How To Purchase A Used Wheelchair

Economic hard times have created a market for used, rather than new medical equipment including people needing a wheelchair. Because of the unique needs of each wheelchair user, special care needs to be considered before purchasing any used wheelchair. Most sources of used medical equipment including wheelchairs comes from family members who no longer need the equipment, thrift stores, retirement facilities and of course the on-line websites so prevalent on the internet today.

While these sources offer alternatives to the expense of a new wheelchair they do come with significant disadvantages namely lack of a warranty and the potential of not meeting the individual’s specific needs. Both of these issues can be a serious problem for the disabled person using the wheelchair. It’s critical prior to purchasing a used wheelchair to consult with the wheelchair users doctor, and if possible professionals such as physical therapists and caregivers to get their advice on the individual users needs.

Sometimes contacting the wheelchair users healthcare provider, insurance provider in conjunction with the users family member will allow the selection of the right wheelchair for each wheelchair users needs in daily life. The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 will sometimes provide financial assistance to disabled people needing medical equipment including used wheelchairs. In some instance even the wheelchair manufacturers will provide a warranty for a used wheelchair as well. Taking the time to research these options before buying a used wheelchair can provide a better buying experience and make sure that the individual using the chair has the equipment needed to help them live a better life.

Some of the things to consider when purchasing a used wheelchair are:

  • Size
  • Accessories
  • Condition
  • Fittings
  • Capabilities

Can the wheelchair meet the users needs? Is it too small or large? Can the wheelchair take the user indoors and out and can it move freely within the users home giving the disabled person a better life experience? Will the wheelchair have a warranty that can save money in the future if the wheelchair has repair needs? Many used wheelchairs do not have a transferable warranty and that can result in loss of use or even high repair expenses negating the benefit of the used wheelchair. Contacting healthcare facilities, medical equipment companies, assisted living and even hospitals can be the best source of a used wheelchair because the staff at those facilities have the knowledge and concern for the potential user to insure a better fit of wheelchair and disabled user.

While the used wheelchair may seem attractive initially, making sure the wheelchair is right for the disabled person is ultimately the most important factor. Take the time to find out if the wheelchair has a manufacturer will to offer a transferable warranty and making sure the wheelchair fits the needs of the disabled user are important issues that need to be considered before the purchase of any used wheelchair.

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