Different Types of Wheelchairs For Elderly

Types of Wheelchairs For Elderly
Types of Wheelchairs For Elderly

Wheelchairs for the elderly can be necessary as seniors have special needs. Seniors often need a chair that is narrow and can fit into narrow spaces like doorways. Seniors may also have an issue exercising their hands and arms, and will prefer a wheelchair with armrests to make maneuvering more comfortable.

Wheelchairs for the elderly need to be stable, and easy to use. These special wheelchairs are different from a regular wheelchair, in that they are much easier to use for the elderly. Elderly people can have weaker muscles which make it difficult to move about with a normal wheelchair.

There are many wheelchair designs for the elderly. Many of the wheelchairs on the market will offer you style, comfort, and safety, so it can be hard to choose a chair that your loved one can use comfortably. Some wheelchairs have been designed specifically with elderly users in mind.

Today there are several types of wheelchairs designed for the elderly disabled that provide increased stability and safety, fitting into vehicles easier.

In this article, we will be talking about the type of wheelchairs recommended for the elderly or people with special needs to use.

Types of Wheelchairs For Elderly –  Complete Guide

There is a wide range of wheelchairs available in the market. There are also a few different types of wheelchairs for the elderly based on their usage. They can be categorized as follows:

Manual wheelchairs:

These are amongst the most popular wheelchair types for the elderly. These are user-propelled using arms and legs, designed to make movement easier by allowing you to stand upright.

Electric wheelchairs

One of the best pieces of equipment for easy movement and covering longer distances are electric wheelchairs. It is a good option for people who are able to walk with a little help, but whose condition has deteriorated to the extent that they cannot participate in day-to-day functions on their own.

Power wheelchairs

Powered wheelchairs are chairs that have been designed especially for people who are severely disabled. This type of wheelchair offers automatic movement and a power steering facility to enable easier control over the chair.

Transport wheelchairs

These are the chairs meant for people who have difficulty standing or walking. They are best suited to be used on short walks, outings, and transportation from one place to another. The mobility of a person is not hindered when using this wheelchair.

Folding wheelchairs

Folding wheelchairs can be carried around easily for traveling. It helps in easy storage and is used by people who travel a lot.

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Tilt and recliner wheelchairs

These are recommended for people who need help to maintain an upright position. They are best used by people who cannot sit without support. It is useful in reducing the pain and discomfort of arthritis.

Rehabilitation wheelchairs

These are chairs that can be adjusted according to the needs of the disabled person. This can provide comfort, safety, and increased independence to the patient for day-to-day activities.


These types of wheelchairs are ideal if the patient has partial use of legs, but is not able to stand up on his own. It enables you to walk by propping your upper body and helps in blood circulation. These can also be used alongside a wheelchair.

Wheelchairs with seat

These are chairs that come with a detachable seat. This is another good option for people who get tired easily or have difficulty standing for long periods of time.

What are the Features of Best Wheelchair for Elderly?

As people age, their health may begin to decline, and they may have more need of medical equipment such as a wheelchair. Wheelchairs can help those who suffer from arthritis, or older people who haven’t fully recovered from an injury or surgery get around easier. Some wheelchairs for the elderly offer features that allow the user to be more comfortable and make moving the wheelchair easier

Taking into consideration all the factors, here is a list of features that you need to look at while buying.


Many people assume that all wheelchairs are similar in size and design. However, there are different types of wheelchairs based on the user’s height, weight, and body type. It is important that your wheelchair is a perfect fit for you.


A wheelchair with good caster wheels and sturdy construction will be easy to lift and handle even when full of luggage. If you are someone who likes traveling or going out, look at the lighter options available in the market. A lighter wheelchair will provide you with easier access to a car or any public transport.


A wheelchair should be easily adjustable to suit your needs and requirements. The height of the back, footrests, armrests, and seat can be safely adjusted as per your need so that everything is in a comfortable position for you.


The wheelchair is a long-term investment and therefore it is important to consider the price aspect as you buy. However, it is not advisable that you go for the cheapest option available in the market. Make sure that buy something which offers good value for your money.


High-quality wheelchair lasts longer than cheaper options available on the market. It is important to check the quality and durability of a product before you buy it.

Ease of use

Look for options that are easily movable, have comfortable armrests, and back support, and can be shifted from one place to another without much effort.


If you are someone who likes sitting in an upright position, then a wheelchair with a headrest is recommended for you. Similarly, if you are someone who likes to recline or be at an angle, there are options available in the market that will suit your needs and requirements.


Wheelchairs are either bucket seats or split cushion seats. Bucket seats have thick foam padding whereas split cushion seats have thin padding. Similarly, there are various options available for materials that can be used for the cushioning of your wheelchair.

Padded armrests

These help you move around easily as they provide support to your hands and arms. They are also helpful in reducing fatigue as they reduce wrist pressure. There are many different types of armrests available, such as sliding armrests or swing-away armrests.


Wheelchair glides are another feature that can be looked at while buying a wheelchair. They help in easy mobility as they have rubber wheels. These are designed in a way that they can move on most surfaces without any trouble and these rubber wheels are extremely durable and lightweight.


The wheelchair is available with two main types of wheels – rigid or swivel casters. Rigid casters do not move around but have the advantage that they can be easily replaced if there is some damage whereas swivel ones give easy mobility by rotating at a 360-degree angle.


The wheelchair has two types of brakes parking brakes and dynamic brakes. Dynamic brakes are more effective as they allow you to have full control over your speed while moving whereas parking brakes provide stability when the wheelchair is not in use.


The material used to upholster your wheelchair plays an important role in the durability, design, and overall weight of the wheelchair. Also, keep in mind that you will have to clean your wheelchair from time to time. So, do not forget to buy something that is easy to wash.


These are beneficial for those who want support for their thighs and legs. They help in reducing pressure on the back as well.


Wheelchairs have two types of suspensions spring and gel. Spring-based suspensions are very bulky but give you a smooth ride whereas gel offers more support.

Final Thoughts

Wheelchairs are an important part of the lives of many people suffering from physical disorders and injuries, as well as those who have disabilities or age-related conditions. In fact, even if you do not suffer from any kind of injury or disorder that restricts your movement, it is advisable to buy a wheelchair for seniors in case you experience a sudden muscle spasm or fall down. In such cases, you will not have to wait for an emergency service to come and pick you up. Buy a wheelchair now, as it can be a lifesaver in times of emergencies.

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