When Do You Need A Wheelchair? [Step By Step Guide 2021]

If you have multiple sclerosis or have a severe fracture, chances are you’re considering getting a wheelchair. Moving around can be a big issue if you have such a problem where the lower body cannot function well. Not every time it’s necessary to go for a wheelchair, crutches, walkers, or sticks also could be enough. However, there are times when a wheelchair can become the most necessary mobility support. 

Furthermore, there are situations where you may think you can go for a wheelchair, but the NHS may not think so. There are times when you don’t need a wheelchair; instead, other placements will cut it. So, you must know when you need a wheelchair and when you shouldn’t make the investment. Stick to the article to get through the reasons why and when do you need a wheelchair.

Why Use a Wheelchair?

You never know when you will get into an accident or a severe injury that may require you to get external help to move around. If you encounter a severe injury where you need a wheelchair to move around, your doctor will prescribe you accordingly. On the other hand, if you have a disability from the beginning, you may get prescribed a wheelchair anyway. 

when do you need a wheelchair

Mobility impairments like orthopedic problems related to your disabled muscles or bone abnormalities will require you to put yourself on a wheelchair, walker, or mobility scooter. Problems like paralysis, amputations, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, or multiple sclerosis also require you to get a wheelchair.

When Do You Need a Wheelchair?

Apart from the obvious reasons like accidental leg dismantle or cut, there are other reasons you may need a wheelchair. Here are the reasons and situations when do you need a wheelchair as a mobility helper: 

When Do You Need a Wheelchair

Spinal injuries

When your doctor prescribes a wheelchair, the most common situation is when you have a spinal injury. If you have a spinal cord injury, disabilities, other fractures in the area, you must use a wheelchair. Spinal cord injuries often lead you to different impairments or paralysis and other severe problems. If you have quadriplegia, you’ll lose your body’s functionality below the neck, including arms, back, and legs. You’ll need a multi-functional, standing wheelchair in these situations to move around. 

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is also a common disability that may require you to use a wheelchair to move. Almost 800,000 people are suffering from this problem in the US alone! They have symptoms of cerebral palsy on different levels, from mild to severe and severe issues. This problem will affect your motor and brain functioning, where it may even damage your brain. You will struggle with oral motor dysfunctionality, especially the coordination system. In these cases, try to get a power wheelchair that takes no physical effort to move

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a common and well-known term, which is a type of dementia. Your brain will face dysfunctions in keeping memory, behavioural changes, and thought processes. It’s a progressive problem with almost no treatments so far to cure the patient potentially. Here, age becomes the biggest risk factor in most cases to develop the problem. The progressive symptoms grow worse as you grow older in stages with more difficulties at the movement. Once your body goes out of control, you need to get in a wheelchair to move around.


The amputation is a situation where a surgeon makes the removal of a part or limb out of your body. It can be your foot, hand, leg, or even a finger or toe, and so on; getting a wheelchair in that situation depends on how severe the problem is. If you have to get through a severe organ removal that gives you a permanent or partial disability, getting a wheelchair can be an option. Amputations that involve your feet and legs may put you on a mobility impairment, and you cannot move without help. Artificial limbs may become a good or even better alternative to the wheelchair, though, if you can effort one. 

Multiple Sclerosis

MS disease or multiple sclerosis is a widely common reason why you may end up needing to get in a wheelchair. In this situation, your body’s immune system will negatively target your central nervous system. It may result in a serious problem in your spinal cord, optic nerves, and the brain and damage them enough to lead you to a disability. If you have MS disease, the doctor will surely prescribe you to get on a wheelchair for mobility. You will make a better decision if you go for a standing wheelchair to fight the difficulties.

Benefits of Wheelchair

Wheelchairs are the tools that help the disabled and the people in need. Here are the most beneficial aspects of using a wheelchair as your mobility tool:

Benefits of Wheelchair

  • The main benefit of having a wheelchair is that you can now move around! As you grow old and get stuck inside your home, a wheelchair can help you get outside and move.
  • Independence is the key benefit of getting a wheelchair because you can now move on your own. Nobody has to assist you with movement from here to there if you ride a wheelchair. 
  • If you have difficulties walking, using a wheelchair will lessen your pain and strain in the movement as you’re not using your lower body. 
  • A disability or weakness in your legs or the spinal area will take you a lot of time and energy to take one step ahead; you can avoid that with a wheelchair.
  • Ensuring movement safety is a great concern if you have difficulties with the movement. If you have a wheelchair, you can move around, not only quicker but also safer. 
  • With a wheelchair, you’re free from the uncomfortable, stuck situation at home. You can go out, stretch a little, look around, breathe healthier, and enjoy activities with others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about getting wheelchairs that you should know before you go for one:

How long does a wheelchair last?

In general, a wheelchair will last about 5 years or more if you take good care of the chair. The lifespan depends on how frequent you’re using it because the usage decays it.

Do I need a prescription for a wheelchair?

To get a wheelchair, you will need an evaluation from a therapist or a clinician. Before that, you have to consult a doctor, and the doctor will prescribe you a wheelchair if you need one.

Does insurance pay for a wheelchair?

Yes, the Medicare insurance (Part B) will cover the cost of your wheelchair or a power scooter. However, you will need a written order to state that you need such a device from your doctor.

Final Thought

If you’ve been wondering, When do you need a wheelchair, the answer is that there are countless reasons to develop a need for a wheelchair. Problems like paraplegia, quadriplegia refer you to disabilities to your body under the neck, especially the lower body.

As I mentioned in the article, you must consult your doctor and diagnose the problem properly and try to get rid of it. Meanwhile, you will get the extra support and mobility with the wheelchair you’re getting. Wheelchairs are not any luxury products that you can ignore if you want to when needed. Instead, it’s great to support your body if you have a legit reason.

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