If you or a loved one has recently become wheelchair bound, then it may be a good choice to purchase a wheelchair van for transportation purposes. Before you rush off to get a van though, you need to understand that there are different options available to you. Ask yourself the following questions before getting the van.
Will You Transport the Wheelchair?
If you are concerned about transporting your loved one, then you will want a general transport van. This means that you or someone else will drive the vehicle and the wheelchair will ride in the passenger area. If this is the case, then you will need to take key dimensions to make sure the van is a suitable for your loved one. Key dimensions include the height of the individual while sitting in the wheelchair. The width and length of the chair need to be considered as well and so does the weight of your loved one while seated in the chair.
Not only do dimensions need to be considered, but you will need to think about mobility issues in terms of how your loved one will get in and out of the van and be able to move around when inside. For example, you may need a larger space if the wheelchair bound person has little strength and needs assistance to be shifted around.
Finally, if your loved one would like to be the one driving the van, then this is a completely different situation with an adaptive driver setup. If this is desired, then your family member will need to work with a driver rehabilitation specialist and will need to garner an adaptive driver's license.
Where Will You Park the Wheelchair?
Wheelchair vans are meant to be used in a variety of situations and circumstances. However, you will need to consider the main uses of the van and where and how it will be parked in the majority of situations. This will help to determine whether a side or back load device is best for your loved one's situation. For example, if you want to park the can in a garage, then it is best to but a back loading vehicle. If you want to load from a ramp, then a side loading one will be more convenient.
Keep in mind that van do some with both electronic and manual ramps. The ramp system will depend on your overall budget as well as the strength and mobility of your love one.