It might come a time when you might need renting a wheelchair for a while. There are different models including scooters and power chairs available within the market. You need to plan before you decide to rent a wheelchair. This can be easy for you if you know your options.
Types of wheelchairs
There are quite several wheelchairs within the market that you can rent. Their only difference lies in whether the wheelchair is motorized or not.
Deciding whether to rent a motorized or a non-motorized wheelchair is something that should be discussed between you and your doctor. Your medical team might choose a wheelchair that will require you to use much of your muscle strength to prevent muscle atrophy which is a condition involving thinning of the muscles due to lack of use. Normally it is required in case you had an injury or surgery and you are expected to recover and your condition to improve.
You find some of the wheelchairs fitted with strong back support that will help you with issues like scoliosis. This kind of wheelchair is good for someone with back muscle weakness.
If you are suffering from conditions that show episodic weakness signs such as multiple sclerosis or extreme inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIP), your medical team will customize your wheelchair to fit your medical needs each time the issue arises. Their decision on the type of wheel or customization will be based upon the state of your motor weakness.
Where can I rent a Wheelchair
If you decide to rent a wheelchair for your use or your loved one due to medical issues, then you will have to contact your insurance provider on which vendors to use. Normally insurance providers have contracts with suppliers and that means they will only pay wheelchair rentals that are from those only.
If you are discharged from the health facility or hospital, then the case manager can direct you to a vendor that is approved by your health insurance plan. Besides he may arrange for you to have a wheelchair as soon as you leave the hospital.
In case you do not have an insurance plan or a wheelchair is not covered by your insurance plan, then you can rent one from a local medical store near you.
Long Vs Short term rentals
You might need to rent a wheelchair for a day, or a week or even as long as a year. The costs of renting differ from one vendor to another and that includes the terms of rent. There are differences between renting a wheelchair for the short and long term. These are as follows:
- Cost: Normally renting a wheelchair for the long term is cheaper than for a short term. No matter whether the insurance is covering the costs, you might face limitations in your coverage or you might be required to pay a percentage of the renting cost.
- Contracts: When it comes to long term rentals you will be required to sign a contract while a day-long rental normally does not require one to sign a contract, though it might require you to make a security deposit.
- Selection: There are different varieties of wheelchairs to choose from especially when renting one for a long term rental. Besides vendors that offer long term rentals are likely to have other equipment such as power lifts and ramps and case, you need them.
What to consider before renting a wheelchair?
- Damage: You must make sure that you inspect the wheelchair to identify if it has any damage or mechanical issues. In case you identify any issues, immediately inform the vendor or else you might end up losing your security deposit.
- Comfortability and features: You can take the wheelchair out and take a test drive to make sure that it makes you feel as comfortable as you can. Besides test all the features which are listed on the manual to make sure that they are in full operation.
- Convenience: Often you will need to transport your wheelchair in case you are moving from one location to another that requires you to use car transport or train. In this case, you will need a wheelchair that can be easily transported. Some of the wheelchairs can be folded and easily transported. If you think you will be traveling often make sure that you put this into consideration.
- Exchangeability: You might consider asking your vendor if their policy allows exchanging the wheelchair to another mode whenever needed without any extra charges.
Renting vs. buying a wheelchair
Each of the two has its pros and cons and below we will go through them both:
- Cost: Before you decide on renting a wheelchair or scooter you must be aware of the total cost involved as well as the security deposit. Normally buying your wheelchair is cheaper than renting one. Sometimes renting a wheelchair for a week can cost the same amount as buying one.
- Adaptability: In case you have medical problems that keep changing and you need to keep changing the models of wheelchairs, then renting will be the best option for you.
- Familiarity: Adapting to a new wheelchair might take some time and once you are familiar with it you might want to keep it.
Ho to find wheelchair rental when you travel
When you are away from home and you need a wheelchair, you can try using resources such are travel agents, hotels and airports. These will help to direct you to vendors that can rent or sell one to you. In case you are not traveling to your destination or if you are just traveling for leisure with friends and families then you have to make your research through local resources and thus making your arrangements
- Air travel: You can reserve or rent a wheelchair in advance when traveling via the airport. You will have to call airport customer care services, or you can reserve one through your airline. Besides you can even get an escort to help you move around. All these will cost you but the prices are minimal or there are no costs for those with disabilities.
- Hotel: You may be able to make some arrangements and have a wheelchair ready at your arrival in case you are checking in a hotel or vacation rental home.
- Travel agent: You can contact your travel agent to have your wheelchair ready at your destination once you get there.
- Tourist destination: Normally tourist destinations such as amusement parks and museums have guest wheelchairs waiting for any guest in need. You can make a call and make sure that you have one waiting.
Making your arrangements: You can decide to make your research and find vendors who are renting wheelchairs and other mobility aids. This will give you a chance to go through several options and find one that fits your needs.