The best outdoor wheelchair is undoubtedly the one that is a best fit for the person, the environment they are in and the activities they want to pursue. Recently research has shown that being outdoors is good for your health.
It improves general mental and physical wellbeing. When we are outdoors it helps us connect to other people, that is why we should spend at least 2 hours a week outdoors. Greener areas are associated with less cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and asthma hospitalization.
Although there might be a perception that a wheelchair user might find certain outdoor activities challenging, another way of looking at it is that it is not necessarily the wheelchair user that is disabling but rather the environment they are in.
Therefore, it is important to choose the right type of outdoor wheelchair, as it may play a role in the engagement of an otherwise disabling environment. Making that right choice starts with the right assessment.
Work with a wheelchair professional to get the right wheelchair which is suitable for your activities, your posture, and your body type. The assessment should also take into consideration the type of outdoor life you want. Maybe you want to sail, explore forests, ski, or scale mountains.
Or maybe you are more interested in something closer to home like the local arboretum or the park. When working with a wheelchair assessor, they should be asking you the following questions:
What Outdoor Activities Are You Interested In And Would Love To Do?
When answering this do not limit your range of activities from the get-go. There are tons of activities to choose from.
How Often Do You Plan On Performing Your Activities?
Do you plan on going hiking or paragliding every weekend? Then you will need specialized equipment. However, if you are not planning on having these activities very often, then perhaps you might be best suited for a wheelchair that can cover a variety of activities.
Where Do You Want To Wander To?
If you like exploring places that are narrow or wander through stylish neighborhoods, you might want to go for something that is compact and stylish. If you want to travel through rugged uneven terrain, then you will need good a wheelchair with good shock absorption.
How Are You Planning On Getting There?
Will you arrive by train, plane or car?
Tell Me More About The Activity
Do you need a quiet chair that is also speedy? Then go for a wheelchair with a higher maximum speed. If you are looking for a more of a stylish wheelchair that can cover a large area during the day, then a wheelchair with an extended driving range might be perfect.
To assess what we need can only be good if the questions we ask can determine the needs of the user and what their preferences are. Think of more questions you can answer and come to a much better assessment of your needs.