How to be a Happy Wheelchair User
You don’t have to just tolerate your wheelchair. Your wheelchair should be suitable for YOU. It should fit your size and condition. Keep in mind your lifestyle, hobbies, and work in life. You want it to fit you and your personality, and let you express yourself. You can be a happy wheelchair user. Here are some ideas to help you make using a wheelchair, not just tolerable, but even comfortable, advantageous, and fun.
Wheelchair Question – “What’s the number one reason for returns of newly purchased wheelchairs?”
(find answer at the end of this article)
Let’s Get the Details:
- The wheelchair should fit It should be comfortable for your height, weight, arm length and leg length. If not, the wheelchair can be adjusted. Ask a physical therapist or a wheelchair dealer to work with you and your chair to make adjustments and suggest accessories that help you feel comfortable in your wheelchair.
Read our blog about how to measure for a suitable fit for a wheelchair.
- All wheelchairs come with manuals. Get yours out and read it. You will learn how to assemble and disassemble it, maintain the parts, and where to get new parts or get repairs made. You will see that a wheelchair is a tool, and when it is used correctly, it will serve your needs.
- Your wheelchair should fit your lifestyle, your hobbies, and work in life. Wheelchairs have changed a lot over the years, and now wheelchairs are being designed with the user in mind. There are all kinds of wheelchairs: travel wheelchairs, reclining wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, etc.. There are constantly new designs and functions for the happy wheelchair user.
The Mountain Trike is a wheelchair you can steer and drive with only one arm. You do need is upper body strength and good hand grip. This is an all-terrain wheelchair which can go through mud, gravel and sand. The company also makes one for persons with limited hand function. The chair has a stable air-suspension and hydraulic disc brakes. If you want to take your wheelchair outdoors in all kinds of weather, this may be the one for you.
Want to hit the beach and soak in the waves for a while this summer? The Floating Beach Wheelchair is a lightweight, sturdy, all-terrain wheelchair that allows the caregiver to roll the chair down the beach and into the ocean, so the user can float in the ocean waves in the chair. The wheelchair is designed for access in sand, soft soils and snow. Also known as a Mobi-Chair, it is often available for lending to the public at some state parks with beaches.
Want something completely different? Less stressful on your arms and shoulders? ROTA Mobility has developed a lever-propelled wheelchair, trike, and scooter which are much less physically demanding than traditional push-rim wheelchairs. ROTA rides steer just like a bicycle.
They are very adjustable, lightweight, and they easily fit through narrow doors.
Wheelchairs are Personal
Your wheelchair should allow you to express your personality. There are many accessories, like backpacks, to help you take along whatever you want on your wheelchair. Now, there are choices of colors of both metal and vinyl parts, so you can choose the metal paint color and the colors of your cushions, for example.
This July is National Wheelchair Beautification Month, so get decorative! Decorate the vinyl or metal with stickers from a hobby store or with bumper stickers. Beautify with a horn, balloons, silk flowers, ribbons, even bells. Adorn your ride to suit yourself and announce to the world that you are a happy wheelchair user.
- “Wheelchair Question Answered” – The number one reason for purchased wheelchair returns is – It doesn’t fit through the bathroom door.
Give some thought to the wheelchair you or your loved one is using. There are many ways to improve the experience.