A wheelchair is a valuable piece of equipment for people with mobility problems. Although the notion of using one may not be thrilling – since it usually accompanies a particular infirmity, wheelchair-bound individuals need not worry too much about adapting to a new and totally different lifestyle. In fact, a lot of modifications have been carried out so as to accommodate these mobility aids particularly in public places and establishments.
Common Reasons Behind Wheelchair Use
There are many reasons why someone would need to use a wheelchair. It may be transitory or permanent depending on the disease or disability. Some of the most common causes include old age, severe weakness, muscular and skeletal disorders, neurological conditions, congenital anomalies, spinal cord injuries, and other infirmities.
People who have incurred various forms of muscular and/or skeletal trauma from falls, and vehicular or other types of accidents also require the use of wheelchairs. Some of these patients may necessitate mobility aids for rehabilitation purposes and only within a specified span of time, while others may be confined to wheelchairs indefinitely or even for as long as they live.
Degree of Dependence
Since each person is totally unique and has a specific set of needs, it is only logical to assume that the degree of dependence could also vary. Some wheelchair-dependent people still have the capacity to propel the wheelchair on their own. They usually make use of manually propelled mobility aids since this variety offers them with a certain amount of independence and physical exercise.
Some wheelchair users, on the other hand, don’t have enough upper body strength to push the chair without assistance. If this is the case, then a power wheelchair is usually the ideal mobility aid.
If you’re in search of a suitable wheelchair for yourself or a loved one, be sure to perform all the necessary assessments before purchasing one. Keep in mind that the wheelchair should be appropriate for the potential user. Becoming accustomed to an inappropriate type of mobility aid will only add more stress and fatigue rather than provide assistance.
Safety should be given the utmost priority when it comes to wheelchair use. Certain modifications must be made inside the home to ensure that movement is not hampered in any way. Along with the purchase of a fitting wheelchair, you also need to consider other pieces of equipment that can make domestic life a lot easier and more comfortable.
A wheelchair and wheelchair accessible areas/vehicles should always go hand in hand; otherwise the mobility aid will not be utilized to its maximum potential. Lifts, ramps, elevators, ceiling hoists, and grab handles are some of the useful stuff you can install in and around the house. So while you’re shopping for a chair, try to look for valuable and convenient pieces of equipment as well.
You also need to take a look at your bathroom. According to statistics, the majority of accidents usually occur in this part of the house. So make sure that it is safe for a wheelchair-bound person. You may shop for suitable a toilet seat, shower chair or transfer bench. The floor must also be taken care of to avoid slipping.
Keeping necessary things within reach is also a solution. Medicine cabinets, closets, shelves and drawers should be accessible even when seated in a wheelchair. Doing so will not only prevent accidents, it can also promote an independent lifestyle to the mobility-challenged person.
Things are naturally different outside of the home. The first thing that a wheelchair-bound individual should remember when going out is to stay visible as much as possible. Clothes that are noticeable and brightly colored are appropriate. Also, they need to be comfortable enough and should be dressed suitable for the weather.
Developing keen observation is important since it allows you to scan the surroundings for the type of surface, gradients and obstacles. Look around before you move and always assess the environment. If you do all of this, your chances of running into a mishap will be considerably lower.
When crossing the road, it is always a good idea to use areas that offer utmost visibility. Keep in mind that motorists should be able to see you when you go across the street so as to avoid accidents.