Medical Mondays - How to choose the right wheelchair


Just like shoes, it is important that a wheelchair fits the body type and size of the user without being too big or too small.  There are many things to consider when searching for comfort, pricing, and fulfilling daily needs of a wheelchair.  

There are two main types: Standard Wheelchairs and Transport Chairs.  

Standard Wheelchair

Standard Wheelchair

Standard Wheelchairs are self propelled by the user, meaning they have large rear wheels which are easier to push yourself.  They feature folding frames, swing-away foot rests, and armrests.  Standard wheelchairs are not for people with limited upper body strength or for people with breathing difficulties or high blood pressure.  Terrain can be a concern so consider your usual environment when purchasing a wheelchair.  Maneuvering on thick carpets for example will be slower than on wood or tiles.  Going uphill can be exhausting and going downhill is dangerous, be sure to take caution.  If the wheels get wet or dirty, your hands will get dirty also.  Your hands are vulnerable to injury from the wheels hence plan to wear fingerless gloves when moving around in this chair.  Standard wheelchairs can easily fold and fit in your car giving you total mobility.  

Transport Chair

Transport Chair

Transport Chairs, also known as push chairs or companion chairs, combine the function of a wheelchair with the portability of a rollator.  They are designed to be pushed by a caregiver or family member.  These chairs have small back wheels therefore cannot be operated by the person sitting in it, making it ideal for the needs of an occasional user.  Transport wheelchairs typically do not have as many options and come with a basic fabric and seat.  They do not offer customized pressure redistribution hence are not meant for individuals with seating needs.  Transport chairs do however have swing-away leg rests and fixed armrests.  Transport chairs are lightweight, and less effort is needed to push them.

Some wheelchair categories include:
•    Manual
•    Ergonomic
•    Lightweight
•    Transport
•    Standard
•    Recliner
•    Tilt
•    Active
•    Bariatric

If you live in Ontario, you may receive subsidization from the Assistive Devices Program.  Medical Mart offers a wide array of inventory of Medline wheelchairs.
Medical Mart welcomes you to try out wheelchairs and transport chairs to see which one suits your needs.  We are happy to teach you about weight, comfort, customization, pricing options and more.  Our professional team is available to answer your questions.  Be sure to ask about free delivery options.  Wheelchair and transport chairs are also available for rental should you need them for a short period of time.  

Visit Medical Mart for all your health care needs.  

Medical Mart Heartland Town Centre
Matheson Blvd. West, Unit 101, Mississauga ON L5R 4B8

Easily accessible by bus route 66 McLaughlin
(McLaughlin and Matheson)

Phone: (905) 624-2011
Toll Free: (800) 379-4780

Monday – Friday:  9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday:  10:00 am – 6:00 pm