chair not just inside the house but during errands outside of the house as well. 

This means that the chair will be subjected to indoor and outdoor conditions.

An excellent and durable wheelchair can make sure that a person with limited mobility has a piece of functioning equipment for a long time.

Ease of Use

When making our list, we ensure that the entries are both easy to use and helpful. Useful but complicated features may not be accommodating at all if the user encounters difficulties while using them.

Aside from ease of use, an excellent chair should be easy to clean. Since most users take their wheelchairs outdoors, dirt can accumulate, especially on the front and rear wheels. An easy-to-clean chair can help prolong its usable life and protect the user from diseases.

Additional Features

This list also considered those with additional chair features that are beneficial for the elderly people who will use them.

For example, some users prefer mobility equipment that has storage space underneath. Such features can help them avoid using a shopping cart while at the grocery. The user can just stow items under the mobility device with ease.

Types of Wheelchairs for the Elderly

The best elderly wheelchair will depend on the needs of a particular user. This is due to the different lifestyles that seniors have. However, for those who are on the lookout for the best old wheelchairs available in the market, some features are essential to take note of.

Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are what most will call regular wheelchairs, as they don't have engines to make them work. Seniors who want to use manual wheelchairs must use their hands and arms to make the wheelchair move and steer it around.

Manual wheelchairs are suitable for short distances, like when an elderly person visits a neighbor. With the help of manual wheelchairs, elderly individuals can continue social interactions with other members of the community.

Excellent manual wheelchairs should be easy to propel. A lightweight manual wheelchair can help a senior user move around without being too tiring to use. Since most seniors have limited upper body strength, a manual wheelchair should not be too heavy.

Electric Wheelchairs

Electric wheelchairs are also known as powered wheelchairs. These electric motors help propel them and are great for seniors who cannot push a wheelchair manually.

The type of battery is the primary consideration when choosing an electric wheelchair. The best electric wheelchair has a battery that can propel the wheelchair for long distances. These are also great for those who love to use their wheelchairs over great distances.

The best electric wheelchair should also be easy to control. Fortunately, most electric wheelchairs use joysticks for navigation. A powered wheelchair that is easy to steer can make utilizing the wheelchair safer and more enjoyable while also reducing the learning curve for new users.

Ergonomic Lightweight Wheelchairs

Ergonomic senior wheelchairs are excellent for those who spend the entire day on their chairs. The main draw of ergonomic wheelchairs is the comfort levels that they provide. An ergonomic chair is a comfortable wheelchair because it is almost molded to the shape of the user's body.

Sores are common in elderly individuals who spend extended periods sitting in a wheelchair. Ergonomic wheelchairs can help prevent sores. Most ergonomic wheelchairs have contoured seats that allow proper ventilation that can help prevent sores and rashes.

Bariatric Wheelchairs

Bariatric wheelchairs are wheelchairs explicitly made for the benefit of bariatric individuals. Bariatric people are those who weigh over 350 lbs. They are often overweight by more than 100 lbs.

Bariatric wheelchairs can help improve the quality of life of elderly individuals. With the help of bariatric wheelchairs, individuals can freely move around and perform daily tasks and chores.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lightweight Wheelchairs For Seniors

Here are some questions many people ask about wheelchairs for seniors you should check out:

1. What is the best wheelchair for seniors?

The best wheelchair for seniors will depend on the elderly individual who will use it, as they have their own needs and medical requirements. This means that the best wheelchair for one senior may not fit the needs of another.

When we talk about comfort, we are not just referring to how comfortable it is to sit on a wheelchair seat. A wheelchair should be pleasant to use and easy to maneuver. In general, the best wheelchair is a wheelchair that is durable and can last for a long time. 

The wheelchair should be sturdy enough for everyday use. The best wheelchair for seniors should also be comfortable to use.

2. How do you stop an older person from falling out of a wheelchair?

Falling out of a wheelchair can result in injuries. These injuries can be severe for elderly users. The National Council on Aging reports that one adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds. The same report also indicated that one elderly adult dies from a fall every 19 minutes. 

One of the ways that an older person can avoid falling out of a wheelchair is by ensuring that the elderly individual is using the right size of the wheelchair. A wheelchair should be big enough to allow the user to sit comfortably but not too large that the user might slip or fall off. Using a harness or a seat belt can help prevent accidental falls from a wheelchair.

3. How many wheelchairs will Medicare pay for?

Medicare covers wheelchairs as long as the user's doctor states that it is required because of the user's medical condition. 80% of the wheelchair's cost is covered by Medicare Part B. The user will shoulder the remaining 20%. Medicare covers the replacement of lost or damaged wheelchairs. This applies to those who have Original Medicare.

4. What is the most challenging thing for wheelchair users?

Ease of mobility is the most challenging thing for wheelchair users. This does not pertain to just how difficult a wheelchair is to maneuver. Wheelchair users also have a hard time navigating public spaces.

Wheelchair users often encounter small doorways, narrow hallways, or inclined spaces. They even find it difficult to use public restrooms with accessible public toilets. Accessing these spaces is compounded if the user has a chair that is bulky or has large wheels.

5. What kind of wheelchair is the simplest to propel?

Transport chairs and travel wheelchairs are the two wheelchair designs that are the simplest to push and the best lightweight wheelchairs for elders. Both of these wheelchair designs, intended to be moved by a companion, rely on a light frame, a straightforward structure, and a narrow seat to make moving them more manageable.

Seniors shouldn't choose wheelchairs at random. Most wheelchairs prioritize mobility, user-friendliness, and functionality. Understanding the nature of the need is of utmost importance to ensure your loved one's safety and ease of living. To learn more about senior safety, senior healthcare, and other helpful senior products, read through our blogs at SeniorStrong today.

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