Picking The Best Wheelchair For An Elderly Person

Choosing a wheelchair for an elderly person is a huge undertaking and the fact that there’s a sea of options doesn’t make the decision any easier. It is important to pick the right wheelchair for the senior’s needs and wants as they will be spending a lot of their time sitting on it. In this article, we will give you all the vital information you need to make the right decision. 


Types Of Wheelchairs Available For The Elderly

Most senior members tend to have limited mobility that affects the kind of wheelchair they may need. Some may operate the wheelchair by themselves, while others may need help. Some may need it for temporary use, while others may require it as a permanent, everyday solution.

Given that every individual has slightly varying needs, you may want to go through the common types. Following is a basic overview of the different types of wheelchairs.


1. Standard Manual Wheelchairs

This is the first option you’ll consider when picking a wheelchair for your elderly loved one. Standard manual wheelchairs are great for both independent seniors and those who are being looked after by a loved one or a nurse.


2. Heavy Duty Manual Wheelchairs

These are ideal for the elderly who require additional support from the mobility device. Heavy-duty manual wheelchairs are designed to fit wider or taller individuals and usually have a maximum weight capacity of about 300 kilos. 


3. Lightweight Manual Wheelchairs

These are designed to fold and move easily. They are narrower compared to conventional wheelchairs, allowing them to move easily in tight indoor spaces and narrow hallways. They also have a lighter frame and can fit in most cars, and are thus transport friendly. 

Picking Best Wheelchair Elderly Person

4. Ultra-weight Manual Wheelchairs

These weigh as little as 5 kilos and are excellent for elderly people who don’t need to travel quite as often. They are not as sturdy as their counterparts and therefore not recommended for heavier people. 


5. Electric Wheelchairs

Also referred to as power chairs, electric wheelchairs are excellent for seniors with limited upper-body mobility. They offer extra independence on longer excursions as they don’t need to be propelled by the user or pushed by a companion. Electric wheelchairs also come in the form of heavy-duty, lightweight, and ultra-weight. Following are some important factors to consider when choosing a wheelchair for an elderly person.

The User’s Mobility

Senior members with severely limited mobility may choose an electric wheelchair as they need less upper mobility to operate compared to the standard type. Powered chairs can also be an ideal option for seniors who don’t have a caregiver to help them manoeuvre all the time. 

On the other hand, seniors who are still relatively mobile and are able to stand for extended periods may be fine with a standard wheelchair or a walker. 


When picking a wheelchair, it is imperative to factor in the weight of both the user and the chair. Heavier users may need heavy-duty wheelchairs that are tip-resistant and designed to support larger individuals. 


This is another vital aspect when it comes to picking a wheelchair. The best chair is one that provides maximum support and ample cushioning. A wheelchair that is designed using high-quality materials is bound to be more comfortable than one with sub-par construction. 

Also, it is advisable to consider ample foot room, armrest and leg rest functions like arms that flip back, allowing the user to easily roll up to a dinner table or desk. 


There’s a lot to consider when picking the best type of wheelchair for an elderly individual. Ensure you keep all the points above in mind to ensure you make the best decision.

If you are looking for independent daily living and mobility aids, call Get About Mobility today on 1300 168 902 or leave an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.