If you’re becoming a wheelchair user for the first time then the prospect of limited mobility and not being able to carry out some of the daily tasks that were once so easy is bound to be a daunting one. However there are some great versions available on the market that will boost your quality of life. Your caregiver, physical therapist or occupational therapist can help you choose the right one for your needs.
Finding the Right Wheelchair
You need to ask first of all what type of wheelchair you would prefer to use. A manual wheelchair requires you to use your arms and upper body to roll the wheels. Some have parts that can be moved, removed or change depending on your needs. Alternatively you may want to try a battery-powered wheelchair which runs on batteries that can be charged through the night so you can use it during the day. Some can be used on different ground surfaces or to climb steps and raise you to reach objects.
Some models can even be moved with your mouth or chin if you are unable to use your hands. You should ask yourself which wheelchair will be comfortable for your body, whether it will be easy to move around, and how easily you’ll be able to get in and out of it. It’s also important to consider how easy it is to pack into a car, and if that requires you to get a wheelchair accessible car from a firm like Allied Mobility.
How to Use Your Wheelchair
The first task is getting into your chair. Wheelchairs have locks on the wheels which keep them in place. You should lock yours before you get in or out of it, as well as move the armrests and footrests away or simply take them off. While you are indoors you should make sure floors are clean, dry, well-lit and free of any objects that may cause obstacles. Electrical cords should be moved out of the way too so you can get by more easily.
When you’re outdoors you should stay on the right side of hallways and pavements to give passers-by room to walk around you. Slow down at corners, go over ramps or curbs carefully, and check for anyone or anything that may cause an accident. Then you can keep safe wherever you go.