If you or a loved one needs a wheelchair, you may wonder how much it costs. The answer, unfortunately, is more complex than a single number. There are many different types of wheelchairs available in the market, each with its own price tag.
This blog post will discuss the cost of wheelchairs depending on their type so that you can decide which is suitable for you or your senior loved one.
Manual wheelchairs are the most common type of wheelchair, and they are also the most affordable, with prices starting at around $100 to $500. Of course, you can spend more if you want features like adjustable leg rests or padded armrests.
Additionally, they can have a feature that allows users to recline for added comfort. Some have a bathroom feature with a seat opening so users can use the toilet while seated in their wheelchairs. There are also manual wheelchairs designed to be used on courts, tracks, and beaches.
The cost of manual wheelchairs also varies depending on the maximum weight they can support. They have weight limits, so get one that fully supports you.
Typically, manual wheelchairs are best for people who have upper body strength and can propel themselves forward. If you think a manual wheelchair might suit you, test it out before purchasing to ensure it's comfortable and easy to use. You should also consult your doctor regarding the features you need to make a good buy.
Check out these manual wheelchairs:
- Drive Medical Blue Streak Wheelchair - $170
- Medline Lightweight Wheelchair - $220
- Invacare Durable Wheelchair - $299
- Elite Care Lightweight Wheelchair - $399
- Medwarm Aluminum Multifunctional Wheelchair - $599
Power wheelchairs are motorized and controlled by a joystick. They start at around $1,000 and can go up to $3,000, depending on your desired features. Power wheelchairs are best for people with no upper body strength to propel a manual wheelchair or who want the freedom to go longer distances without getting tired.
These wheelchairs come with an electric motor, batteries, and a joystick. There are also different styles, and they can look like a manual wheelchair or an ultramodern powered wheelchair that’s also lightweight and powerful.
Power wheelchairs can also come in front-wheel drive, mid-wheel drive, and rear-wheel drive. However, the front-wheel drive provides the most comfortable turn.
Depending on the features you get, the cost of a fully-loaded powered wheelchair can be as high as a brand-new car. Thankfully, power wheelchairs are reimbursable through Medicare. Ensure your doctor has recommended the features of the power wheelchair to be able to claim medical reimbursements.
Some examples of power wheelchairs are:
- Acurest Aluminum Allow Electric Wheelchair - $1,099
- Broobey Lightweight Electric Wheelchair - $1,440
- OPOME Med Intelligent Lightweight Electric Wheelchair - $1,999
- Zoomer Chair Electric Powered Wheelchair - $2,099
- Porto Mobility Ranger Lightweight Electric Wheelchair - $2,499
Scooters are similar to power wheelchairs but usually have smaller dimensions, making them more maneuverable. Prices start at around $700 but can increase to $2,000, depending on features and battery life.
Scooters are a good option for people who want an affordable way to get around but do not need the full range of features offered by power wheelchairs. They are also great for seniors who won’t need a wheelchair all the time or if you’re planning a vacation with your elderly loved one.
Power scooters can also be three or four wheels and typically have a basket in front for storing belongings. There are also programmable ones where you can configure the chair's performance.
Some examples of mobility scooters are:
- Vive 4-Wheel Mobility Scooter - $899
- ENGWE Scout Compact Travel Power Scooter - $739
- MotoTec Folding Electric Trike - $892
- Pride Mobility Go-Go Sport-Travel Scooter - $1,749
- Golden Technologies Buzzaround Carry-On Mobility Scooter - $1,999
Cost Of Wheelchair In A Nutshell
The cost of a wheelchair depends on many factors, including the type of wheelchair and the features you need. Manual wheelchairs are the most affordable option, starting at around $200, while power wheelchairs can cost upwards of $3,000. Scooters offer a happy medium between affordability and features, with prices starting at about $700.
When looking for the best wheelchair for seniors, always consider the user's comfort and needs. You should also anticipate how they’ll use the wheelchair.
Some seniors wish to maintain an active lifestyle despite needing to stay in a chair, so a wheelchair with sturdy wheels and a lightweight frame best suits them. When making your decision, be sure to consider not only the price but also which type of wheelchair will best suit their conditions.
Check out the top mobility scooters for seniors here in this Senior Strong blog.
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.