Power Wheelchairs

Seating and Positioning

Selecting a Wheelchair

To select a wheelchair, start with the person needing it: their needs, daily routines, lifestyle and height, weight and body measurements. Evaluations by a physician, occupational therapist or physiotherapist may be required by a reimbursement source such as private health insurance, as a condition for payment.

Occasionally, physicians can write a detailed prescription, but usually they refer their patient to a rehabilitation professional (like an OT or a PT). This professional takes the lead in helping to determine exactly what kind of wheelchair is right for you. They are skilled at assessing the user's strengths and limitations. They are somewhat familiar with the brands and categories of wheelchairs that match your needs. A medical equipment retailer, such as Valley Medical Supply should be involved: they work with wheelchairs every day. Products are constantly changing, and your supplier is able to best identify desired features or limitations of each model.

If you will be spending long periods of time in your wheelchair or if you have specific posture needs, then your needs may include a pressure relieving or posture cushion, a solid seat or back, brake extensions, special push rims, a one-arm drive, or, and this is very common, low to the floor seat height to enable pushing with the feet.

Valley Medical can provide full details.

Many wheelchairs offer seat angle adjustability; wheel adjustment on the horizontal plane to stabilize, improve maneuverability, or accommodate foot propulsion; back height adjustment; seat height adjustment to accommodate varying cushion heights, armrest height adjustment and so on. Valley Medical Supply can assist with product selection.

A basic, good quality wheelchair for someone without special needs, and without the prospect of future, changing needs can sell for as little as $4-600. A chair with features to deal with special or changing needs ranges from $1300 to $3900.
A basic wheelchair cushion can be as inexpensive as $85. A cushion for more regular use can cost $100 to $200. Cushions for special needs range from $350-$700.

Solid or adjustable upholstery seat backs for special needs range from $200 to $800.

Call us at 492-7221 or (1-800-665-8258) and we will work with you, or your therapist, to select the most desirable product. We provide assistance in evaluation, selection and post delivery adjustments at no cost.

For information on wheelchairs, please link to the following manufacturers;

Invacare Canada

Pride Mobility

Motion Composites - A Canadian Company