Updated: June 4, 2015
Wheelchair Reviews:Wheelchairs are something we all hope we never actually have to use, but at some point in our lives, we will probably need a wheel chair to get around. Senior citizens often rely on wheelchairs to get them around throughout the day and so having a durable, reliable, and comfortable wheel chair is very important to the user. The two types are manual and electric. Manual wheelchairs have no motor and are powered by the user. The high end electric wheel chairs are often battery powered and let the rider choose direction and speed with a simple remote usually located on the arm of the chair. Invacare, a manufacturer of power and motorized wheelchairs, provides electric wheelchairs from $4500-$9000. You can see their entire inventory at Invacare.com. For the most part, you can buy a transport (manual) wheelchair from $100 to $200.
Mobility scooters are the latest name in wheelchairs and you may have seen commercials for these from Pride and other manufacturers. Sometimes called power chairs, ones like the Rascal give the user excellent balance with 2 wheels in the back and 1 in the front, similar to a scooter (that's where the name comes from). They work indoors or outdoors, have superior maneuverability over the typical wheelchair, plus the swivel seats and padded armrests make for a comfortable ride. With 250 watt motors that carry up to 450 lbs, the Rascal power chairs make the perfect purchase for a senior citizen looking to get around town. When looking to buy a wheelchair look for ones that are lightweight, durable, and have extra padding. The lightweight wheelchairs are easier to push around and if you need to carry them over things like stairs it won't be a problem. Some even collapse down and fold up to store in compact areas. In terms of durability, we found that most wheelchairs have lifetime warranties on the frames themselves. Comfort is perhaps the #1 concern for those confined to using wheelchairs to get around. Swivel seats are great, padded armrests are nice, and comfortable seats will keep your rear end from getting sore. The wheel chair should have some sort of braking system - manual ones often have rear brakes to keep them in place while the mobility scooters have hand brakes when needed. Motorized wheelchairs are convenient and take the hassle out of having to push a manual chair around malls and supermarkets. I checked with our neighbors (the husband is a medical equipment salesperson and the wife is a nurse) to find out which wheelchair brands are the best. They mentioned top manufacturers are companies like Invacare, Quickie, Pride, Drive Medical, Medline, and NOVA. We also looked for wheelchair reviews on the Internet. Finding websites like Usatechguide.com, Spinlife.com, Edmond-wheelchairs.com, and Amazon.com. You can browse the top selling wheelchairs online here.