Most Common Types Of Wheelchairs For Elderly

A wheelchair is a medical accessory that is basically used by people with certain types of disabilities, which disabilities put the necessity of a permanent or long-lasting patient’s sitting position. Sometimes, the diagnosis isn’t the one that settles the need for a wheelchair, but what it does is the convenience for the injured person, as well as its overweight.

In all cases, a wheelchair is as common as the crutches when choosing the right approach for comfortable mobility a disabled person needs. It has passed through a significant advance over the years and the progress of medicine.

As a result of the progress, these days we can meet a large variety of wheelchairs depending on two main classifying criteria – who’s going to use it and why he or she is going to use it. If taking the first criterion, the wheelchairs for elderly seem to be some of the most general wheelchairs these days.

Light Manual WheelchairSuper strong ultra-lightweight magnesium alloy frameWeight - Supports users up to 220 lbs.;
Seat width - 17.5 inches;
Heavy Duty / Bariatric Foldable WheelchairsDual, reinforced steel cross bracesWeight - Supports users up to 450 lbs.;
Seat width - 22 inches.
Customized WheelchairsUltra lightweight;
a high - strength frame;
Customized to your specifications.PRICING
Modern Portable Wheelchairs Very compact and neat after foldedWeight - Supports users up to 330 lbPRICING
Power WheelchairsATX Active-Trac Suspension with Extra StabilityMaximum stabilityPRICING
Reclining WheelchairsHydraulic reclining mechanism that allows for infinite adjustments up to 180 degreesDimensions of the seat is 16 x 23 x 20.5 inches and the seat height is 20.5 inchesPRICING
2 in 1 Wheelchair Can be converted to a transport wheelchair by simply flipping the backrest over and attaching the footrests to the front.Weight - Supports users up to - 136 kgs / 294 lbs;
Seat width - 44cm / 17″

Though, if taking the second criterion in a company with this first one, we might list lots of types of wheelchairs for the elderly. These different types come with different strong and weak points. On the other side, they vary as to the price, the level of comfort they bring for the patient, the design and even the status of innovation technology they come with.

The most common types of wheelchairs for the elderly represent our today’s significant topic. We are going to review them all with an informative purpose. Understanding their nature, extras, disadvantages and even basic functions you will eventually be prepared for making your final decision in the store or when shopping online.

Because this decision, by all means, isn’t just a regular consumer decision what’s the best product and where it is sold at the best price. The decisions that concern our health or even our relative’s health are always emotional. And sober information could be always a good adviser for your consumer journey.

What exactly the wheelchairs for elderly are?

A wheelchair for elderly isn’t just a wheelchair suitable for older people. Sometimes, an old patient might be more interested in a traditional not-related to the recommended age of use model.

And vice versa – there are a few cases when a middle-aged patient could feel better in a wheelchair for elderly. Understanding what a wheelchair is for the elderly is the key to your final choice.

In general, elderly people need specialty wheelchairs for the elderly in lots of cases. Usually, it is only about chronic pains or diseases with tolerable symptoms that provoke the disability of constant standing and moving.

A person that is advanced in years might even not be sick or diagnosed with anything, but still in a need of wheelchairs for the elderly.

Many people look for a wheelchair for their elderly parent, or grandparent to make sure they will keep being mobile even when kids are not at home to assist them.

When the advanced age is accompanied by a certain disease, though, the wheelchair for elderly should be with additional functions and extras.

Yet, all wheelchairs for the elderly should be, by all means, easy to be used both: at the outdoors and in the indoors. Plus – the instrument should be simple and light enough for getting out and in the house. Wheelchairs for the elderly can make visiting outside the home or a road trip safer and easier, too.

How does the standard wheelchair for elderly looks like?

We will try to name you the top specifics a wheelchair for elderly always comes with. Indeed, there are lots of different models and designs out there (including brands and origins). However, there are several typical characteristics a wheelchair for elderly always comes with:

  •  Always easy to be used – because not all old people have someone by their side all time to support and assist them. Even if the patient has a kid, a grandkid, friend, neighbor or a professional healthcare assistant around, the wheelchair is always better to be simple for usage for them, too.
  • Truly light in weight – because elder people become weaker within the years. And because, those who take care of them, need the comfort of flexible movements and activity with the patients on the wheelchairs, too.
  • Almost in all cases foldable. Or in other words, a wheelchair for elderly is in 99% not rigid. The foldable models are more recommended as the elder patients need more easiness in using, alternative for simple storage and a chance to travel and enjoy their lives!

Here are the top common types of wheelchairs for elderly you should consider

Now, let’s try to go further in details. We will review for you the most common types of wheelchairs for the elderly, which…worth it to be considered.

Note that there’s a possibility for the most modern model to be everything else, but not suitable for the user. This is why you should embark the selection of the concrete wheelchair with an individual approach.

