The simplest answer to the question “how much does a wheelchair cost?” is that wheelchairs will always cost at least $100, but can easily cost up $15,000.
But each user is unique, as are their requirements for daily life, for travel, for exercise or healthcare concerns. From a simple, self-propelled, standard wheelchair to a totally customized rehabilitation-based power chair, you can spend a widly different amount.
- The type of wheelchair that you purchase is the single biggest determining factor of the total cost.
- The most affordable type of wheelchair is the standard, manual wheelchair.
- A totally customized rehabilitation-based power chair is more expensive than standard wheelchairs.
- There are costs associated with wheelchairs beyond the initial sticker price you pay for the chair.
- Financial assistance is available to help individuals pay for wheelchairs.
How Much Does A Standard Wheelchair Cost?
Most manual wheelchairs can be purchased for between $100 and $500 at any reputable retailer. A standard wheelchair is the most affordable type, but the cost still varies a lot.
- Extra features can greatly increase the cost of a standard wheelchair.
- It’s often worth the additional cost to pay for comfort and healthcare features.
That cost depends on a number of factors, some of which you might expect – like the material used to create the wheelchair, the type of manual wheelchair you eventually buy, and the accessories included with your purchase. But there are other considerations buyers might not anticipate, like the numerous additional features that accompany a manual wheelchair.
A manual wheelchair is one that you move on your own without the assistance of electronics or other devices. Some are self-propelled and others are propelled by a companion. Some extra features that can cause the price of a manual wheelchair to increase include a recliner, which allows users to recline in their chairs. For people that spend all of their time sitting, this can be a crucial comfort and healthcare feature. Some manual wheelchairs are designed for sport-specific activities and locations like courts, tracks, and beaches. Still, other manual wheelchairs come with a built-in seat opening that allows users to use the toilet while seated. The type of manual wheelchair – or multiple wheelchairs – you choose will depend on your specific needs and abilities. As with any healthcare mobility decision, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor to determine which features may be the most beneficial and appropriate.
How Much Do Powered, Electric Wheelchairs Cost?
As a rule, powered (electric) wheelchairs significantly more expensive than manual wheelchairs. The entry-level cost for most powered wheelchairs is above $1,000, but the average cost of an electric wheelchair is closer to $3000 and expensive powered wheelchairs can easily cost $10,000 or more.
The least expensive powered models combine a mix of power and standard features, with two motors that drive either the mid wheels or the rear wheels, depending on the make and model. Joysticks are mounted by the armrest within hand’s reach so you can control the chair. As the price increases, so then does the number and type of function and features of a powered wheelchair.
A programmable power wheelchair or a power scooter lets users adjust almost all aspects of the chair performance, such as braking, speed, and tremor damping. Similarly, a power scooter comes with three or four wheels and a more spacious seating room.
Finally, users can pay top-dollar for a rehab power chair, which are built according to a user’s unique requirements.
The True Cost of Wheelchair Ownership
Once you have consulted your physicians and purchased the type of wheelchair that best fits your needs, there is very likely more spending to be done.
- There can be thousands of dollars in additional expenses related to owning a wheelchair.
- Supplemental items like batteries, cushions, and oxygen tank holders add to the cost of wheelchairs.
- Wheelchair-accessible vans are an important, related expense.
Wheelchair Accessory Costs
You still must determine and purchase the materials and equipment that allow you to incorporate your wheelchair into your daily life. There are numerous options and additions to consider for your wheelchair. There are supplemental items like batteries for powered chairs. What about cushions necessary for support, comfort, or even health-required stability? Some people may need upgraded pieces or parts for their wheelchairs like oxygen tank holders or fall-prevention straps.
The Cost of Wheelchair Vans
Perhaps most importantly, there is also the question of mobility beyond the wheelchair itself. Many wheelchair users will still drive or travel regularly, so the wheelchair-accessible vehicles are a virtual necessity.
Additionally, different types of wheelchairs interact with vehicles in different ways. For children or those who are passenger-only, there are seating systems, like Turny Evo Rotating Seat, that allow wheelchair users of differing ability the option to be transferred from a standard wheelchair into the vehicle. Others may find it more appropriate to convert an existing vehicle for wheelchair accessibility with the incorporation of a lift and securement system and hand controls for driving. And, of course, there are quite a few choices when it comes to vans and other specialized, wheelchair accessible vehicles. Through products like transfer seating and wheelchair lift systems to full-vehicle conversions or the purchase of totally wheelchair-accessible van, wheelchair users can find an enormous array of options – and the accompanying costs – to meet their needs.
Though the high-quality versions of these systems and vehicles can come at a premium, there are programs across the country – and here in Oklahoma – that offer assistance.
How To Pay For The Cost Of A Wheelchair
Wheelchair users and their families often face a set of conditions and costs that others never have to encounter. From the purchase and maintenance of wheelchairs to their accessories and requirements for suitable transportation, the cost curve can rise sharply.
However, there are numerous ways to find financial assistance in Oklahoma .
- The Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center (OATC) offers a wide range of support for wheelchair users.
- Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs can be a resource for elderly patients and veterans.