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International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022: Is a Wheelchair or a Transport Chair Right for You?

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2022: Is a Wheelchair or a Transport Chair Right for You?

Choosing a mobility device can be overwhelming, especially if you or a loved one is a first-time user. There are many options available with different impacts on your utility, accessibility, and comfort. Wheelchairs and transport chairs are incredibly beneficial ambulatory devices, but the terms are often used so interchangeably that many people don't know what product might be best for them. Read on to learn the differences between wheelchairs and transport chairs!

The Best Mobility, Assistive, and Ambulatory Devices Available at Mountainside Medical Equipment 


Wheelchairs are a great long-term solution to maintaining independence despite mobility or stability issues. Defining features include:

  • Four wheels: two smaller front wheels and two larger rear tires, usually 18" to 24", that have rotating handrails.
  • Self-propelling: rotating handrails allow you to push yourself forward.
  • Assisted option: typically have handles on the back to allow another person to push you forward when needed.
  • Durability: reinforced steel construction provides heavy-duty stability for long-term use.
  • Comfort: a longer length of time sitting means that most wheelchairs have padded armrests, seats, and backs.
  • Braking system: typically have a push-lock wheel that locks the chair in place so you can get in and out of the chair safely.
  • Accessory options: many different attachable accessories are available, including cushions, oxygen attachments, trays, cup holders, and bags.

There is a wide range of wheelchair sizes available, including lightweight, folding models as well as wider, reinforced, bariatric models, so the above list only depicts the most common options. Some wheelchairs are designed for all-terrain travel for uneven ground, and some are even specially designed for playing sports like basketball.

Wheelchairs, being self-propelled, can help their user maintain independence without assistance from another person. For users who have difficulty pushing themselves due to arm weakness, fatigue, or disability, motorized wheelchairs are available. More advanced options may also include motorized positioning such as reclining seats or even chairs that lift the seat to a standing position.

 The Best Transport Chair Wheelchairs at Mountainside Medical Equipment

Transport Chairs

Transport chairs are a great option to ensure convenient mobility for travel, whether it's a long vacation or just a day outside the house. Defining features include:

  • Four small wheels: usually 8" to 12" in size. Typically the back wheels are fixed and the front wheels swivel.
  • Requires assistance: the smaller wheels are not self-propelling, so another person is necessary to push the chair.
  • Designed for convenience: their lightweight frames are usually foldable for easy storage and carry.
  • Maneuverability: their narrow frames allow for easy passage through most doorways, hallways, and aisles.
  • Braking system: usually equipped with brakes on the handles to allow the person pushing the chair more control in guiding it over uneven terrain.

If you live an active lifestyle but also live with people who can assist you regularly, a transport chair may be for you. They can easily be stored in a car trunk or backseat during travel, allowing easy trips with a loved one to stores, restaurants, or events.

 The Best in Assistive and Mobility Devices at Mountainside Medical Equipment

How to Choose Between a Wheelchair and Transport Chair

Now that we've looked at both types of chairs, you may still be wondering what suits you best. Even a single type of wheelchair or transport chair can have many different options tailored to you. You should always consult with a medical professional such as your primary care provider, but here are some questions that may help guide your selection process:

  • What environment do you need the chair for? How wide are the spaces you move in?
  • How active is your lifestyle? Would you like to travel or go outside with your chair often?
  • Do you live alone or with other people who can assist you?
  • Do you need assistance getting in or out of a vehicle? How about assistance getting in and out of a chair?

The Best Mobility, Assistive, and Ambulatory Devices Available at Mountainside Medical Equipment

Wholesale Medical Supplies Available at the Best Prices

Have you been to our storefront? Mountainside Medical Equipment offers wholesale medical supplies on a cash & carry basis. Get top brands for the highest quality assistive and mobility devices at the lowest prices right here!

Mountainside Medical Equipment’s storefront is located at 9266 Old River Road, Marcy, New York 13403. It’s open from Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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