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What Should a New Wheelchair User Do?

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-04-07      Origin: Site

What Should a New Wheelchair User Do?

Finding out that you now need a wheelchair can be a bit of a shock. Life is about to change and you will now be viewing it from about 1.5m off the ground and thanking whoever did invent the wheel. You'll also be learning some new skills if you are going down the road of lightweight wheelchairs. This is a way of being you may not have had to think about before, and even if it is only temporary, there are some things you are going to have to think about.


Firstly, you've got to choose the right mobility for you. At Maidesite, we supply mobility aids and their accessories to the nation. We have a wide range of lightweight wheelchairs. These are the chairs that are easier to use in the home and if you need to take your wheelchair with you on some other kind of transport (like your car). Powered wheelchairs are for going longer distances over rougher terrain outdoors, and for if you need to get about independently but don't have much use of your upper body.


When you use your feet to get around, you often don't notice what is under them. With wheels, it's a different story. You notice every change in surface, from super smooth tarmac to gravel to lumpy, bumpy ground. And then there are the slopes and steps, what do wheelchair users do about those? If you are all for lightweight wheelchairs and using your own body rather than a motor to get around, you will find yourself becoming a bit obsessed with the location of dropped kerbs and ways to get around steep slopes and steps.


Getting in and out of places


Since legislation in 2010, people with disabilities are legally entitled to be able to enter and exit buildings and places as easily as able-bodied people.


Businesses have to change their premises to make them accessible to all. Some install lifts. Others put in ramps. However, some places are exempt, so if you are about to visit an old or listed building, it is worth checking how accessible it is. Have a look on the business's website or give them a ring.



Your home environment and lightweight wheelchairs


When you get a lightweight wheelchair from Maidesite, your first priority needs to be making sure you can get around safely and comfortably in your own home. You also want to be as independent as possible.


At Maidesite, we spend a lot of time thinking about how our customers experience the world and how to increase their chances of having an easier life. With this in mind, we have put together some information below on the various adaptations you might be thinking about when you first get a lightweight wheelchair. Many of these can be made to existing properties so that you do not have to move.


You may need to assess your space to see whether you will need to make any adaptations in order to use a lightweight wheelchair.  The most obvious obstacle is any stairs. You may be eligible for funding to help make any major changes such as adding ramps or handrails.


Many houses have threshold bars between rooms or in the entrance way to the shower. These can become a hindrance if you intend to use lightweight wheelchairs in the space at all time. They need to be removed and replaced with a smooth join between the flooring types in each room. This may require refitting some of the flooring.


Standard lightweight wheelchairs will typically fit through normal doorways. If you need an extra-wide chair, you may need to have your doorways widened accordingly in order to fit through easily.


If you are unable to stand at all, you might find it difficult to reach standard-level kitchen work surfaces and cupboards. There are models that allow you to pull shelves down to the right height and you can get your kitchen work surfaces lowered wherever possible.


When you start to look at the world through the eyes of someone who uses mobility aids like lightweight wheelchairs, it may seem like there are many obstacles at first. The important thing to remember is that there are lots of adaptations and support available. Everything may not be perfect to begin with, but you can work towards a fully adapted world that is easy for you to move around in.