Light manual wheelchair

The good thing about this wheelchair is that it’s light enough to be used even individually. However, the manual mechanism might be a big disturb to those with mobility issues. Severe pain or fast tiring out might become obstacles for using this type of wheelchair for elderly comfortably.

Yet, many elder users prefer the light manual wheelchair especially if they will use it for a long period. It’s because the model is very budget-friendly, plus – stable, solid and stout.

The average weight of the light manual wheelchair for elderly is 15-45 pounds. They don’t have additional extras, but the option to use it personally is a big advantage, no doubts.

 Heavy duty or bariatric foldable wheelchairs for elderly

Users with overweight or weight above the standards for the specific age will prefer the heavy duty or the bariatric wheelchairs for the elderly. Yet, to make sure the model is suitable enough for your grandparent, patient or relative, make sure it’s foldable.

The extra of folding the wheelchair with ease is a great thing when it comes to maximum mobility that goes beyond the standard walks around the house. Users who love traveling might use the wheelchair of bigger size with simply when it’s able to be folded.

Basically, the bariatric wheelchairs for elderly costs nearly the average one, but if the folding mechanism is extra simple (with a single click, for instance), it might be a bit more expensive.

 Custom / customized wheelchairs for elderly

These specific wheelchairs are not distinguished by their weight or size. Moreover – folding isn’t the most recommended and desired function for them. It’s because the custom wheelchair is designed for patients with special needs.

The customized wheelchairs are made for elder people with certain health issues. In most cases, the diagnosis or chronic disease prevents them from normal mobility or a lack of it. A traditional example is the heart attack after which the patient is not able to self-propel. A customized model will help the patient keep its normal lifestyle at a maximum.

Note, though, that almost all custom wheelchairs for the elderly are expensive. They also require some time to wait to receive them. Many manufacturers of such wheelchair models produce products specifically according to the patient’s needs, size, weight, diagnosis, preferences, and lifestyle.

The good news is that eventually and after paying that higher price, the elder person receives a truly comfortable, compatible and suitable for his or her needs wheelchair.

 Modern portable wheelchairs for elderly


These models are not exactly the folding wheelchairs or the lightweight wheelchairs. Although, the modern portable wheelchairs might be accompanied by these options, too – folding option and the little weight.

The specific thing in this type of a wheelchair that distinguishes it by the rest is the possibility to reassemble and assemble it. In addition to this, the portable wheelchair is a modification of a traditional wheelchair as it comes without some standard pieces or parts.

Traditionally, the portable wheelchairs for the elderly are recommended for users who are able to move without the chair all the time. The model is comparatively new on the market, which is why it is still listed at a high price.

Power wheelchairs for elderly


Power or the motor wheelchairs for the elderly come with one general advantage – it moves by itself. The user put into exploitation no or minimum efforts. This is why the power/motor wheelchair for elderly is the basic top choice for disabled patients.

However, this is also a good option for elder people without a permanent helper or assistant nearby. It’s because the motor wheelchairs don’t require someone to push them. To move around the patient doesn’t struggle at all, either.

Ok, but how does the motor wheelchair for elderly actually works? It moves through a control pad or joystick featured on the armor frame of the chair.

You might be now guessing that such a device costs a lot. Well, it is not necessary. As a matter of fact, there are manual wheelchairs out there that might cost several times more than a standard and reputable motor model. In this case, what might increase the cost of any of these model types is the design or even the brand.

Reclining wheelchairs for elderly

Here’s one new innovation in the market for wheelchairs for the elderly! The revolutionary thing in this type of a wheelchair is the possibility for maximum adjustment.

The reclining wheelchairs are made in a way to let the body position and adjust in the most comfortable and suitable posture. This is what no other wheelchairs can offer. A user can be tilted back, and this is a lot more than just about comfort.

The reclining wheelchairs for the elderly are amazing options as they avoid problems with circulation, which are the top problems occurring in case of disability or disturbed mobility.

Swelling and edema symptoms can be also prevented.

Last, but not least if you are ready to pay the big price (and indeed, it’s bigger than for the standard models) for a reclining wheelchair, the transfer from the wheelchair to the bed, for instance, is also easier.

2 in 1 wheelchair for elderly

Our last reviewed common type of a wheelchair for elderly is also an innovation, which though becomes more and more popular these days.

The 2 in 1 wheelchairs for the elderly represent a completely new trend in the market – the idea to make the transportation easier without reducing the benefits of the models without the option for a simpler transfer.

There are many 2 in 1 models which can be used as a transport wheelchair and a rollator. What makes this a great option is a quick ability to switch between a chair and a rollator.

Now, when you know the options you’ve got you can select the right common type of a wheelchair for elderly with ease – whether you are going to use it, or you are doing the selection for a close person of yours. Please, never forget to consult your final decision with your therapist or a medical specialist.

The expert infield is going to approach your case individually and will make corrections in your intentions for specific future activities or plans. This is how you will keep your freedom and independence both: in a comfort and in maximum safety for your or your close person’s health. 

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