Used Wheelchairs are a viable option for:
- those who do not have the funds available to purchase a new chair
- those who wish to save money and utilize additional funds for other pieces of adaptive equipment (i.e. portable wheelchair ramps, or a second type of chair such as a transport chair)
- those who wish to use a model or type of chair that is no longer being manufactured
- those who are environmentally-conscious and wish to re-purpose a pre-owned chair
Tips for purchasing your Used Wheelchair: Talk to your primary care physician and physical therapist/occupational therapist about the right type of wheelchair for your needs. A specialized fitting by a physical or occupational therapist (or a licensed wheelchair technician provided by a mobility shop) is ideal.
- Be sure to speak with an insurance representative and/or contact Medicare and Medicaid to ascertain whether your used wheelchair purchase may be partially or fully covered by these providers.
- Learn as much as possible about the type of used wheelchair you are considering for purchase. For more information on the various types of wheelchairs available, see our posts on: Electric Wheelchair, Quickie Wheelchair, Mobility Scooters For Sale and Lightweight Wheelchairs.
- Talk to friends or co-workers who may have a similar wheelchair. Ask them if they would recommend a similar chair.
- If cost is a major factor in your purchasing decision, consider that certain types of chairs (i.e. battery-powered/electric wheelchairs/mobility scooters will likely cost more to run and own over the long term (taking into account energy costs, battery replacements and parts and repairs.)
- Check the used wheelchair carefully for wear and tear; examine each part of the chair for any damage.
- Consider your future plans when you consider a chair. (For example, if you are planning on a move to a rainy climate in the near future, an electric wheelchair may not be the right choice for you.)
- Research the additional adaptive equipment you may require after your wheelchair purchase. For example, when you purchase a used chair, you may require a new (or used) Portable Wheelchair Ramp.
Other important notes:
- It is safest to purchase your used wheelchair from a mobility shop or an authorized online dealer. In doing so, you will have the assurance of a professional inspection.
- Comfort and correct fit is essential when it comes to a used wheelchair; do not hesitate to ‘shop around’ for the chair that will best suit your body type and meet your specific needs.
- Warranties on previously-owned adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs are non-transferable; you will likely need to purchase your own coverage for your used wheelchair.
- If you have a Used Wheelchair that you no longer use, do investigate (via Google, Wikipedia) the various options for donation and re-purposing. Your former wheelchair may be exactly what another person needs!