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What Should I Do with My Old Wheelchair?

Whether you upgrade your wheelchair once every five years, have a change in condition, a child that has outgrown their equipment, or a loved one who no longer needs equipment, you’re probably wondering what you should do about the old equipment. Should you keep it, donate it, sell it, or return it? There are a lot of different options to considered and they all depend on your unique needs and circumstances. In this article we’ll go over the various options you have when it comes to getting rid of your old wheelchair. Then on November 15th for America Recycles Day, you can take part in disposing of your wheelchair should you feel the need to.

Should You Keep or Get Rid of Your Old Wheelchair?

This depends on a lot of different factors. If you have a manual or standard wheelchair, it’s recommended to donate it to others who might be in need, unless you can find a future use for it. However, if you have a power wheelchair or a complex wheelchair that is tailored to your specific need, you’ll need consider if donating your chair will be beneficial or harmful to who you may be passing it down to.

Customized chairs are typically built with the specific user’s needs in mind and passing that chair down to someone who does not fit those needs could end up being more harmful than good. For example, the height and width of wheelchairs are usually built around that user’s body composition, and if the next user doesn’t fit the same height and width, it can cause more bodily injuries. Not to mention if the chair isn’t fitted to your home, navigating your home to complete simple tasks such as toileting or eating could become increasingly difficult.

If you feel your wheelchair may not be able to assist someone else in need, you can always consider donating its spare parts to be used in another wheelchair. If you managed to keep your chair in good condition over the 5-year life span, you may consider donating parts such as battery chargers, batteries, controls, or other electronic parts.

Where to Recycle/Donate Your Old Wheelchair

As we stated earlier, November 15th is America Recycles Day, this day is a nationally recognized holiday to promote all types of recycling nationwide. Not only do we want to promote recycling of consumables but to also promote the benefits of recycling wheelchairs and their parts.

Something most people might not know is that it is highly encouraged to recycle wheelchair batteries as they help to prevent the environmental pollutants, they contain from ending up on your dinner plate. In some cases, you can get paid for recycling batteries.

Should you decide to recycle or re-use your wheelchair, here are a few places that will gladly rehome your wheelchair:

If you wish to sell your wheelchair, you can try places like eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. If you are a Rehab Medical patient and want to return or donate your wheelchair to us, we unfortunately can not accept your used wheelchair. This is due to limited equipment space in our warehouses as well as the amount of repairs required to make the equipment serviceable.

Want to Keep Your Old Wheelchair?

That’s perfectly fine. In most instances individuals will hang on to their chairs in case they ever need a backup for any reason. Especially if you have a power wheelchair, keeping your old power wheelchair can prove to be useful as you can use it for extra parts, batteries, or a temporary chair should your newer chair require maintenance. If you do decide to go this route and keep your chair, just make sure you are regularly checking in on it and servicing it frequently so when it does come time to use it, it’s fully operational.

When it comes to disposing of your old wheelchair, it really depends on your needs, the condition of your chair, the type of chair you have, and the chair’s use case. We recommend you weigh all the options before making a decision though. For more content like this, be sure to follow us on Facebook.


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