Finding the Right Wheelchair for Your Parent

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At first glance, purchasing a wheelchair for an older adult may seem like a fairly simple thing. A family caregiver just goes to a medical supply store and buys one, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of different kinds of wheelchairs to choose from as well as accessories. Which one is right for your family member depends on their particular needs. Choosing the right wheelchair can make the senior more comfortable and can also make the job of being a family caregiver a little easier.


Caregiver in Boca Raton FL: Wheelchair Options

Caregiver in Boca Raton FL: Wheelchair Options



Kinds of Wheelchairs

First, there are two main kinds of wheelchairs: manual and motorized. Motorized wheelchairs are more expensive than manual wheelchairs. Most older adults use manual wheelchairs, but a doctor can help you decide if a motorized chair would be better.

If you decide on a manual wheelchair, there are many kinds to choose from, such as:


-Standard: Standard wheelchairs are the most common kind. They have large back wheels and smaller front wheels. They can be pushed by an older adult if they have adequate upper body strength, or a caregiver can push the chair for them using the handles in the back.

-Lightweight: Lightweight wheelchairs are similar to standard chairs except that they weigh less, usually between 25 and 40 pounds. The advantage of lightweight chairs is that they are easier to lift in and out of a car and work well for people who travel.

-Tilt/Recliner: This kind of wheelchair has a back that reclines, making it useful for people who need at least two people to help them from the chair to another surface, like the bed or toilet.

-Transport Chairs: A transport chair has small wheels in the back and front, so it cannot be propelled by the older adult; it must be pushed by a caregiver. They are useful in indoor settings but don’t work well outdoors.



There are lots of accessories caregivers can purchase to make the wheelchair more comfortable. Some accessories to consider are:

    • Seat cushions.
    • Cushioned backrests.
    • Arm pads.
    • Seatbelts.
    • Wheels designed for the snow or the beach.
    • Removable Headrests.


Does Medicare Pay for Wheelchairs?

If your aging relative has Medicare Part B, a wheelchair may be at least partially covered. The wheelchair must be medically necessary, so the doctor will have to provide a written order for it. If Medicare approves the wheelchair, it is paid at 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount after the senior’s yearly deductible is met. To find out more about how Medicare coverage for wheelchairs works, visit or contact a Medicare representative.


If you or a family member are in need of a Caregiver in Boca Raton, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.
Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.




About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.